Here you are folks...rather a longer piece than I usually post. But it's been so long...Thanks for keeping in there and checking! The trial begins!! And Duo's been a baaaaaaad boy.
By: Shoori

I Know Who I Want... + Part 24

Well, this is about a bunch of bullshit.

We're just four days into the Trial of the Century and I could cheerfully kill Her Serene Majesty the Queen of Sanc, if I didn't know it would mean another interminable length of time in court.

I thought that the hearing on Monday was bad. Little did I know then that by today, I would be looking back at that with longing, hailing it as a miracle of judicial efficiency.

I've learned a lot in the past few days.

I really loathe Relena.

Her lawyer is an absolute weasel.

The ceiling, which is covered with that lumpy stuff, has patterns in it that look like exploding Leos.

From a certain angle, the judge looks like Tsubarov.

From another angle, he looks like Prof. G., albeit with a more normal nose.

It really irritates Trowa when I tap my finger on the wooden bench.

It really hurts when someone pinches you on the inside of your arm to get you to quit tapping your finger on the edge of a wooden bench.

If I have to sit in this room, day in and day out, for much longer, I am going to go stark, staring mad.

I told Heero that last night and he said that at least it wouldn't be a long trip.

He's kind of pissy. Can't blame him, I guess. A little part of Tuesday, all of Wednesday and most of yesterday were all devoted to picking at him. Everything from his prowess as a lover to his bravery as a soldier has been dragged up and examined for the perusal of the court.

He's taking it well. He's mastered this great manner - polite but faintly bored, a little arrogant but nothing that anyone could really put their finger on enough to take exception to... It's been lovely to watch. It's really seemed to infuriate Relena to see him answer all the embarrassing questions that have been put to him calmly and patiently, rather than get angry, uptight or upset.

He's saved uptight and upset for us.

The three of us haven't spent a lot of time in our apartment since the trial began. Restless from being cooped up and stared at all day, we've spent our evenings and nights taking lots of walks, spending hours each night strolling through the huge park in the middle of the city, just hoping that some idiot mugger will attack us and we can waste him. It would probably make us all feel much better.

Sadly, though, noone has attacked us, so we've had to bicker among ourselves.

We haven't been bad, really. Noone has shouted or screamed or even been overly snotty. There's just been a feeling of tension, not really with each other as much as with circumstances, that's made life kind of uncomfortable.

Yesterday was the worst. Tuesday and Wednesday, I was able to cajole Heero, and, to a lesser extent, Trowa, into some semblance of sociability. It's tough dealing with the two of them in calamity mode. They feed off of each other's high drama. Sometimes it seems like they have a competition going as to who can mope in the deepest, darkest tragic fashion.

Trowa wins that, hands down. Heero's just too pretty - he ends up looking like he's pouting, rather than nobly suffering in silence and solitude. Nobody broods like Barton.

Anyway, Tuesday and Wednesday, even though I had my work cut out for me, I was able to keep them both on this side of morose. Yesterday, though, was my first day on the stand, and after that I wasn't really feeling like going through a horse and pony show to cheer anyone else up. So our walk ended around midnight with all of us pissed off at each other. Heero ended up lying down on the couch to sleep, and Trowa shut himself in the bathroom to ‘soak.' He was there about two hours, and by the time he was done splashing and turning the water on and off and running the fan and turning off the fan I was so irritated at both of them I could have screamed. He came out and I pretended I was sleeping, not even protesting or moving toward him when he lay down on the far end of the bed, away from me.

Needless to say, today didn't begin auspiciously. We got dressed in silence, I forced breakfast on the two of them with the curtest of conversation, and by the time we got into the car we were all grumpy and angry and irritated with each other.

That's why I stopped the car on the way to the trial, pulled it over on the side of the road and turned off the ignition.

Predictably, they both began to demand of me what I was doing, remind me that we had things to do, as if I didn't remember, grump that we were going to be late and yell at me to get back on the road.

I smiled widely at them, and began reciting, at full volume, every single stupid cheesy aphorism that I could think of that dealt with unity. Highlights included my beginning, where I reminded them that "birds of a feather flock together," my moment of literati where I warned that "a house divided against itself can not stand," and finally my attempt to appeal to their macho natures by exhorting them not to "let the bastards get you down."

In between those highlights I delivered many more nuggets of wisdom and bits of brilliance, using accents, exaggerated intonations and eloquent gestures and facial expressions when necessary. By the time I was done Heero was actually laughing, calling me a baka and trying to yank me out of the driver's seat, and even Trowa was grinning. It was the first time I'd seen him smile since the day the hearing began.

All in all, a successful diversion. We were all in a much better mood when we arrived at court, and we were even on time.

I hope the day at court doesn't completely kill our improved moods. We were all too tense to relax Sunday night before the hearing, and since then we've all been so uptight that we haven't... released any anxieties, if you know what I mean.

To be blunt, what with legal prep sessions, trials, hearings, melodramatic spats, tender reconciliations and knee injuries, I haven't gotten laid since last Wednesday. That's nine days, thank you very much, which is eight days and twenty hours over my preferred limit.

