| Quatre and
Wufei? Oh yeah, they're in this story too, aren't they? Well...here
they are. Aren't they cute?
Know Who I Want... + Part 5
"Would you quit
fussing?" I demand, softening the acerbic command with a small smile when
he turns to look at me.
He smiles back, and allows the curtain to fall back over the window he'd
been peering out of, and crosses the room to join me on the couch.
I ponder reminding him that he really shouldn't be positioning himself
next to windows anyway, but decide against it as he settles against me,
letting his head drop on my shoulder with a small sigh.
Heero, Duo and Trowa are officially late to lunch. Only about five minutes,
so far, but enough to make Quatre worry.
Of course, everything makes Quatre worry anymore.
He lifts his head off of my shoulder and smiles up at me, probably having
caught the waves of my concern for him.
"I'm just excited about seeing them," he explains. "It's been a long time."
It has been. It's been a year since we've seen our team members, and it
seems longer. Somehow, the last war connected us all back to each other,
more strongly than we had been connected in years - maybe, more strongly
than we'd ever been connected.
Never before had we really examined the bonds that hold all five of us
together. When we thought that Trowa, and then Duo, were dead, we all
had to face how much we all mean to each other. And I don't think, as
a result, that we will ever be quite the same.
But, after Trowa recovered from the horrible injuries he'd sustained as
a prisoner of war, the three of them needed some time alone. They needed
to come to terms with everything that had happened to them, individually
and as a group, and learn to be with each other.
So, Quatre gave them that. He gave them a peaceful place to stay, and
the tranquility and time to work out the issues that needed to be worked
out between them.
He doesn't begrudge them that, and neither do I. Quatre and I are very
lucky in that we managed to deal with the ugliness in our pasts before
being forced to do so by an external crisis. But Quatre and I are in many
ways luckier than our three comrades. We grew up with a degree of stability
that they could only dream of, with families who, if they put incredibly
heavy burdens on us at times, also surrounded us with an equally fierce
love. We had a foundation early in life which the others just weren't
able to build, and that foundation is there to hold us up in times of
crisis, and to help us face ourselves in times of peace.
Quatre wanted to leave them on the island until they asked to return.
He said they would only stay there as long as they needed to, and when
they were ready, they would come home. If they didn't want to return,
he insisted, they weren't ready to do so.
I'm sure he's right. Quatre knows and understands a lot more about the
workings of the human heart than I do.
But I know a lot more about Quatre than Quatre does. He's always so busy
worrying about the feelings of other people that he rarely stops to examine
his own. And Quatre needs them to be back.
While Heero, Duo and Trowa have been slowly healing on a tropical island,
Quatre, and to a lesser extent, I, have been navigating one of the world's
murkiest swamps - the world political center at the Sanc Kingdom.
The greatest debate has centered around the fate of the Preventers, and
that debate has become the cover issue for many other struggles.
At its most simplistic, this debate has two sides. Relena, as Queen of
Sanc, and riding on her laurels as the world's foremost pacifist authority,
has been adamant that she, and a council of her choosing, should hold
authority within the Preventers. She's called upon everything from the
Peacecraft family's history of peaceful opposition to violence to her
experience as Vice-Minister to demonstrate the rightness of her position.
Her chief opposition has come from a man from the American nation, named
Thomas Dufasion. Dufasion contends that the Preventer Agency should not
be formally allied with any nation, as its purpose is protection of the
entire world, including the colonies. They should be supported by monies
levied from all sovereign states and colonies, and run by an impartial,
experienced controller, chosen by direct vote by representatives of all
those groups, upon recommendations from high-ranking officers within the
Dufasion believes that Une is uniquely qualified to head the Preventers.
Relena wants Une gone, probably because of both her connection to us,
and the reluctance that Une has shown to be controlled by the Queen of
Both sides have set up an elaborate system of checks and balances, in
an attempt to ensure - as much as possible - that control of the organization
is not too concentrated in any one individual.
However, after examining the plan, Quatre and I have come to the conclusion
that Dufasion's plan is much more equitable. He's drawing on the socio-political
background of the American state, trying to spread control over many groups.
Relena's plan is firmly based on the tradition of the European continent's
monarchies, with one clear leader.
It's a given, of course, to Relena at least, that noone is better suited
for that position than Relena herself.
And Relena has become frighteningly unbalanced in the last year.
When she realized that Heero hadn't returned from the war, and as we steadfastly
declined to tell her where he was or how to contact him, she erupted in
rage. She heaped threats on Quatre ranging from fines and incarceration
to expulsion from Sanc. He politely tried to diffuse her anger. I laughed.
