Quatre woke with a vague feeling of dread in the
pit of his stomach. Something was
happening today; something big. But what? Quatre’s sleep-fogged mind refused to supply the
answer, so he mentally shrugged his shoulders and closed his eyes again, gently kissing
Trowa’s cheek. Trowa had been having nightmares for a little over a month, and Quatre had
taken to sleeping in the same bed as him simply to get a good night’s sleep. Trowa hadn’t
objected. In fact, he’d been the one to suggest it. Quatre sighed softly and snuggled closer
to the sleeping boy.
‘Mmm. . . warm. . . nice. . .’ Quatre was not capable of more than monosyllables early
in the morning, especially with Trowa next to him. ‘Uhhh. . . Trowa. . . day. . . present. .
. day. . . party. . . part---party!’ Quatre sat up abruptly, wide awake. ‘Oh! It’s my
birthday today!’ He climbed out of bed and blinked. ‘I almost forgot! No wonder I didn’t want
to get up.’ Few things made Quatre as nervous as bringing strangers to meet his sisters. Most
of them were just fine, but. . . There was always an exeption. ‘Like Basma. And Altair. I
hope they behave.’ Quatre turned on the shower and hopped in. ‘Use your brain, Quatre. Basma
and Altair. Bad enough individually, but in the *same* place? At the *same* time? This is
going to get ugly.’ He soaped up and rinsed off, then shampooed his hair. ‘But maybe I’m
being pessimistic. I mean, Altair doesn’t kill people just because they annoy her. I think.
And Basma knows how important today is for me, so she’ll behave. I hope.’ Quatre got out of
the shower and dried off, then got dressed and nudged Trowa.
“Wake up, Trowa.”
Trowa ‘mph’ed and rolled over. Quatre smiled and nudged him again. “Come on, wake up.”
Trowa mumbled sleepily about morning people and turned on his stomach, pulling a pillow over
his head. He didn’t want to get up.
Quatre laughed softly. “If you don’t get up, we’ll be late and you won’t get to meet my
family.” “I hear that’s a good thing.” Trowa pulled the covers over the pillow on his
Quatre rolled his eyes and crawled back onto the bed. “Please?” “. . .”
“Pretty please?” He poked at Trowa.
The blanket wiggled as Trowa shook his head.
“All right, be that way. I’ll *make* you get up.” Quatre got up and went into the
bathroom. Turning on the cold water, he grabbed a washcloth and soaked it thoroughly, then
wrung it out just so it wasn’t dripping wet. He walked back to the bed and Trowa, humming a
cheerful tune under his breath, then pulled the covers down to Trowa’s waist.
“Nn!” Trowa groped for the covers blindly.
Quatre knelt on the bed and leaned down, rubbing his cheek against the smooth skin of
Trowa’s back. His skin was almost fever-warm from sleep, and Quatre nearly regretted what he
was about to do.
“Come on, Trowa. One more chance to get up, or I’ll wake you up like Basma used to wake
*me* up.” The only response was a soft, sleepy murmur, so Quatre sighed again, then held the
rag over Trowa’s back and squeezed gently, dripping some of the icy water on the
“*Quatre*!!!!” Trowa sat bolt-upright, shying away from the blond.
Quatre shook his head. “Well, I warned you. Now get up, silly. We need to leave soon.”
He rose and tossed Trowa his jeans. “How do you fit underwear under those things, anyway?
They’re so *tight*!”
Trowa got up and selected a turtleneck out of the closet, an odd gleam in his eyes. He
walked to where Quatre stood, a definite sway to his hips that hadn’t been there before, and
leaned down to murmur soft and low in Quatre’s ear, “I don’t.” Then he walked into the
bathroom and locked the door.
Quatre raised both eyebrows and tried to breathe, blinking rapidly. “You. . . don’t?” he
asked the empty air. “Oh, my. . . I’ll remember that.” ‘Probably at the *most* inconvenient
times, too.’ Quatre grinned as the shower turned on. ‘He did that on purpose. Getting me back
for waking him up. Well, I can flirt, too.’ Quatre rummaged through his clothes, looking for
the right outfit.