I can control my hormones very nicely. I just don't like to. Nor should I have to. I'm getting accused of all kinds of lechery and debauchery, after all. Seems sort of unfair to have to face those charges by day and be the chastity poster child by night. Talk about irony.

I wish the judge would get here. I'm getting all kinds of too much time to be thinking about all this. It's making me fidgety, and the day hasn't even started yet. That's not good.

The judge isn't half-bad, actually. He made it very clear on the day of the hearing that he was pissed off to be hearing this case, and didn't want to waste any more time on it than he absolutely had to.

He wasn't fooling around. He's been hustling things right along, snapping at lawyers when they get mouthy, generally being ornery and crusty and judge-like all over the place. He's also been sustaining objections all over the place, which is about to drive Relena's lawyer into an apoplectic fit.

I was right. Relena's certainly tried to bring up all kinds of nasty crap, but it's irrelevant nasty crap, so she can't. There was a period in Hee-chan's cross-examination where our lawyer objected, and the objection was sustained, seventeen times in a row. I counted. Relena and the judge were the exact same shade of tomato red by number seventeen. I was about to start a pool on which one of them would have a stroke first, when the judge barked at Relena's shyster that if he didn't start asking relevant questions he, the judge, was going to start asking a few questions of his own and he, the shyster, wasn't going to like the answers.

The questions got a little more relevant after that, but they also got a little more pointed, and therefore much more uncomfortable. And the judge doesn't really have much more sympathy for us then he has for Relena. There was no leeway given for Hee-chan, and he had to explain in great and explicit detail the events of the night he slept with me and the day that precipitated it. Judge Haverling made it very clear that he wasn't overly impressed with men who kicked their wives' office doors in, stormed off and spent the day and night getting drunk, then screwed the old buddy that drove him home when he was too sloshed to stand.

It sounds so ugly when it's put that way.

It wasn't much fun to sit through that. It was especially un-fun to be sitting next to Trowa for the whole recitation, to see him get paler and tenser through the whole thing, watch him struggle to maintain his calm and collected facade in the face of all the curious stares directed at us. It got worse when the lawyer started asking questions about me and Tro, asking Heero if he knew we were together, if he had thought about the possible effects of sleeping with me on my and Trowa's relationship, and expressing the correct amount of thinly veiled polite shock at all Heero's responses.

I watched Trowa's fist, resting casually out of the line of sight on the bench between us, clench tighter and tighter, until the skin over his knuckles turned white.

I wanted to punch that bastard lawyer and that bitch Relena for making Tro live through that again.

Guilty conscience? Who, me?

But more is yet to come. Our lawyer questioned me yesterday, and of course he didn't delve too deep into all the gory details. But my cross-examination is today, and I doubt Relena's lawyer is going to be that considerate of my little feelings.

I hear a rustle of voices from the front of the courtroom, and stand with everyone else as the judge enters the courtroom.

He swishes to his seat, nods curtly at all of us, and sits. We sit too, and there's another moment of rustling and mumbling as everyone settles down again, spectators murmuring to the people next to them, lawyers shuffling papers, journalists (if you want to call them that) gleefully flipping through notebooks and setting tape recorders.

The judge closed the place to vids, thankfully, but audio recorders are allowed. I wonder what a copy of this'll go for on the black market.

Probably enough to get you a cup of coffee.

I have to remember that even though this is a huge deal to me, the rest of the world isn't going to care much, really. They might be a little curious, but they probably aren't eating, drinking and breathing the Peacecraft-Yuy divorce.

Most of them.

Well, here goes nothing. They're calling my name, I'm settling into the witness chair, and swearing to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

"Mr. Maxwell." Relena's lawyer stares at me thoughtfully, then turns to pace half the width of the courtroom. "Mr. Maxwell... "

"That's me," I tell him cheerfully. My lawyer glares at me. Sorry, man, but I'm not in the mood for theatrics.

"Thank you," Ferretman says distastefully. I've been applying several different names to him in my mind throughout the last several days of the trial. Ferretman, Weaselboy, and Bad Suit Guy are my favorites. Ferretman seems the most appropriate, though. The guy's nose twitches. I swear it.

"How long have you know Mr. Heero Yuy?" he asks me.

I open my mouth to ask him in which sense he means, but catch my lawyer's eye and reply meekly, "Seven years."

"Seven years," he repeats. And, "How long have you had a relationship with Mr. Yuy?"

"We've been friends pretty much since we met," I say pleasantly, purposely misunderstanding the question.

My misdirection doesn't fool Ferretman, but it seems to amuse the court reporter, who actually cracks a small smile as she records my words.

Nobody notices, because nobody seems to pay any attention to the court reporter. What a powerful position, though. They record what everyone says, and their version of events is the only one that counts. What they say, goes. Think of all the havoc you could cause if you had a mind to...

Anyway. "How long have you had a sexual relationship with Mr. Yuy?" the lawyer rephrases, glaring sternly at me. He lowers his voice slightly on the naughty ‘s' word. I'm amazed he can say it out loud. Wash his mouth out with soap.