He was rather put out with me.
But from then on, Relena has obviously counted both of us among her enemies.
Quatre is exhausted with trying to outguess her. Most of her attacks on
us have revolved around his business empire - she tried to undermine stockholder
confidence in his empire, knock down values, buy up a majority share of
stock…I had no idea the woman was so fiscally knowledgeable.
But she picked the wrong opponent. Quatre's gift for strategy is as developed
in the boardroom as on the battlefield. At this point, his family business
is stronger than ever, and that parent corporation has a stranglehold
on every major industrial concern in the Sanc Kingdom. Relena isn't aware
of it yet, but a good forty-seven percent of her industrial tax base is
comprised of companies in which Quatre is the major stockholder. If he
wanted, he could bring the Sanc Kingdom to its knees.
He won't. He's used front companies and alternate accounts to do all this,
and hasn't made Relena aware of it because he's not trying to gain control
of her kingdom or manipulate her politically by threatening her kingdom's
economy. He's just trying to protect his own interests, and the interests
of the company that employs all his sisters and their husbands, all of
the Maguanacs, and millions and millions of people on earth and in the
Relena hasn't stopped at attacking Quatre. She became very frustrated
when she discovered that there wasn't much she could do to me - the holdings
I'd inherited from my clan, which are incredibly minor when compared to
Quatre's empire, are all invested in cultural programs in the Chinese
nation, and in rebuilding efforts in several of the L5 colonies. Quatre
helped me set up these programs over two years ago, when I became aware
that I did have an inheritance. I am fully able to provide for myself;
I didn't need the money. So, I tried to direct it into ventures of which
my clan would have approved. I think they would be pleased with what the
legacy of the Chang Family is accomplishing.
Her attacks on Une have been non-ending. She's dragged up the woman's
history with OZ, insinuated questions about her relationship with Treize,
and even drew attention to her mental illness during the war. Every decision
that Une has made as head of the Preventers was questioned - Relena even
demanded, and got, a council formed to examine all Preventer actions in
the last six years. Most cruelly, Relena even attempted to have Une's
guardianship of Mariemaya revoked. Fortunately, Treize Kushrenada fully
realized the possible consequences of the playboy lifestyle that he had
followed in his youth before deciding that taking over the world was more
fun than taking over this season's debutantes. Therefore, he had specifically
provided in his will that if any offspring of his were to surface after
his death, and their relation to him could be proven through DNA testing,
Une was to stand in his stead as a custodial parent.
None of her failures has caused Relena to back down, however. Whenever
she has met with opposition she has become more angry, more determined,
more obsessed in her need to win this struggle for control. The leading
proponent of pacifism has become as power-mad as any Romefeller scion
ever was. It is…sad to see.
But for all her maneuvering, she has not been able to destroy Dufasion's
faction. He's won battles equal to her own victories - she succeeded in
having Une's decisions questioned, he succeeded in keeping Une in her
position as Preventers head throughout this whole debacle. They've gone
back and forth, lost an inch and gained a yard, for a year. In the process,
they've acquired numerous supporters for their respective sides. But still,
their factions are almost exactly equal in size, and the undecided group
within the World Council is huge - bigger than either side.
Quatre and I are both official members of the World Council, he as a representative
for several L4 colonies, I as a representative for three L5 colonies.
I was not thrilled at that particular development. But they are the colonies
that made up the cluster within which my colony had been placed, and they
asked me to serve as the cluster representative, a position that my grandfather
had held. It was a gesture of respect to me and my family, and was additionally
the only real way in which I could materially help Quatre in this struggle,
so I could not refuse.
Our status as Gundam pilots, and our support of Dufasion's plan, has helped
lure many people to the American's side. However, Relena's smear campaigns,
which have painted Quatre as the epitome of big business interests, have
caused some of the smaller nations and colonies to be a bit wary of us.
We've done all that we can alone. We need help.
Specifically, we need Heero. He is the most recognized of all of us, and
is personally known to many members of the World Council, who respect
the work he did as Consort. However, every day he's gone with no word
to his wife wears away at that reputation. He needed to come back before
people really started believing that he had cruelly abandoned Relena without
Which he did, in a way. That needs to be dealt with too, before Relena
looses all touch with sanity. I believe that her need to get revenge on
Heero is causing most of her irrational behavior. They need to resolve
what is between them, or the entire world could end up suffering due to
a marriage gone bad.
