Story Notes:Originally published in 2001.
“Well, that didn’t take much,” Quatre commented, dusting off his sleek black uniform and stepping off the loading dock. “I was expecting more from experienced criminals like those.”
Trowa picked up the silver case -their mission- and set to work picking the lock.
“The one thing about criminals is no matter how smart they are, they’re always a little stupid and that’s where they trip up. Speaking of tripping, get a load of this, Quat.”
The top of the box opened, revealing the set of data discs they were after...however, there was more than just that in it. Quatre blinked and stared as Trowa lifted out a small plastic bag from the depths of the box. It was filled with several small, foreign objects.
“What’s that?” he asked, oblivious to the situation.
Trowa’s usually emotionless face cracked a mirthless smile and he muttered, “Stolen data must not have been the only thing those guys were packing. Do you know what this is, Quat?”
The blonde shook his head. Trowa glanced over his shoulder sneakily and slipped the bag inside his flight suit.
“Woah, woah!” Quatre cried. “You think that’s a good idea? What if they want us to return that too?”
“First off, it’s an excellent idea and secondly, they would have no intention of recovering anything but the discs. Think of it as....a tip.”
Quatre gazed at his friend worriedly. “What are you up to, Trowa Barton?”
The dark-haired boy seemed very excited now as he reclosed the box and picked it up.
“Forget about it. Let’s dump this junk off and split. I’m gonna take you to my place and introduce you to some old friends of mine.”
~Later that evening~
Quatre squinted in the darkness.
“Trowa, this is nuts. What if we get caught?”
“We won’t. It’s my hiding place. Granted it won’t seem like much, but it’s the best a circus brat like me can do.”
They tiptoed quickly across the empty lot, behind the vending booths and the big red and white tent. Plastic statues of clowns seemed to jump out from behind corners and twisted mirrors made the night seem horrifying.
“I’ve never been to a circus before,” Quatre whispered, and Trowa turned around and smiled at him.
“You should come down and see me sometime.”
“I’ll do that.”
They paused for a moment.
“Where are we going, anyway?”
“Just down Gazebo Alley, to the left, past the Freakshow and out back behind the shooting range.”
“To do what?”
Trowa suddenly grasped Quatre’s hand and snickered, “Never mind! C’mon, hurry up!”
And he dragged Quatre, stumbling, through the dark.
They were breathless by the time they reached it.
“What is this? Some kind of hangar?”
“It’s where someone used to keep antique airplanes for the airshow, but they were destroyed a long time ago. Now it’s just my little getaway.”
He pulled a key from his pocket and set to work undoing a large assortment of locks. Quatre gazed all around the area, noting that is was far from where any activity might be taking place, practically in a deserted lot.
“There,” Trowa muttered and with a grunt, opened the large sliding door just enough for them to slip in.
It was pitch black inside. Quatre could hear their breathing and the pounding of his own heart but other than that, silence. There was a click, and a few dim lights glowed weakly from up on the lofty ceiling.
“This place is.....neat,” Quatre said shakily, unable to find the right word for it. It was something alright. Something strange. Posters adorned the walls, several of them displaying German advertisements. All around the hangar ran a catwalk adorned with coloured lights. Odd lamps hung from here and there, casting baroque shadows on their faces. A small living area rested in the far left corner, consisting of a torn, beaten old couch, an ancient recliner, a broken coffee table and a TV that looked to be a hundred years old. The floor was bare cement and stained with old oil from leaky planes. All around the walls were piles of old furniture and trunks and musty boxes overflowing with moth-eaten costumes and boas with half the feathers missing. To the extreme right sat an old T-Bird Quatre remembered seeing in history books. The wheels were missing and it sat up on blocks, the red paint decrepit and peeling. A pair of dice hung from the broken rear view mirror, showing signs that Trowa at least spent some time lounging in it. Remains of a circus float were parked behind it, the paper maché mushroom land limp and falling to pieces.
Trowa trotted jovially over the the couch and flopped down onto it declaring, “Home sweet home.” He leaned over and flicked on the radio. “You like jazz, Quat?”
Quatre looked up from the poster he was staring at and regarded his friend.
“Uhhh...sure. Jazz is fine. I like jazz.”
