A Gift Fic for Antares by Dr Megalomania
Fireworks to light up your night sky
In a flash, life and love can go awry
Let me take you higher, fulfil your desires
He adjusted his glasses. His tie. His cuffs. Sighed. Started again, tried to meet his eye as he spoke into the mirror. Tried to do a little improv and then lost his train of thought. Stuttered. Looked down at the prompt cards again and sighed.
There was a knock at the door and his sister put her head in through the door. Iria smiled half-heartedly, “Are you… okay?”
Quatre stared at her, his blue eyes wide. “I’m an idiot.”
“I mean, it is only dinner. Do you really even need the prompt cards?”
“No, it’s a reunion and I can’t even remember half of what I’m supposed to say.” He stared at the meaningless prompt cards. “What if they…What if he...”
Iria elegantly folded her arms, her voice dour. “What? Walks out because you flub a speech?”
“It’s been five years.”
Iria breathed in with the long-suffering draw of air of one who’d been here before. “Yes.”
“What if he hates me?”
“Which one?” Iria looked up patiently. “Oh yes, the other Gundam Pilots will hate you because you don’t remember a couple of words.”
He gave a dramatic sigh. “Iria, they’re not just Gundam Pilots any more… Florescence Inc is huge. Second Chance Inc tried to take a bite out of us last year… Chang has rebuilt L5 and Yuy is… Yuy is one of the finest programmers in the universe and nobody can find him to hire him.” He gestured himself. “And me? I’m nothing, I’m just--”
“The youngest CEO this side of the war of the largest company in all the colonies, the colonies’ most eligible bachelor voted three years running. Winner Enterprises Inc is this utter goliath and nothing, nothing we do ever catches his attention.”
Making a non-committal noise, Catherine tried to concentrate on her tablet but her brother insisted on making another sweep of the hotel room, his hands gesturing wildly as he continued to list every wonderful thing about the young man who got away. She looked up from her tablet. “So, remind me again why you can’t just talk to him at the reunion?”
He threw his hands in the air in frustration. “Haven’t you listened to a word I’ve been saying? Quatre doesn’t even know I’m alive. He’s so cool and collected and …” He paused, running his hands through his hair in frustration. Catherine rolled her eyes. She’d spent ages getting his hair just so. He resumed pacing around the room. “He’s just so amazing, and nothing - nothing! - I’ve done since the end of the war measures up. I keep trying, but I’m always going to be the nameless nobody who---”
“--had this bright idea?” Wufei growled. “We’re going to be stuck here for hours…”
Duo carefully put his drink down. “Look, I just had to do something about these idiots in love.”
“Hn.” snorted Heero.
Wufei scoffed lightly. “It was your idea.” He narrowed his eyes as he raised his drink again. “Four hours if you count the speeches.”
“Look, I just… I can’t do it anymore.” Duo replied. “I can’t keep watching them not realise how the other feels.”
“I fail to see why we needed the speeches.”
“Look they weren’t just going to come to the party just because I said, hey, let’s have a party.”
Heero straightened, offended. “I came last time.”
Duo clapped his hand onto Heero’s shoulder. “And it was a lovely party.” He turned his head to glare at Wufei. “Lovely, lovely two-person party.”
“I’m not dropping everything because you say, let’s have a party.” Wufei rolled his eyes and motioned the bartender. “Another please.”
Once the bartender had finished pouring, Duo raised his fourth fancy cocktail to his lips and sipped appreciatively. Either side of him, Wufei and Heero did the same with their fourth fancy cocktails. If the three were leaning against the bar now a little worse for wear, nobody seemed to comment on it. Duo watched the room, on one side Triton Bloom (formally one Trowa Barton) entered with his sister. On the other side of the room, Iria Winner was cajoling her brother into looking up from his prompt cards. She took them from him and shook her head, tucking them offending cards into her purse for a long time until he persuaded her to hand them back. She took her time, rummaging in her bag for the cards before reluctantly handing them over. The boys were too far away to hear what she said, but Duo could still read lips. She extracted a promise from Quatre that he’d just put them in his pocket and leave it until the speech.
“Oh god, he brought prompt cards,” Duo muttered.
“Your idea,” Wufei muttered.
“If you’d come to the last one--”
Heero sniffed thoughtfully. “Isn’t that Dorothy?”