"Almost sixteen months," I reply promptly. I sound like a mother talking about her toddler. Yikes.

"What was the date this relationship began?" the lawyer demands, as though he hadn't heard this information before.

"August ninth," I tell him pleasantly.

"What year?" he presses.

I stifle a sigh. "After Colony two-hundred-one," I answer pertly.

He glowers at me again. It matches the look my lawyers are all giving me now.

"How is it that you remember the date so clearly?" he asks, frowning thoughtfully.

"Well, it was the day before the war began," I remind him. "That made it sort of memorable."

"Is that all that made it memorable?" he insinuates, his voice oily.

"Objection!" my lawyer cries, jumping to his feet.

"Sustained," the judge barks. "Try to ask more concrete questions, Councilor," he warns Ferretman acidly.

I think idly that "Ferretman" could be this guy's Superhero name. What kind of Superpower would Ferretman have? Be able to dig holes in a jiffy and burrow under the bad guy? Be able to bend with extreme flexibility and dodge on-coming bullets? Exude a noxious odor that deters all criminals?

"Were you aware at the time that Mr. Yuy was married to Relena Peacecraft?" the lawyer demands.

Well, duh, asshole. I was kind of in their wedding.

"I was," I tell him, keeping the editorial comments to myself. I'm so proud of me.

"So you knew he was married?" he repeats.

"I did," I admit calmly.

"And you engaged in sexual activity with Mr. Yuy anyway?" he asks incredulously.

If he's really as shocked as he sounds, he's led a very sheltered life.

"Yes," I say firmly. I'll be damned if Ferretman is going to shame me into cowering before the court. Fuck him.

"So, you had sexual intercourse with a man whom you knew to be married," he establishes, again.

"Still," I agree pleasantly.

That seems to confuse him for a moment. My lawyers glare daggers at me. The judge coughs loudly, and glowers at me when I turn my head to look at him. I look away, a little abashed. Message received, judge. I'll behave.

"Were you involved in any other romantic or sexual relationships at the time?" Ferretman presses.

"Yes, I was," I admit candidly.

"With whom?" he asks.

"With Trowa Barton," I reply.

"How long had you been involved with Mr. Barton?"

I swallow. "Three years," I say clearly.

"Three years," Ferretman repeats, shaking his head sadly. Poor man, so upset by modern moral decline. "How serious was this relationship?" he asks.

"Very serious," I reply - seriously.

"How serious is very serious?" he questions intently.

"Very serious," I assure him solemnly.

His eyes narrow. "Are you amused by the proceedings of this court, Mr. Maxwell?" he demands.

"Objection!" my lawyer shouts, jumping up.

"Sustained," the judge snaps. Then, to me, "Just answer the questions, if you please, Mr. Maxwell."

"So, despite the fact that you and he were both in committed relationships, you still had sexual intercourse with Mr. Yuy," he muses.

I say nothing. That wasn't a question.

"Is that correct?" he asks me, brows raised.

"It is," I tell him. Do you think we've established that Heero and I had sex yet? Or should we say it four or five more different ways?

"Did you have a sexual relationship with Mr. Yuy before August 9, 201?" Ferretman asks, apparently deciding to go at it from a different angle.

"I did not," I reply firmly.

"Did you have a sexual relationship with him prior to the beginning of your relationship with Mr. Trowa Barton?" he asks.

"No," I tell him. It's getting really hard to control my irritation. Why do lawyers have to ask so many stupid, redundant questions? I guess it's so they can entrap people in lies. But I'm not telling lies. I'm just getting bored, and annoyed.

"Isn't it true that you were involved sexually with Mr. Yuy during the Gundam Wars, beginning in 195?" Ferretman demands fiercely.

"Objection!" my lawyer calls.

"Overruled," the judge snaps. "Answer the question, Mr. Maxwell."

"No, it isn't true," I say firmly.

"You were not involved sexually with Mr. Yuy during that time?" Ferretman restates, with a smug glance at my lawyer.

"No," I reiterate.

"Were you involved with him sexually at any time prior to his wedding to Relena Peacecraft?"

Relena has decided - ostentatiously, of course - that she won't be referred to by her title in the course of this case, in order not to unduly prejudice the judge with her exalted position. Mighty big of her, isn't it?

"No, I was not," I say slowly, slightly emphasizing each word.

I have a sudden fear that he's going to ask me if I had sex with Heero on any day between the day I met him and the day I'm confessing to - by date. That was about six years... that's 2,190 days... 2,190 repetitions of the same stupid question...

I feel faint.

I glance up and see Trowa and Heero both staring at me. Under the steady blue and green gazes, I feel better. I sit up straighter. Ok, so this is an ordeal. And it's only just begun.

But look at the prize. I make up my mind right here and now that I'm breaking the nine-day celibacy streak tonight. I don't care how guilt-ridden Heero is or how tortured by painful memories of my infidelity Trowa decides to be. I'll make whatever needs to be made up to both of them, and we'll remind ourselves just why we're going through all of this shit.

I straighten my shoulders, and return my attention to Ferretman, filled with new resolve.