A golden horn section blared saucily from the old speakers, and Quatre suddenly felt like he was in a 1930’s mob hideout. He continued to stare at the posters, nearly dying of embarrassment when he came to one displaying a picture of a naked girl bedecked in feathers riding a white pony. The writing was in German, but he recognised the large, red title.
“Amsterdam?” he inquired, and Trowa chuckled.
“Circus capital of the world, though more perverse than the shows here.”
“Yes, I can see that.....were you ever in Amsterdam, Trowa?”
The boy went oddly quiet, a strange expression on his face. “Yeah, I was.”
The jazz band played merrily away, hiding the dark mood that suddenly befell them. Trowa snapped from his reverie and proclaimed, “So! How ‘bout I introduce you to my friends now?”
He went to his knapsack and began to rummage around. Quatre sat down in the squeaky recliner unable to shake the bad feeling in his stomach. He somehow knew it wasn’t right to be here. Somehow he wanted to run from this place as fast as he could and take Trowa with him-
“Here we go.”
With a crooked grin, Trowa held up the plastic bag retrieved earlier from the box. Quatre still had no idea what those small, white cylindrical items were, but he had a feeling they were bad. Very bad.
Trowa opened the bag and grimaced.
“Damn, these things are rancid!”
Pulling one little stick from the bag, he patted his jeans pockets.
“You gotta light, Quat? ‘Course you don’t. Oh, never mind. I found it.”
He picked up the silver lighter from next to the radio and put the stick to his mouth, holding it in his lips.
A flame sparked and the end of the stick smoked, but didn’t glow. Quatre stared with wide, unbelieving eyes as Trowa took a deep drag. He coughed once and exhaled a cloud of smoke.
“Ahh,” he sighed. “Long time, no see. Here, Quat.”
The plastic bag landed in Quatre’s lap, and he looked up at Trowa with a shocked face.
“What’re you waiting for? Try one. I know you’ve smoked before.”
“French cigarettes, and they were lights. These are the weirdest looking cigarettes I’ve ever seen-”
Trowa burst out laughing and leaned his elbows back on the arm of the couch, stretching his long legs out on the cushions.
“Ha ha! That was a good one, Quat! Real good! Ha ha ha haaa!”
Quatre frowned, ashamed of his timidness and dying to impress Trowa. He would show him. Just watch.
With a determined look, he fished out one of the odd little cigarettes and put it in his lips. Trowa, smiling widely, tossed the lighter to him and he lit it up.
The first drag felt like Quatre’s lungs were on fire. He gagged instantly as the acrid, sour taste filled his mouth. He began to cough spasmodically and his eyes watered so bad that tears rolled down his cheeks. All the time Trowa was laughing like it was the best joke he’d ever heard.
When Quatre finally got his laboured breathing under control, he gazed up at his laid-back friend in horror and cried,
“What in the hell is this thing?”
“Cannabis gottasmokimus,” Trowa replied as he took another drag. “Marijuana.”
Quatre leaped from his chair.
“GOOD GOD, TROWA! WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME?!”
“I just did.”
“BEFORE I already took a smoke! This stuff is illegal!”
“Burns like hell and I ain’t jokin’, so light another and keep on smokin’.”
Quatre smiled sardonically. “Cute. Real cute. You got any more, Dr. Seuss?”
“Yeah,” Trowa grinned. “Smacks you up but that ain’t nothin’, just close your eyes and keep on puffin’.”
“Dammit, Trowa. You should write a book. God! How often you light up?”
Trowa sighed a cloud of smoke. “Whenever it crosses my path.”
The blonde-haired Arabian sank down in the chair despondently, still holding the smoking joint in his fingers.
“How-when did you...? Why...? I-I didn’t.....”
Trowa stuck the joint between his lips and puffed away, crossing his arms and staring at the ceiling.
“When you’re an orphan with no family, no home and only a bunch of circus scumballs for friends, you learn about life the hard way, Quat.”
He paused and closed his eyes, then continued. Without thinking, Quatre took a small puff on his joint, completely absorbed in Trowa’s words.
“I spent five years in Amsterdam. That was where I was first recruited by the colonies. Still, that doesn’t mean you get free room and board just for playing soldier boy. Baron Weiler picked me up off the streets and put me in the show. One of my first acts. I was part of the Midnight Curtain, the kiddie porn show.”
Quatre’s blue eyes went wide in disbelief.
