Relena is proved to be evil. Hangovers. Legal wrangling.
by: Shoori

I Know Who I Want... + Part 10

I fasten the seat belt and turn on the ignition, but instead of putting the car into gear and pulling out of the parking lot, I sigh, and rest my head on the steering wheel.

This sucks.

I was really not in the mood for a visit to the lawyer today. Not after last night...

Last night. Even in the midst of my own little pity party I can't help but smile at the memory. We had fun. Real fun, drunken, stupid, harmless fun, like people our age are supposed to have. The kind of fun that we've pretty much missed out on our whole lives.

The upside, though, of having missed out on so much is that when we do get a taste of what we've missed, it's that much more precious.

I grin remembering highlights of the evening. Wufei never called us for breakfast. I'm not sure if it's because he was still sleeping, because the thought of breakfast was repulsive, or because he never wants to face us again. I never realized how raunchy Quatre gets when he drinks.

Of course, the three of us weren't exactly prim and reserved either. My smile widens as I remember - Duo smirking at all of us, artlessly asking pointed questions. And Trowa... his usually inscrutable green eyes wide, his pale cheeks flushed... laughing. Trowa laughed all night. Under the influence of all that alcohol all his normal inhibitions and built-in restraints fell away, and he was... Funny. Silly. Adorable. Innocent.

My smile fades. He was the person he probably would have been if war had never interfered in his life.

But it did. It did for all of us. It was nice, though, to have a little break from it, an interlude of forgetfulness.

I feel myself grin again. And after the party... I really think that we'll have to drink more often. I had been amazed, even through my own intoxication, how alcohol had loosened Trowa's social inhibitions. Well, that was nothing compared to how it affected his sexual inhibitions.

I lift my head and stretch, as best I can buckled into the seat of the car. It was quite a fun night, though parts of it have blurred into vague impressions of sensory reaction. I am continually amazed by the stamina that both my lovers exhibit.

So, last night was fun, in a variety of different ways.

Today is just not measuring up.

I finally put the car into gear and pull it out of the parking space as I reflect on the events of the day.

First, I was awakened to the knowledge that my body is a miserable, aching, heavy thing. I was awakened to this painful knowledge by the equally painful sensation of an elbow being thrust forcefully into my solar plexus, followed by a knee in my stomach as someone scrambled over top of me.

After I was finished shouting and writhing around and rocking in pain, I became aware of some extremely unpleasant sounds coming from the next room. My own traitorous stomach began to roil in sympathy, and I barely made it to the apartment's spare bathroom in time to empty the contents of said traitorous stomach ingloriously into the toilet.

So the latter part of the morning found me lying miserably next to the equally limp form of Trowa, tangled in the sheets of our crumpled, sticky bed. Duo hovered around grinning impishly, making pointed comments about lightweights and amateurs, airily suggesting fried eggs and sausage and fried potatoes for breakfast, and reminding us of things we had said and done the night before. I was too exhausted to do more than scowl at the ceiling, but finally Trowa lifted his head, glared blearily at Duo, and issued one brief but graphic threat. I don't care to think about it, but mainly it advised Duo that if he ever wished to be on the top in our bedroom activities again, he had better refrain from his commentary before Trowa removed the necessary equipment.

It was a rather crude, but effective threat. Duo shut up and disappeared, and in a few moments returned with cool, wet washcloths. He carefully bathed our foreheads, faces and wrists, murmuring words of sympathy rather than of mockery. He vanished into the kitchen for a few minutes, returning with some hideous looking concoction which he insisted would make us feel better. After alternatively bullying and cajoling us, he finally got us to drink it. He was right, and after an hour or so, we felt human again.

That's when he reminded me about the meeting with Quatre's lawyer.

I groan aloud. I'm going to have to tell them all about it. I don't want to think about it any more than I have to.

I drive for a few minutes, concentrating only on the road and the traffic. After all that time on the island, it's still a little strange to be surrounded by so many people.

Finally, I arrive at our building. I park the car, carefully lock it up, and enter the elevator, pushing the button for our floor.

I feel myself relax a little as I move to the door of our apartment, unlock it, and push it open.

This is home. My home. Our home. Whatever crap happens outside, at least I finally have a place to retreat to after it's over.

I step inside and pause, listening to the murmur of voices from farther within the apartment. Wufei and Quatre are here.

I stop in the doorway of the living room, grinning at the sight in front of me.