Duo and Wufei turned their heads, as Dorothy Catalonia - for lack of a better word - swept into the room. Heero tilted his head towards the other two and whispered in what turned out to be not such a whisper. The other two were oblivious to how loudly he was speaking. “Relena’s got the biggest crush on Dorothy, but Dorothy thought Relena was straight and dating me. Dorothy told Noin. Relena also confided in Noin. Noin told Zechs.”
The other two hissed sympathetically.
“So Zechs set me up on a date with Dorothy but didn’t tell either of us it was a date. He did happen to arrange for Relena to see us both. Luckily for me, she knows where my heart lies.” He narrowed his eyes for a moment. “Unluckily for Zechs, I also know where he lives.”
Wufei spat out his drink and cackled. Duo side-eyed Heero who calmly sipped his drink. “Is that why Zechs has somehow ended up on the Preventers no-fly list despite being married to one of the co-founders?”
Heero’s lips pulled back as he bared all his teeth in a brutal grin.
“Yuy.” Dorothy paused by the group. She looked around. “Maxwell, I understand you’re the reason we’re all here.”
Duo glanced at the other two before shrugging. “I thought it would be nice…”
“He’s got prompt cards, Maxwell.” Dorothy inspected her nails. “I did not put on this spectacular dress just to sit listening to a bunch of idiots drone on about how wonderful they are.” She flicked her eyes at Heero. “Though I’m pleased to notice that Milliardo isn’t here, so there’s no chance of any chance of an hour-long soliloquy about the nature of human conflict during a time of Christmas and how the end of the second war couldn’t have come at a more poignant time. You’d think after the first five times Milliardo could let go of the Christmas aspect and retire the tired old speech about human triumph...”
Duo shrugged. “I think he and Triton are in love. I reckon it’s been at least since spring and I’m trying to get them to notice each other.”
This seemed to still something in her, she stared intensely at Duo, then Heero and then finally Wufei before squinting at Duo again. “Have you seriously only just noticed?”
“You think it’s been longer?”
It was entirely rare for Dorothy Catalonia to allow the shock to register on her face, her pretty mouth falling open. She leaned onto the bar, “Bartender, I need another one whatever these idiots are drinking.”
Duo raised the fancy cocktail to his lips and finished it. Either side of him, Heero Yuy and Chang Wufei did the same with their respective fancy cocktails.
“For all of us!” Duo added before side-eyeing Wufei. “And now, that’s why we’re having fuckin’ speeches, because nobody turns down a party thrown by Relena-fucking-”
Turning at her name being mentioned, Relena smiled charmingly at Miss Bloom, the owner and co-founder of Fluorescence Inc. “I insist you call me Relena, Miss Bloom, it’s a delight to see you again!” She grasped Miss Bloom’s hands tightly. Miss Bloom seemed a little embarrassed as Pargon bowed to her and took her coat. The tall man behind her thanked Pargon in a delightful baritone. Relena tilted her head, the man was painfully familiar but at the same time, she couldn’t place him. When he turned to her and reached out a hand, it was the green eyes that gave him away.
“I go by Triton these days.”
“Tri...ton... “ Relena blinked. “Bloom!” She glanced at Miss Bloom. “I didn’t realise you two were--”
“Related.” Miss Bloom spoke quickly as if used to the phrase. “We’re blood-related. As it turns out, this idiot is my actual brother who I thought was lost in the war.”
Relena felt her mouth fall open. “Wow…” She glanced at Triton. “I suppose we both found our siblings during the war, almost like it was…”
“Time to go. Excuse me...”
Sally broke away from a lively discussion between Noin and Une when she noticed how surprised Dorothy looked. She approached the group of four and looked bemusedly between Dorothy and the three Gundam pilots. Sally took a breath to ask, but Dorothy downed her cocktail, slammed the glass on the bar and clapped her hands together, holding them in a prayer position as she turned towards Sally.
“We’re here because these idiots just figured out about 3 and 4.”
Sally’s bemusement dropped off her face and she looked at the three boys, disappointment in her voice. “Boys…”
Wufei pointed a finger at Duo. “His idea.”
Sally shook her head, reproachingly. “Boys… he has prompt cards.”
Dragging in a deep breath, Dorothy nodded. “We kept saying, oh, they were given the Gundams for a reason…” She shook her head once. “Nope, that’s it. I’m going in.” She took Heero’s drink and downed it. “See you on the other side.” She thrust the glass at Sally. “You secure something jazzy, get Noin and Une on the dance floor, I’ll get 4 and Relena will be the battering ram.”
“What’s your attack vector?”
Dorothy paused, nodded once. “I think it’s time to break out the big guns. Time for the Fate play.”