Fifteen minutes later, Quatre sat down in a chair. His timing was perfect; the shower
hand stopped a few minutes earlier, and now Trowa walked out of the bathroom, clothed and
drying his hair off. He froze when he spotted Quatre, eyes widening.
Quatre smiled sunnily at him and jumped up, walking quickly to the speechless boy. He
stopped in front of Trowa, eyes twinkling.
“Do you like it?” He twirled around slowly. He’d dressed in an outfit given to him by
the Maganacs: loose white pants gathered at the ankles and waist, and a short vest. He’d left
the shirt that went under the vest off on purpose; the vest offered glimpses of his smooth
chest when he was still, and even more when he moved.
Trowa blinked and reached out to finger the edge of the vest, mouth open slightly as he
looked Quatre up and down. “Yes. . .”
Quatre smiled, hooking his index fingers in the front belt loops of Trowa’s jeans and
pulling the tall boy up against him, then lay his head on Trowa’s shoulder. When Trowa didn’t
protest this, Quatre slid his arms slowly around his waist. ‘How close are you going to let
me get, Trowa?’
Trowa tilted his head down and hesitantly put his arms around Quatre.
‘Oh, please. . .’ Quatre looked up, leaning his head forward to kiss Trowa, and making
sure it was clear that he was aiming for Trowa’s cheek. ‘Don’t turn away, Trowa, please. . .’
Trowa turned his head.
‘Dammit!’ Quatre stifled a sigh and pressed his cheek to Trowa’s instead of his lips.
“Why do you do this?” Trowa whispered.
“Because I love you,” Quatre whispered back.
Trowa drew his head back and stared at Quatre. “No.”
Quatre nodded. “Yes. Whether you like it or not.”
“You’re worth it, Trowa.”
They were interrupted by a knock at the door. “Hey, are you two up? My gosh, you’d
better be! The plane leaves in half an hour!”
Quatre smiled slightly. “We’re up, Duo.”
Trowa moved away and sat down, pulling his socks and shoes on. Quatre shouldered his
suitcase and opened the door, greeting Duo with a sad smile.
“Hey, Quatre-baby, what’s wrong?” Duo asked in English, concern in his eyes. “Are you
Quatre shook his head slightly and looked over his shoulder at Trowa. “No, it’s not
that. He’s---I jumped ahead a bit. He didn’t want to be kissed.”
Duo raised an eyebrow. “There’s more, isn’t there?”
“Yes, but I don’t want to talk about it.”
Duo shrugged, then grinned at Trowa as the taller boy walked to them. “Hey, sexy, what’s
up? You ready to be Arabianed?”
Trowa blinked at Duo. “You two sounded different.”
Duo gave him an odd look. “Well, yeah, of course we sound different. My voice is low,
while Quatre-baby here seems to be immune to the effects of puberty.” He winked at Quatre.
Quatre poked him. “I am not! I’m just a late bloomer, that’s all.”
“When you spoke English, it sounded different.”
Duo just looked puzzled, but Quatre nodded. “Ah. Duo’s American, Trowa, and I’m Arabian.
I have an Arabian accent.”
Trowa nodded as it dawned on Duo. “Hey! That’s pretty neat! Wow. . .”
“Are Wufei and Heero meeting us at the airport?”
Quatre smiled at Trowa. “Yes. Ready?”
“I was talking to Trowa.” “Oh.” “Yes.”
Quatre smiled again. “Good. Let’s go.”
“I met an Arabian girl once,” Trowa commented as
the plane took off.
“Oh? When? Where?”
Trowa shrugged. “I was twelve. She worked for the mercenary group I was with for a
while. Ralph---another mercenary---introduced us.”
Both of Quatre’s eyebrows went up. ‘Ralph, huh? Mercenary. . . and Arabian. . .’ A
nagging suspicion prompted his next question. “What was her name?”
Trowa thought for a bit. “. . . Omisha. Well, that’s the name she gave.”
Quatre’s suspicions grew. ‘If---no, she wasn’t---was she? Bringing Trowa might not have
been such a good idea.’ “What did she look like?”