We don't need just Heero, though. The five of us, the pilots who fought
to save the world time and again, are an effective PR tool. Seeing us
united as one behind the Dufasion faction would help a lot of people come
to a decision.
We'd realized all this some time ago, though, and were still reluctant
to call Heero, Duo and Trowa away. They've done enough for the world.
They deserved some time to themselves.
But a piece of news that a grim-faced Une shared with us two weeks ago
changed all that. Through all this political upheaval Une has been calmly
doing her job, monitoring all ships entering or leaving earth, dealing
with peace-keeping situations and following up on any and all information
that might indicate an attempt by anyone at breaking the peace.
She was obviously reluctant to share this information with us, but felt
she had to. She's been tracking down people involved in the last war,
trying to be sure that they had all been eradicated. She'd thought we'd
been very successful. But now, she had just the slightest hint that maybe,
perhaps, we hadn't been as successful as we thought.
It wasn't much, as she had assured us. There wasn't anything in the way
of concrete proof; there was almost nothing at all. But what there was
was enough to set Une's well-developed instincts on edge.
We may not have destroyed the White Fang.
That's not too surprising in and of itself. Fanatics never go away - they
hang on in the face of the most overwhelming odds, because the ideal in
which they believe is more important that their own lives.
We should know.
But Une feels that, perhaps, this survival indicates that White Fang had
a much larger role in the last uprising than we realized. If they're allowed
to slowly build up again…well, we could have another war.
That day we sent for the others.
Quatre argued against it. But I was adamant. This problem with the Preventers
needs to be settled, and now, if there is any possibility that White Fang
is attempting to rebuild and cause yet another insurrection. We just can't
afford to wait any longer.
So, we've pulled the other three away. Yet again, they're being forced
to sacrifice themselves for the world.
"Wufei?" Quatre calls loudly, startling me from my thoughts.
I shake my head slightly, clearing it. "Yes?" I ask, my arm tightening
slightly around him.
"Did we do the right thing?" he asks, a worried expression on his face.
I don't answer for a moment, and he takes my silence for hesitation. Groaning,
he pushes himself to his feet and begins to pace around the room, mumbling
I take advantage of the opportunity to watch him move. Quatre is no longer
the small, waif-like child he once was. In fact, at an inch over six feet
in height, he's the tallest of us next to Trowa. He's still slim, but
it's not the smooth, childlike slimness of his youth - I can see the muscles
move in his back as he waves his arms around, still muttering under his
"What are you grinning at?" he demands of me suddenly, startling me again.
I blink. "You talking to yourself," I tell him calmly, smiling at him.
He frowns at me, but I see the amusement in his blue eyes. "At least I
answer myself," he retorts pointedly.
I shake my head. "We did the right thing," I tell him bluntly. "They had
to come back. This is a mess. We did our part, Quatre. There is no shame
in needing their help."
He sighs, and drops into a chair. "I suppose," he grumbles.
"I wish they could have stayed too," I say more gently. "But they need
to be here. Heero must deal with Relena," I point out. I sigh. "We all
have responsibilities, Quatre. They have them too. They had to come back."
He looks at me, his eyes troubled. "I still don't think we should…" he
I shake my head firmly. "We can't begin by lying to them," I say.
"It's not lying," he insists. "It's just…not mentioning all of the facts."
I shake my head. "We can't hide the fact that White Fang may be regrouping,"
I tell him firmly.
"Trowa was just a prisoner of those people," he reminds me. "It might
really…damage him to know they're still around."
‘Trowa's a lot stronger than all of you give him credit for," I disagree.
"He's not going to fall apart to find out there are bad people in the
"Let me see how they are first," he entreats. "If they're ready to know
it. I will tell them if they seem…ok."
I sigh. I suppose that this isn't an unreasonable request. It may be a
good idea to allow them a bit of time to become reacclimated to the world
rather than heaping everything on them at once.
"All right," I concede. "If they aren't ready to hear it, we won't tell
them yet. You decide."
He smiles gratefully at me, and moves back to his earlier position beside
me on the couch.
"Thank you, Wufei," he murmurs, raising his face to mine.
I kiss him slowly at first, them more deeply, feeling desire and need
for him rise in my body as I taste him. We haven't had nearly as much
time together lately as I would like.
"I have an idea," I murmur against his mouth.
"Mmmm?" he inquires, his tongue sliding along my lower lip.
"Now that Heero, Duo and Trowa are back," I suggest, "let's leave them
to sort all this out, and we'll go spend a year on a tropical island."
[part 4] [part 6] [back
to Shoori's fic]