Trowa is perched on a ladder, holding up one of the large framed prints I remember seeing in the apartment he and Duo had shared. Quatre must have stored them while we were away. Trowa is patiently moving the print infinitesimal degrees up, down, to the right and to the left in response to directives from Duo and Wufei.

"Up a little on the right, Tro."

"Maxwell! How were you ever a pilot? You can't judge planar balance! It needs to go down on the left."

"I'm a better pilot than you, Wu-ster, and don't you forget it! No, Trowa, don't... damn it, bring it back up on the left."

"Kisama! Do not profane my name! And don't move it up, Trowa, it needs... "

"You know, I think it would look better on the other wall," Quatre inserts thoughtfully, eyeing the empty space on the opposite surface.

I can't help it. As Duo and Wufei turn to give Quatre identical glares of offended outrage, I laugh.

They all turn to me in surprise, but I direct my attention to Trowa. "It's even," I tell him. "Just move it about a half-inch to the left."

He nods at me, moves the print, and quickly descends the ladder before Duo and Wufei can protest.

Wufei looks ready to argue, but says nothing as I flop down in the couch with a sigh, throwing the heavy file of information from the lawyer down next to me.

"So, how'd it go?" Duo asks, sinking to the floor by my feet.

I groan, closing my eyes and letting my head sink back against the cushions. "Not good," I tell them flatly. "It is not looking good."

I feel the cushions of the couch dip as someone else's weight presses onto them, and I open my eyes to see Quatre at the other end of the couch. "May I?" he asks, gesturing to the abandoned file.

"Be my guest," I grunt. He can run the damn things through a shredder for all I care.

I look up at the rest of them. Wufei is frowning gravely at me, Duo frowning worriedly up at me. Trowa isn't frowning at me - he's just leaning against the wall, staring intently down at my face.

"You should not have let me marry her," I tell them.

Duo winces guiltily. "Sorry, Hee-chan," he says remorsefully. "We thought... "

"We thought you'd gone insane," Wufei interrupts gravely, "and didn't want to run the risk of thwarting a madman."

Trowa's solemn expression breaks into a small smile at Wufei's words, and he nods his agreement.

"Thanks," I mutter sourly.

Duo grins. "After all, you're the strongest," he reminds me. "You could have broken us. We didn't want to get punched in a church, so... "

"The hell with that," Trowa interrupts quietly. "I wasn't scared of Heero. I was scared of Relena. I didn't want her as an enemy."

I roll my eyes. "Too late now," I inform him.

"Allah!" Quatre mutters, staring incredulously at the document. "What does she think... "

"What's wrong with... " Wufei begins, but Quatre cuts him off with a sharp wave of his hand as he continues reading.

"Oh, just you wait," I tell them. "It's quite a piece of work."

We're all silent then, the quiet broken only by Quatre's occasional exhortations of astonishment.

My lawyer reacted in the same way. I guess he'd gotten the papers early this morning - Relena works very quickly when she's angry - and he still hadn't calmed down when I got there at one o'clock.

"This is ridiculous!" Quatre bursts out, finally lifting his angry aqua eyes from the paper.

"No kidding," I reply flatly.

"What the hell is the problem?" Duo demands, his patience at a limit.

"Where should I begin?" Quatre flounders, throwing out his hands in amazement.

"I am being divorced for adultery, abandonment, mental and emotional cruelty and physical intimidation," I inform the others.

Wufei frowns. "Physical intimidation? I've never heard of that as grounds for divorce."

"Neither had my lawyer," I tell him shortly.

"Where's she getting off on accusing you of mental cruelty?" demands Duo incredulously.

"Oh, there's an impressive dossier of dates, times and ways in which I was an insensitive jerk," I reply tiredly. "My cruelties range from not remembering the anniversary of the day we met to not being enthusiastic about greeting people at her parties to not satisfying her sexually."

"I'll be willing to testify as a character witness against that last charge," Duo murmurs irrepressibly.

"How can you not remember the anniversary of the day you met her?" Trowa asks me curiously. "It was kind of a momentous day."

I peer at him, my glance turning into a glare as I see the expression of amusement in his green eyes. "I'd gotten shot at by Zechs, lost my Gundam in the ocean, and got washed by the tide onto some beach," I remind him sulkily. "I didn't check my calendar to mark the date."