“Pretty. She had hair down to her waist and really arched eyebrows. Her eyes were odd,
though. They were golden, and slitted like a cat’s.” Trowa looked over at Quatre as the
Arabian boy paled. “What’s wrong?”
‘Oh, shit. And how many Arabians fit *that* description, I wonder? Damn you. . .’ Quatre
shook his head. “N, nothing much. Headache.” ‘She’s going to kill him. . .’
Trowa nodded. “Try to sleep.” Quatre nodded and closed his eyes. ‘Damn you, Altair.
. . You’d better not hurt Trowa. . .’
Half an hour later Duo leaned over the back of the
seat and grinned at Trowa. “Can I
kiss your boyfriend, Quatre?”
Quatre didn’t look away from the window. “He’s not my boyfriend.” ‘Not for lack of
trying, anyway. . .’
“Can he be mine?”
“Do you want to get hit?”
“Nevermind. Can I kiss him, though?”
“No.” ‘I hope you don’t.’
“What if he *wants* me to kiss him?”
“I don’t think he does.” ‘*Please* don’t want him to. . .’
“What happens if I *do* kiss him?”
“I hit you.” ‘You know how much he means to me. . .’
“What happens if he likes it?”
“I apologize.” ‘I crawl under a rock and die.’
“What happens if *you* kiss him?”
“I don’t think he wants me to.” ‘I wish he did.’
“What if you do? Kiss him, I mean.”
“Ask him.” ‘Don’t ask him, please. . .’
Duo turned to Trowa. “So, Trowa-baby, what happens if Quatre kisses you?”
Quatre bit his lip and concentrated on the ground far below, scared to death of hearing
Trowa’s answer, and scared to death of *not* hearing his answer. ‘Please, please, please,
please. . .’
Heero jerked on Duo’s braid and Duo sat back with a yelp. “Ack! That hurt!” Trowa
started toying with a pen.
Quatre sighed and glanced at his watch. Only five more minutes, thank Allah. Trowa
touched his arm lightly and he looked up. Trowa tapped a pad of paper and Quatre realized the
brown-haired boy hadn’t been toying with the pen, he’d been writing with it.
:Are you a dream?: the paper read.
Quatre frowned and picked up the pen.
:No,: he wrote, :I’m real. Why?:
Trowa took the pen from him when he was done. :Are you an angel?:
Quatre smiled. :No, I’m human. Why do you ask?:
:You’re too pure to be anything *but* an angel. I don’t deserve an angel.:
Quatre pursed his lips and shook his head. :You *do* deserve that good, Trowa. And I’m
not *that* pure, you know.:
:I’m not good enough for you.:
:What do you *mean*, ‘not good enough’? Of course you are!:
:You claim you love me.:
:I *do* love you, Trowa. More than you know.:
:How could you? I’m not clean. Tainted.:
Quatre held his temper in check with an effort. After all, smacking Trowa wouldn’t help
anything, even if he needed some sense knocked into him. :Maybe I see something in you that
you don’t, something worth loving.:
:You want my body.:
Quatre rolled his eyes. :We’ve been through this, Trowa. I’m not going to do anything
you don’t want me to.:
:What if I want you to take me?:
:I’m not sure you do.: :I’m not sure I don’t.:
Quatre’s jaw dropped and he stared at Trowa. Had Trowa just written what Quatre
*thought* he’d written? Quatre read over the conversation. Yes, he had. “Trowa---”
“Mr. Winner, we’re landing. Please fasten your seatbelts, everyone.”
Trowa tore the piece of paper off the pad and ripped it up. “How many people?”
“My sisters and the Maganacs. Around sixty.”
Quatre sighed, then looked behind him. “He refused to come. Duo. Seatbelt. *Now*.”
“Do I get a kiss?”
Quatre looked across the aisle at Wufei. The Chinese boy was in the same position as
when they’d left the airport; gazing out the window, brooding.
“Wufei? We’re almost there.” “. . . I heard. . .”
Quatre frowned. “Are you all right?”