“That alone was enough to make me want to kill myself, but some of my fellow actors had found a way to deal with it.”
He gave a small flick to the lighted white stick between his lips.
“We would all go behind the fortune teller’s booth and get rocked up so bad we wouldn’t remember anything we did for days. Sometimes I couldn’t even remember my fucking name. That was bad. The shit we were doing was bad. This stuff is nothing compared to that. We would mix and match, trying to find the most potent combination....”
His voice became hoarse.
“Buddy ‘a mine was trippin’ one night and thought it’d be a gas to mix in some LSD with the regular coke. He OD’d that night, and I vowed to never touch the shit again.”
Quatre blinked slowly.
Trowa shrugged. “I tried to go without it but the Curtain did me in. I couldn’t take it, remembering every sickening detail and every filthy hand that touched me and and every spotlight that I couldn’t run away from and every sicko that gawked at me from the cheap seats. That was when I learned to zone out, become completely braindead. You think it’s bad having knives chucked at me, but I’ll tell you Quat, I’d rather be lined up and shot at by a blindfolded psycho maniac with a ten gauge than go back to Amsterdam and that hellish, goddamn Midnight Curtain.”
“But then....” Quatre inquired softly. “Why do you still have the posters on the walls?”
“Some things you can’t shake off, Quat, no matter how hard you try. However dark, dirty or defiled your past is, it’s still your past. It belongs to you, and every memory you have of it.”
He breathed out a blanket of thin smoke.
“I keep those posters there to remind me how bad it was then. Makes everything else seem really, really good.”
He lowered his head and drew up one knee, resting his arm on it.
“God, you just don’t know, Quat. You are so lucky. I envy you. You’re perfect. Untouched. Undefiled. Unmarred by the ugly hands of the world. Pure white, still virgin.”
He cocked an eyebrow and gazed at Quatre oddly.
The blonde boy blushed and looked at the floor, nodding slowly.
“Don’t be ashamed, Quat. It’s a far better thing than what else you could be; a dirty bastard, just like me.”
Talk ceased for a moment and they listened to the slow, bluesy tune being cranked out on the radio.
“So....” Quatre drawled. “Then what?”
Puff. Smoke swirled about his head.
“Sometimes zoning wasn’t enough. I still needed the drugs. Sure, I could live without them, but it was Hell and a half. Like pulling teeth with no anesthetic. You’d still survive, you wouldn’t bleed to death, but it would hurt like a bitch and you’d be scared to open your mouth again. That was the way it was for me. I’m just now starting to get over my antisociality and depression. Now I only light up when I want to forget about how many people I’ve killed or how much my life seems to be wasted. Sometimes I don’t know why God created me. He must have been tripping Himself. I’ve begun to think that my true purpose is to carry the worthlessness and despair that the rest of the world can’t seem to swallow...”
“Shut up, damn you!” Quatre cried, tears welling up in his eyes. Trowa stared in shock. “Just stop it, Trowa!”
With a heavy sigh, Quatre slumped down in the chair and stared into space. Trowa glanced over and muttered in awe, “Jesus, Quatre. Where did it all go?”
He pointed to the stump of a joint left in Quatre’s hand, and he stared in horror at it.
“Oh God,” he moaned. “Oh God, I wasn’t paying attention. I-I! Oh God, Trowa!”
He began to shake and shudder, and Trowa propped his stick in the ashtray and walked over to the chair, kneeling down in front of his friend and taking him by the shoulders.
“Take it easy, Quat. Calm down. Just breathe slowly.”
But the boy couldn’t. He pressed his palms to his eyes and began to sob.
“We’re all so fucked up,” he wept. “God, was there ever a more fucked up group of people than us, Trowa?”
The dark-haired boy didn’t reply, but clutched Quatre to his chest, holding him as he continued to weep into his shoulder.
“Just relax, Quat, before you get hysterical. Here, have another light.”
“I don’t want one.”
“Take one anyway.”
“What the fuck. Are you trying to get me addicted?”
“There are plenty of worse things you can get addicted to, Quat.”
“Oh yeah?” Quatre snapped spitefully. “Like what?”
“Sex. Or cotton candy.”
The blond boy smiled through his tears and laughed. Trowa smiled along with him.
“C’mon,” he said. “Let me show you the lights.”