"But these... some of this information... it's totally irrelevant!" Quatre shouts, totally ignoring all these side conversations. His face is red, and he looks like he's going to explode. "Most of it doesn't fit the definition of mental or emotional cruelty! It's just... "

"Personal, embarrassing, degrading nonsense?" Wufei suggests. "Dragged up in court with the intent to humiliate Heero in front of the world, at any cost?"

Quatre stares across the room at his lover. "You can't be suggesting... she wouldn't... She's exposing her own personal life, too!"

"It doesn't matter to her," Wufei insists. "She doesn't even see she's embarrassing herself, only that she's striking out to hurt Heero."

Quatre stares into Wufei's eyes for a moment, then his shoulders sag in defeat. "You're right," he concedes. "She's unbalanced."

Wufei's dark eyes gleam. "So I win the bet?" he asks, and suddenly his voice is suggestive.

Quatre glares at him. "Later," he says shortly.

"Anyway," Duo continues, "What else is there?"

I sigh. I have to put off the worst part. "She's asking me for alimony."

Wufei chokes on the breath he was inhaling.

"What?" Duo demands loudly over the sound of Wufei hacking and wheezing. Trowa smacks the Chinese man none-too-gently on the back and gets an angry glare for his pains. "She's the richest woman in the world! How can she... "

"A request for alimony necessitates a court look into Heero's finances," Quatre interrupts. There's a hard, angry look in his normally soft aqua eyes. "She knows she'll never get alimony. She's just asking so that there will be an excuse to examine his financial records."

I grin. "That won't take long," I drawl in amusement. "I don't really have any... "

"Your... war account is hidden, right?" Wufei asks tightly.

I sneer at him. "Of course," I tell him witheringly. "That never had my name on it. And it's never been touched. Just like yours."

He shrugs. "Just checking," he defends mildly.

"But it will come out that Quatre is helping us financially," Trowa interrupts, all traces of amusement gone. "So he and Wufei will be dragged into this."

I sober. I hadn't thought of that. By the grim cast of Quatre's mouth, he obviously had.

"That doesn't matter," he assures me tightly. "If this is how she wants to play, she'll get more than she bargained for."

"I didn't want you all dragged into this," I say miserably, lowering my gaze to my hands.

"Hee-chan, it's all right," Duo says softly, reaching up to put his hand on mine. "The Q-man can do this kind of thing in his sleep. He... "

"You're named too," I burst out, unable to conceal it any longer.

"No kidding," Duo replies immediately, grinning up at the expression of amazement that crosses my face. "Of course I am. You thought I wouldn't figure that out?"

"I... "

"Of course she'd name me. I'm the adulterer, after all."

"You and Trowa," I tell him.

I moved my gaze to Trowa before I said that, and that's the only reason I caught his start of surprise. Even I barely saw it, he contained and controlled it so quickly, dropping his expression of blank calmness into place.

Damn! Another shield that we've worked so hard to remove, slammed back up in place so quickly. Damn Relena. Damn her.

"What? Why Trowa? He never... " Duo is shouting, his violet eyes filled with rage.

"She asserts that Heero began an affair with both you and Trowa at least a year before he told her of his intention to end the marriage," Quatre explains quietly, shuffling thorough the papers, looking for the one with this particular spurious charge.

"But Trowa never... "

"I know," Quatre tells him quietly. "But that's the charge she's made."

"Is she calling us as witnesses?" Trowa asks, his voice devoid of expression.

I sigh. This is my part. "My lawyer thinks she intends to call you both. So... " I stop, closing my eyes. "So I've subpoenaed both of you. And... and Quatre and Wufei, also." I gesture to Quatre, who removes a few pieces of paper from the file and hands them to the other three, reserving one for himself. "Court representatives will be here soon to give you the official copies, but here's the unofficial ones." I stare from one of them to the other, searching for signs of anger or betrayal as they scan the copies. "The lawyer said she would probably have you declared hostile witnesses. And that would have... " I gesture vaguely. I've received a little too much information today. "That would have been bad," I tell them, rather inanely. "This way, you can work with me and my lawyer, we can meet and... " My voice trails away. "I'm sorry," I tell them. That sounds so inadequate.

"It's ok, Hee-chan," Duo tells me, the cheerfulness in his voice only ringing a little false. "Its isn't your fault. We know that. It's all Relena. She... "

"What are they going to ask us?" Trowa interrupts, his eyes still fixed on his paper.