“Got it. I’ll alert Iria and Catherine that we’re a ‘go’.” Sally raised her hand in a tiny salute and walked off in a determined fashion.
The three Gundam pilots watched them until Heero looked down morosely at his former glass and Wufei raised a hand to call after Dorothy. “Catalonia!” She paused briefly as he clenched his fist. “The cards !” Dorothy dramatically rolled her eyes and left them. Wufei glanced at Duo. “Well done, now you’ve gotten the women involved.”
Watching the way Sally cut through the crowd, watching as Noin and Une cast the Gundams a withering look before moving off to their assigned tasks, it all gave Duo an insight into larger machinations already at work. Feeling woefully unprepared, Duo shrugged, “I just wanted to give those idiots a chance to get together, it’s not my fault this is all some cruel twist of… I dunno, what’s the word?”
Quatre blinked and looked to the side. As if out of nowhere, Dorothy stood next to him. “Hmm?”
“Fate. It’s a funny thing.”
He looked around, trying to see the thing that was causing her to look so distant. A waiter passed with a tray of champagne and Dorothy grabbed two glasses. He held his hand up to decline it in case she’d forgotten but was somewhat unsurprised when she downed them both in quick succession. She thrust the glasses into his hands and grabbed his wrists. “Tonight’s the night. Tonight’s not death. Tonight, we succeed.”
She stared at him intently until he hesitantly said. “Yes?”
Her blue eyes seem to dance with electricity and he felt something explode in his heart. Her determination became his. He didn’t know what she wanted to achieve tonight, but it was possible, in her reach because she believed . She grabbed him by the lapels and pulled him close. “Fate waits for nobody!”
He watched her spin away from him, her beautiful dress dramatically flaring around her. She turned and marched towards Relena Peacecraft, people parting naturally in her way. Quatre looked beyond her and could see the couple talking to Relena. Triton Bloom and his sister, Catherine Bloom.
He glanced around quickly, spotting a waiter and offloaded Dorothy’s glasses. He snagged himself a glass of orange juice and followed in Dorothy’s wake.
Around them, the live band took a different direction. The milling crowd began to partner off as an eminently danceable tune began. Dorothy easily slipped her hand into Relena’s and gracefully spun the other woman into her arms. Relena looked surprised for a moment until Dorothy elegantly leaned into whispering something into Relena’s ear. Relena’s eyes touched on Quatre for a moment before a gorgeous smile broke out on her face. Relena enthusiastically began dancing with Dorothy, following her lead.
Quatre turned his attention onto Triton. Like his sister, he watched the two dancing women with surprise. Triton turned back to say something to his sister, but whatever he was going to say was lost when his eyes met Quatre’s. For a moment, everything else fell away.
His mind went blank. Here was Quatre Winner, clear blue eyes and a hint of determination set in his face. Their eyes were locked on each other and Triton took a step forward. He reached out a hand and was surprised when Quatre took it and took another step forward.
They seemed to just stare at each other, Triton lost in the bright endless blue of Quatre’s eyes. Around them, couples started to pair off and the floor swirled into dancing pairs. Triton and Quatre stared at each. Triton scrambled internally for something, anything to say to this beautiful being in front of him but there was nothing that would pass muster. Quatre’s gaze began to waver, the determination that had lit him up beginning to dwindle. Just as Triton felt Quatre’s hands slip from his, Dorothy and Relena swirled beside them and Relena bumped a shoulder into Quatre’s back. Quatre stumbled forward, forcing Triton to open his arms and catch him. A delightful blush spread over Quatre’s face and Triton felt his heart skip a beat. Even with the jazz number playing, Quatre’s chuckle resonated with Triton’s snort. Quatre glanced up, “I’ve been stuck here, trying to think of the perfect first words.”
“Me too.” Triton picked up Quatre’s hand and slipped his other arm around Quatre’s waist. He began swaying into an easy dance, Quatre quickly matched his moves. “Hi Quatre.”
“Hi Triton.” Quatre’s eyes sparkled with amusement. “Don’t look now, but Duo just high-fived Wufei.”
Triton nodded slowly. “And Catherine has been mouthing ‘Just fucking kiss him’ every time she passes with Iria.”
Risking a glance, Quatre looked over to their respective sisters. The two were dancing and Iria pulled her hands up to give him a blatant thumbs up. Quatre leaned his head in to rest his forehead against Triton’s collar bone, Triton gently rested his chin on Quatre’s crown.
“Do you get the feeling we’ve been set up?” Quatre muttered.