Trowa stood up and flicked a switch on the wall. The coloured lights that ran along the railing glowed to life and blinked. Several more strings of lights that were draped upon the wall began to blink off and on.
It was like a multicoloured Christmas, or Mardi Gras.
Though the blinking of lights would hardly entertain a normal person, it looked like nirvana to someone under the influence of illegal drugs. Already made unsteady by the effects of the marijuana, Quatre breathed, “They’re beautiful…”
“Yeah,” Trowa agreed. Quatre smiled sadly and turned to his friend.
“At least you still have something beautiful in your life.”
“I do…but it’s not this.”
Quatre looked puzzled. “What do you mean?”
Trowa turned and faced him, smiling and shaking his head.
“Fool,” he muttered fondly, and gently brought his hand up to touch Quatre’s cheek. “It’s you.”
“M-me?” Quatre felt his face get hot under the soft fingers.
“Of course you.”
“But….but I’m not beautiful.”
“Yes, you are. You’re the only beautiful thing I have. You’re like…..you’re like the one bit of sanity I have left, Quat. You’re the only person I can talk to. You’re the only person who’ll listen. You’re the only one who can understand me. You…you’re…..everything.”
Unable to say anything more, Trowa pulled away and sat down on the couch. Quatre watched as he picked up his second joint and muttered, “God, I’m ripped.”
~Three hours later~
The entire hangar was filled with a smoky haze, reeking of marijuana. Quatre and Trowa were sprawled out on the furniture, completely stoned out of their minds and not sane enough to care.
“It’s hotter ‘n hell uppin’ here,” Quatre muttered, removing his dark purple vest, untucking his shirt and undoing the first four buttons.
Trowa, glassy-eyed and dizzy, picked up the plastic bag and emptied it out. Nothing. It was all gone. He simply tossed it over his shoulder and sank down onto the couch cushions, staring at the ceiling.
“Quat....the ceilin’ is....movin’.”
“Ceilin’ isn’t movin’ I’M movin’,” he replied, although he was completely stationary and looking as if he might stay that way for a long time.
Trowa closed his bloodshot eyes and coughed.
“Fr’got m’ name. My fuckin’ head. I’m a drum.”
And with those final words he rolled off of the couch and onto the floor. Quatre stared for about five minutes until he finally heard the thud of his friend’s body. He stumbled to his feet and shuffled over to Trowa.
“Geddup...Tr...Tran....Trawn....you. You’re gonna catcha cold on the cold floor. Help me here.”
He grasped Trowa’s arms and attempted to pull him to his feet. His balance was upset and he toppled over backwards, hitting his head on the wall.
“GOD........DAMN....!” he screamed hoarsely, and clutched his skull. “My fuckin’ foot!”
Trowa moaned and Quatre crawled back over to him. Trowa opened his eyes to see Quatre’s face directly above his, though upside down. His blond friend looked like hell.
“You look like Heaven, Quat.”
“I’m nodda cat.”
“S’ you are.”
Quatre leaned down and kissed Trowa on the lips. Trowa closed his eyes and felt what was left of his senses swim around in circles. Quatre, on his hands and knees, felt his muscles give and be broke the kiss and landed on his stomach, cheek to cheek with Trowa.
“M’ sorry, Trowa,” he moaned miserably. “But I wanted.....wanted to kiss you.”
“I know,” Trowa replied. He heard Quatre sigh heavily turned his head in time to see him bury his face in his arms. He listened for a long time to the small sniffles and sobs before gently reaching up and putting a hand on top of Quatre’s sweaty golden hair.
“S’ okay, Quatre-”
“It’s Quat. Kit Quat.”
“Gimme a break.”
Quatre met Trowa’s eyes and the both of them smiled at the pun. They even laughed lightly. When the humour had faded it left in it’s wake silence, disturbed only by the radio blaring dark blues.
Trowa’s smile slowly faded and with much effort he sat up. The floor rose up and the ceiling dipped and the walls caved in. He waited for it all to settle back down before turning around and crawling groggily closer to Quatre, whose blue eyes followed his every movement. His friend disappeared from his sight.
“Trow? Where are y- unh.”
He felt something heavy suddenly lie down directly on top of him, pressing him into the rug and squeezing the air from his lungs. Trowa’s breath was suddenly in his ear.
“Don’t think,” his intimate companion murmured, sliding his hands over Quatre’s. “Just feel.”