“. . . I’m fine. . .”
“All. . . all right.” Quatre looked at Trowa as the plane came to a full stop. “Are you
ready? I mean, you don’t have to meet everyone at once, you know. It’s a bit overwhelming for
*me*, and *I’ve* lived with it.”
Trowa nodded as they stood up.
“You’re sure? If they get to be too much, tell me, okay?” Trowa nodded again as they
walked off the plane. A whole gaggle of women was waiting for them, and one pushed through
“*Quatre*!” Iria ran up the ramp and threw her arms around her brother, followed by the
rest of his sisters, and what followed was sheer pandemonium as Quatre was grabbed, hugged,
kissed, and passed around like a doll. A very dizzy doll, at that. He hugged and kissed back,
answering as many questions fired at him as he could, laughing at the love and energy all
around him. He was home.
Finally Iria got a hold of him again, hugging him firmly. “Where *is* he, Quatre?” she
murmured in his ear. “There’s four of them to choose from!”
Quatre laughed. “If you all let me *go*, I’ll introduce you,” he murmured back, then
broke free and stepped back with the other pilots, pulling each one forward as he introduced
them. “Everyone, this is Duo.”
“Do I get a harem?” Duo winked and licked his lips.
The girls laughed, and a few offered to join as Quatre pulled Heero up. “And this is
“He bites, but he doesn’t have rabies!” Duo ducked behind Quatre as Heero turned on him,
glaring, and chuckled.
“Duo, omae o korosu!”
Quatre shook his head as Wufei stepped forward. “This is Wufei.”
Wufei narrowed his eyes, but nodded politely. “Greetings.”
Then Quatre held out his hand for Trowa, who had stepped into the shadow cast by the
plane. When Trowa stepped forward and took it, Quatre turned to his family. “And this,
sisters dearest, is Trowa.” He couldn’t keep the soft affection out of his voice, and didn’t
try. It didn’t matter, anyway. The girls ignored him and grouped around them silently, each
one reaching out her hand to gently touch Trowa’s arm, or his face. One by one the girls
smiled, and some nodded. Trowa’s grip on Quatre’s hand tightened slightly as Quatre counted
under his breath. “Twenty-five, twenty-six, twenty-seven. . . Twenty-seven?” He raised his
voice, shooing the girls away from Trowa. “Iria, where are Basma and Altair?”
“I’m not su---”
“*Quatre-CHAN*!!!!!” A tall Arabian girl came flying around the corner and glomped onto
Quatre, almost knocking him down in her exuberance.
THE LOVE OF ALLAH WHERE IS SHE?!?!” The girl looked around wildly, then attached herself to
Wufei. “Aha! A girl!”
“*ONNA*!!” Wufei shrieked as she grabbed his chest.
“*DAMN*!!” She turned to Heero and took a long look at his tank-top. “Uhm. . . no.” She
grabbed a hold of Duo. “*You*! You *have* to be a girl!” She grinned insanely, giggling.
“Basma, *who* are you looking for? And that’s Duo. He’s a guy.”
Basma’s jaw hit the ground. “A. . . guy?” She felt a wide-eyed Duo’s chest, then looked
at Trowa. “*YOU*! Are *you* a girl?” She gave him puppy eyes, sniffing.
“Basma, this is Trowa. Had you been on time---”
Basma’s eyes widened and she cut Quatre off. “*This* is Trowa?” Quatre nodded. “*This*
is Trowa.” She circled the two, looking Trowa up and down like she’d eat him.
‘Which she very well might.’ Quatre sighed. “Yes, Basma, this is Trowa. Could you please
“*This* is Trowa! *This* is Mr.
Mr. Quatre-Thinks-I’m-The-Neatest-Thing-Since-Sliced-Bread? Mr.---”
“*Basma*!!” Quatre wailed, blushing a bright cherry red. He covered his face with both
hands and whimpered.
“What?” Basma looked around again. “Quatre Raberba Winner! How *dare* you!” She smacked
Quatre in the back of the head.
Quatre looked up, glaring. “How dare I *what*?”