“Considering seating was supposed to begin five minutes ago… yes, I rather expect we’ve been set up.”
The musical piece slowed a little and Quatre took a half step away. He smiled warmly at Triton. “Since you picked up the flute and joined me. That’s when I started. I’ve been looking for the words ever since...”
“Ah.” Triton felt his face warm, he couldn’t hide the delight in his voice. “I picked up the flute because I didn’t know what to say. I had hoped the music conveyed it.”
“It did … I just… wasn’t sure.” Quatre’s blush reached his ears, and Triton couldn’t help brushing a lock of hair away. Quatre’s grin was so wide, his blue eyes sparkling. “I wish I’d been braver. You’ve achieved so much, it’s been amazing watching you rise with your company. I’m astounded every time I read about it, and then the words seemed to slip away again.”
“I can’t complain. I always wanted to be someone you could be proud of. I’ve been reaching out for you.”
“I definitely noticed.” He glanced to the side. “You know what else I notice? I notice that Une is making gestures at Noin like she’s going to take both of our heads and smush them together.”
“I was wondering how long Sally could convince the band to keep going with this number, did you know she could sing?”
“Wufei’s forever complaining about it. He loves it secretly.” Quatre snorted softly. “Forgive me, but I’d rather our first kiss was somewhat more… intimate.”
Triton’s pause was only for a moment before he cleared his throat and affected a nonchalant expression. “Best get the show on the road then.”
Leaning in once more, Quatre held Triton tightly for a moment before he broke away with a knowing smile. “Yes, let’s.” He spun out of Triton’s arms and smoothly cut into Relena and Dorothy’s path. He swept Relena away, leaving Dorothy behind. She walked back to Triton. She folded her arms and watched as Quatre and Relena moved towards the stage. She sighed. “Tonight is going to be insufferable.”
“Nice hint,” Triton replied.
“Did you know Duo only just noticed? He thinks you’ve been sweet on each other since spring.”
Triton snorted, his tone entirely dry. “What do you expect from a man who hasn’t noticed that his own so-called best buddy could actually be described as his married partner in all but legal terms and has had a crush on him since they turned 18?”
“Honestly. You’re all so intelligent and yet…” She shook her head. “He said you’d have something for me.”
He reached into his pocket, reaching for the item that Quatre had stashed on him. He pulled out a set of prompt cards and handed them to her. “Thank you.”
She glanced at the stage where Relena and Quatre were addressing the crowd. “There’s a suite prepared for you, you can collect the keys from the front.”
Triton dipped his head and started moving towards where Quatre was exiting the stage. Dorothy folded her arms, smiling to herself. Beside her, Iria and Catherine joined her. Dorothy returned the prompt cards to Iria, who flicked through them before tucking them into her purse. Dorothy blinked. “Those were blank.”
Iria smirked, “One should always have a back-up-back-up plan. Didn’t honestly think I’d let him speak for that long.”
Catherine touched her elbow. “Thank you, Miss Catalonia.”
A genuinely grateful look came over Dorothy’s face. “Least I could do after you spoke to Relena for me after the Milliardo incident.” She shook her head. “I don’t know what you said, but Relena was so honest with me.”
“Being honest with each other is the only way to open up.” Catherine smiled, her attention shifting off the dance floor off to the bar. “Can I ask for one more thing?”
“The other pilots?” Dorothy smiled at him, her expression turning sharp. “Don’t worry about them. I’ve had the bartender serve them doubles this entire time. There’ll be no misguided attempts or escalating comedic shenanigans by those idiots to get your idiots to kiss later. Noin and Une are going to keep guard over them because those idiots don’t seem able to fend off Une’s mother-hen attitude when tipsy.”
The room around them began to empty as people began moving towards the dining suite. Dorothy snagged a glass of champaign and held it up in a toast to the other two women. “A Christmas miracle. May we all be glad, we didn’t have to use Relena’s plan.”
“What was Relena’s plan?” Iria asked.
Dorothy just smiled. “Let’s just say, it wasn’t subtle.”
They toasted and walked through to the dining hall, where the decorations were beautiful and artfully done. Quatre and Triton both had their heads tilted up, both laughing. Iria followed their gaze up and saw that the ceiling was bedecked with mistletoe directly above their heads.
Dorothy chuckled. “You don’t convince the entire world to stop using all forms of weapons and engage with total peace by being subtle.”
Oh, what you see is what you get (what you get)
Only passion, natural
Only triumph, natural
So, sit back and enjoy the ride