Quatre went still, and he felt a rhythmic heartbeat throb onto his back. He felt Trowa’s body shift over his, felt his legs twine with his, felt his.....his....
The blond boy shivered and exhaled heavily.
“That’s it,” Trowa breathed. “Re.....lax.....”
Quatre did so. The music played. They laid on the floor. Just when Quatre was beginning to think Trowa had fallen asleep, he felt a pair of warm hands slide under his belly. They moved slowly, making the the hairs on his neck stand up and his skin prickle with intensity. They moved inward more and more, until Trowa had his arms wrapped about Quatre’s middle, forcing the blond into an awkward position.
Quatre made an uncomfortable noise in his throat, but Trowa’s response was only the movement of his arms lower on Quatre’s body.
“Shh. I’m doing something.”
Quatre gulped down his nervousness. Abruptly the weight of Trowa’s body lifted, and Quatre felt himself being rolled over on his back. He was completely stressed to his limit as he met Trowa’s eyes, as red-rimmed as they were. Trowa had never seemed so desirable to him.
“Can I?” he asked softly.
“Can you what?” Quatre replied nervously.
Trowa shook his head. “Never mind.”
Much to Quatre’s dismay, Trowa crawled off of him and sat there for a while. Quatre fought to regain his breath, lying there on his back. He watched as Trowa went into a daze, staring numbly ahead.
With effort, Quatre pushed himself up off the floor and sat next to his companion silently.
“This isn’t right,” Trowa murmured. “I shouldn’t be.....thinking these thoughts.”
“What thoughts?” Quatre whispered.
Trowa turned and gazed at his blond friend, sighing, “Loving you.”
Quatre felt his cheeks ignite, and he broke gaze with Trowa, confessing timidly, “I....I know. I’m thinking the same thing.”
He felt Trowa slide closer to him and he glanced up slowly. Their faces were inches apart.
“Trowa...?” Quatre stammered fearfully, then felt his insides melt as Trowa pressed his lips against his.
It was a case of broken sanity, and neither Quatre nor Trowa cared. Quatre willingly went down on his back, pulling Trowa with him. They fell upon each other clumsily, Trowa running his hands through Quatre’s impossibly blond hair.
Panting, Quatre pulled away and unbuttoned the rest of his shirt. Then he lay there expectantly, as if to say, what are you waiting for? Trowa instantly claimed the smooth neck as his own, and drew as much of the flesh into his mouth as he could.
That was how it all began. How it ended was a different story.
Quatre remembered a headache so fierce it threatened to empty the contents of his stomach. He swallowed dryly and opened his eyes. Blurs. That’s all he saw.
The radio was still on. The ceiling came slowly into focus and he tried to sit up. He made it on the third try, and was instantly greeted by a wave of dizziness. Then a feeling of confusion surrounded him, and he looked down to see his vest on and his shirt buttoned up neatly. His shoes were off and his pants were twisted around his legs. Where was he?
Lying on a cot, in a dark corner of the balcony. He remembered thinking in his funny little head,
Where’s Trowa and my shoes?
He looked down by the side of the cot and found them. Slipping them on, he sat there in the dark and tried to remember what happened. He recalled the darkened circus and the hangar, but after that it was a void. What in the hell happened to him?
A shadow fell upon Quatre and he looked up with red eyes.
“Trowa,” he rasped.
“How’re you doing? Alright?” his friend asked softly, walking up the steps and kneeling by Quatre’s bed. Quatre nodded.
“Here,” he said, and Trowa held out a glass of water to Quatre.
It was the best thing Quatre had ever tasted. He emptied the glass and sighed heavily. Trowa was smiling gently.
“Take it easy, now. You’re sketching.”
“What’s that mean?”
“Coming down off of a drug. It’ll only be a temporary thing-”
He stopped what he was saying and patiently replied, “Yes?”
“Tell me. Can you remember what happened?”
He watched his friend uncomfortably shift his weight.
“Depends on what you want to know.”
“I want to know everything.”
Trowa looked incredulous. “Everything?”
Quatre nodded. Trowa coughed nervously and stood up, walking over to the balcony with his back to Quatre.
“You have to promise not to interrupt,” he murmured.
Trowa sighed. “Right then. Where did you leave off?”
“The hangar door.”