“Not bring me a *girl*! How dare you? You go off to war and get yourself a boyfriend,
while I sit at home twiddling my thumbs! How dare you not bring me a girlfriend? Don’t you
ever think about *my* needs?” Tears welled up in Basma’s chocolate brown eyes and she took a
Quatre hung his head, leaning against Trowa. Trowa put his arm around Quatre’s shoulders
awkwardly. “Basma. . . You’re crazy. Maybe I should have invited Relena---”
“Relena has no interest in women,” Wufei stated, glowering at Quatre.
“How would *you* know that, Wufei?” Duo asked. “You got a thing for Relena?”
Wufei glared at him. “Shut up, Maxwell.”
“Great,” Basma griped, “Quatre brings his *boy*friend, but do *I* get a *girl*friend?
*Nooooooo*! It’s *all* about Quatre, *always* about the heir!”
“He’s not my boyfriend,” Quatre protested weakly. He was ignored as a green Mazda pulled
up and yet another woman got out. ‘All the money she could have, and *still* she drives a
Mazda. What’s with her and that Mazda? Why not one of her other cars, I *know* she’s got
She was tall, with hair down to her waist in layers on the sides, but it was an odd cut.
The first layer, her bangs, stopped at her eyebrows and curled under. The second layer curled
under at her chin, the following layer at her shoulders. The fourth and final layer went to
her waist and that, too, curled under. She wore black jeans, boots, and a loose-fitting black
leather jacket that would have given anyone else heat-stroke in the hot desert sun. Small
black sunglasses hid her eyes, but both arched eyebrows went up even more as she looked over
the five Gundam pilots. She walked to them swiftly, but not in a hurry, and her cold gaze
settled on Trowa as she took her sunglasses off, revealing her eyes. She’d had them altered
so she could see better at night, she’d told Quatre, when she was eighteen. Now golden
cat-slit eyes bored into Trowa’s face as he gave a small gasp of recognition, his grip on
Quatre’s hand tightening even more.
“Nanashi.” Her voice, face and alien eyes held no emotion, and Quatre shivered. Trowa’s
lack of emotion unnerved him at times, but he was one of the most emotional people Quatre
knew compared to his sister. He’d grown up with it, but still, Altair was a very scary person
when she wanted to be.
Trowa nodded his head. “Omisha. It’s Trowa now.”
There was a faint grumble among the girls, but a hint of a glance from Altair silenced
it. Everyone watched Altair with a mixture of mistrust, dislike and outright fear as she
returned her full attention to Trowa.
“Altair. . .” Quatre stepped in front of Trowa, but another brief glance sent him back
to Trowa’s side in a hurry.
“My name is Altair.” Altair’s voice was soft. It was always low, but when it got soft it
was best to be as far away from Altair as possible.
Trowa nodded again, not taking his eyes off of the woman. He knew a predator when he saw
one, and Altair wasn’t trying to play nice.
“Great,” Basma grumbled, “Queen Psychotic Sociopath arrives. All bow before Her
Freaky-ness.” She tossed her long black braid behind her shoulders, looking at the ground.
Trowa glanced at Basma. That was his mistake; what Altair had been waiting for. A gun
appeared in her hands and she held it to Trowa’s forehead as everyone froze, and held her
hand up to the other pilots.
“Put you hands on your heads.”
The boys obeyed immediately, and Quatre raised his hand slightly, heart pounding. ‘This
was a *really* bad idea. . .’ “Altair---”
“What do you feel.” It wasn’t a question, but a statement as Altair and Trowa stared at
each other calmly. Trowa said nothing, but the way his hand gripped Quatre’s said what he did
not. He stared at Altair and she pressed the gun into his forehead a bit more. “What do you
Quatre glanced at the other three boys. “Don’t move,” he said quietly, breathing a faint
sigh of relief. “She’s not going to kill him.”
“How do *you* know that?” Duo asked.
“I’ve lived with her. If she wanted him dead, she’d have shot him already.” “You
have a scary sister, Quatre.” Quatre returned his attention to Trowa and Altair. “I
know,” he whispered. “I know.”