Quatre sighs and stands up, moving to stand in front of Trowa. "Questions about your personal life," he tells him, bluntly but truthfully. "When you got together, when you started sleeping together, what your sexual arrangements are... That's why she did this, Trowa," he says gently. "So that she can ask you these questions. So that she can embarrass you." He pauses for a moment, staring at Trowa, whose eyes are fixed firmly on the document in his hands. I watch intently as he reaches out and gently lifts Trowa's chin, forcing him to meet his eyes. "So that she can try to tear the three of you apart."

Trowa stares silently at Quatre for a long moment, and slowly, the turmoil he's feeling shows in his emerald gaze. He continues to stare at Quatre, until suddenly he breaks away.

"Well, it won't work," he says firmly, moving to kneel in front of me. "Don't worry," he assures me softly. "It won't work."

I feel a sharp pain in my chest, as something I wasn't even aware of holding back suddenly breaks its confines and floods through me. "I'm sorry, Trowa," I whisper. "I know you... I didn't know this would... I didn't... "

"It's not your fault," he tells me, and his voice is soft in volume, but incredibly intent nonetheless. "I'm not upset with you." As though to cement this assertion he leans forward, his lips claiming mine in a hard, bruising, incredibly possessive kiss. He pulls back and stares at me. "We've beaten worse than Relena," he reminds me. His lips quirk in a small smile. "Not bitchier," he concedes, "but badder."

He straightens up and looks around at us, his hand falling to lightly caress the top of Duo's head, who is gazing up at him with approval in his smiling amethyst eyes.

"We'll talk about this more later," Wufei says finally, pulling Quatre to his feet. "Dinner tonight? It's four now... Is around seven ok?"

Duo nods. "Sounds good to me," he says, stretching as he rises to his feet.

Wufei nods, and ushers Quatre out of the room, hurrying out before he can say anything else, as he's obviously intent on doing.

I look from Duo's face to Trowa's, still trying to judge their actual moods. They have both assured me they aren't angry at me, and I believe them. Still...

"Well, this sucks," Duo announces, breaking the silence.

Trowa nods his head in agreement. "You have bad taste in women," he informs me gravely.

I smile in surprise. "Yeah," I concede. "But great taste in men," I add.

"Gotta agree with you there," Duo drawls, draping himself over me on the couch, moving his lips over my cheek, and down to nibble on my neck. "Dontcha think, Tro?"

I look up, and see Trowa smiling down at us. "Absolutely," he agrees.

"Should we adjourn this to... " Duo begins.

"I'm going to the circus," Trowa interrupts. Duo pulls away from me and we both stare up at him in surprise. He flushes.

"I know it will be awhile before I can join back up, with all this, but I really need to get back into shape as soon as possible... It's been a long time since I was up on the wires and... " His voice trails off as we continue to stare at him.

"I'm not mad at you," he tells me honestly. "I just... " he takes a deep breath. "I am upset," he admits, and his voice is hoarse. "I feel better after I go on the trapezes for awhile."

I continue to gaze at him for a moment, then turn my eyes to Duo. He's smiling at Trowa. He must be pleased with the success of his emotional honesty plan.

I sigh. I want them both here. But I know Trowa needs a little time to get his balance back. And how does he do that? By traipsing over wires and swinging from sticks twenty or thirty feet above the ground. None of us are normal, but sometimes Trowa takes the prize.

I look back at Trowa, and he's staring at me, waiting for my response.

"Use a net," I order. "You haven't been up there in a long time."

Hr grimaces at me, but I see the flash of relief in his eyes. "A net?" he scoffs. "That's for amateurs."

He turns to leave, but stops in the doorway, and turns back to us. "Thank you," he says awkwardly. His eyes move over us as we nod at him. "I'll be back for dinner," he promises. He smiles. "Save some for me," he orders meaningfully, and I know that he's not talking about dinner. Before Duo can even formulate a reply to that comment, Trowa is gone.

I sigh, and tighten my arms around Duo.

"I know," he says softly. "I didn't want him to go either. But Hee-chan," he points out, pulling back to look in my eyes, "at least... at least he knows he can go away for a little while, if he needs to. At least he doesn't feel that he has to stay, has to force himself to do what we want, if it isn't what he needs."

I nod. Duo's right. But I still wish Trowa was here.

"He'll be back tonight," Duo reminds me. "And we'll make him make up for lost time," he promises, grinning. "But now... I'm here, Hee-chan... "

I lean back and close my eyes as Duo proceeds to reassure me. I certainly wouldn't want to interfere in that.

[part 9] [part 11] [back to Shoori's fic]