“Hm. Better than most. Anyway....” he turned around to face Quatre and leaned against the rail on his elbows. “We arrived. We had a few smokes. Things started getting crazy. We smoked the whole bag and then I passed out on the floor. I woke up with you lookin’ in my face and then...then you kissed me.”
Trowa expected a larger reaction from Quatre, but he saw none. Just that never-ending stare. Right into his soul. He continued,
“Then I crawled on top of you and just sorta laid there. I didn’t know what I was doing. Then we both sat up and you talked and I talked and then....I kissed you.”
He gazed guiltily at Quatre.
“One thing led to another and we...we...”
“Sex?” Quatre asked. Trowa nodded. “Damn it.”
Trowa looked surprised. “Why do you say that?”
Quatre rose groggily to his feet.
“Wish I could’a remembered it.”
Trowa had an expression of utter relief on his face as Quatre walked past him. He grinned, then turned around warningly.
“Woah, woah. Hold on there. You’re gonna need help with the stairs-”
“I can manage,” Quatre protested gently, but Trowa was already acting as his support, Quatre’s arm slung over his shoulder.
“I’m tellin’ you,” Trowa continued. “These things are a bitch when you’re sketc-”
“Well, why don’t you carry me then?” Quatre said impatiently.
“Sounds like a plan to me.”
He scooped Quatre into his arms and easily lifted him off the ground.
“WOAH! Woah. I’m flying.”
Trowa walked down the steps with the smaller boy in his arms, striving to keep his smile to himself. Quatre had his arms spread wide, making airplane noises, and the laugh in Trowa’s throat burst out unexpectedly.
They reached the bottom of the stairs in one piece.
“You’re real light,” Trowa said, making idle conversation. “I can carry you easy.”
Quatre laughed drunkenly, “A’ course I’m light! How’d ya expect me to fly? Whoooo....”
And the blond began to ‘fly’ ( actually stagger ) circles around the room. Trowa followed him carefully, making sure he didn’t hurt himself.
“Freeeeee......as a birrrrd.....” Quatre sang, then collapsed into Trowa’s arms.
“Oh good God,” Trowa sighed. “Quatre? I think you’re having a relapse, buddy.”
Quatre’s surely response took him by surprise:
“I’m not your buddy I’m your bestest best better ‘n besting friennnnnnd....”
And he visibly cuddled to Trowa’s side. Trowa, still shocked by Quatre’s actions, stammered nervously, “I, uhhh...think we’re just a little bit more than best friends now, Quatre-”
“QUAT!” he shouted.
“Okay! Damn, jeez. Quat it is. Meow meow. Right.”
He pulled Quatre gently away and looked into his eyes seriously.
“Alright, Quat. It’s time for you to leave once you’ve-”
“But I don’t wanna leave!” Quatre objected loudly. “I wanna stay here with you!”
“You can’t, Quat. You’ve got your own home, and it’s a helluva lot better than mine-”
“I don’t care!” he screamed, despite his raging migraine. “I want to be with you! YOU! Don’t you understand?”
Tears came into Quatre’s eyes and he began to sob. Trowa sighed heavily.
“I understand, but it’s not what you think. By the time you’ve come down off it, you’ll probably hate me for dragging you into this. I mean, I’d like to keep you, Quat,” his voice began to crack. “I’d like to keep you forever and a day but I can’t. We’ve got our families t-”
“It’s obvious to me you don’t care enough about yours to stop tormenting yourself!” Quatre snapped. Trowa bristled. “What about yours, huh? Where are they now, if they matter so much-”
“WHAT FAMILY?!” Quatre sobbed wretchedly. “A dead father and a score of synthetic sisters and a mother’s face I never saw-! You call that FAMILY?!”
Trowa was taken aback. He watched Quatre quiver in a helpless rage and his heart ached for the little angel. His little angel. He drew him into his arms and Quatre finally broke down completely, his old self falling away. The poor lad was shaking so bad...Trowa felt all his pain and his heart clenched terribly.
“It’s okay, Quat. It’s okay. Everything will be alright. You can stay as long as you like.”
Stay forever if you want, I don’t care. As long as you’re here. As long as you love me. As long as I have those visions of you in my mind.....I will always be here.
“Thank you, Trowa,” he whispered. Trowa closed his eyes and savored the warmth of Quatre’s body against his.
“Don’t mention it, Quat.”