I Know Who I Want... + Part 6 (cont)

"And then there's you," Wufei reminds Quatre. Quatre turns to frown quellingly at him, but Wufei smirks at him unpeturbedly.

"What? What the hell's her problem with you?" Duo demands.

"Nothing, Duo. She just…"

"She was angry at you because you wouldn't tell her where I was," I surmise.

"It doesn't matter," Quatre insists. "I…"

"She was," Wufei interrupts, nodding at me. "She threatened to send him to Sanc Prison if he didn't tell where you were."

Duo chuckles loudly and even Trowa smiles. There isn't a prison in Sanc that could hold any of us if we really wanted to get out.

"She tried to undermine public confidence in the Winner conglomerate," Wufei continues. "She questioned Quatre's business acumen and his ability to run such a huge corporation. She made accusations of nepotism, as all twenty-nine of his sisters work for the company. Then she leaked news of our relationship to the papers, presuming that, once the CEO was a known homosexual, stock prices would plummet."

"What?" I shout, my disbelief echoed by Duo's cry of outrage and Trowa's hard-voiced expression of concern.

"That failed rather miserably," Wufei grinned. "It might have worked two centuries ago, but the heads of two of Quatre's main competitors also pointed out that their lifestyles weren't exactly traditional either, and what exactly was Her Majesty trying to say? Then, a third CEO called a press conference with his son and his son's boyfriend - both of whom are vice-presidents in the company - and announced that they had decided not to relocate their center of operations to the Sanc Kingdom after all, and that instead they'd decided to strike out for the colonies. So L4, which, and I quote, "seems to have a more welcoming and accepting atmosphere," will be getting all of those thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of tax revenue, instead of Sanc."

"She's been like that all year," Quatre resumes, obviously trying to shift our attention from Relena's attacks on him. "Relena has never set herself up for so many incredibly public gaffes as she has this year. She's just been mud-slinging. She hasn't even been subtle about it. And every time she attacks someone, and it blows up on her, she's just moves on to do it again, on a bigger scale. It really isn't at all like her," he admits worriedly.

"Hence, my conclusion," Wufei says triumphantly. "She's unbalanced. Mentally ill. I'm not saying she's crazy," he snaps as Quatre opens his mouth to argue. "Mental illness is just that - an illness. Therefore, treatable," he emphasizes.

"What do you think precipitated this?" I insert before they can continue arguing.

Wufei regards me gravely. "I think that she's trying to get revenge on you," he tells me honestly. "She's showing you what she can do."

I groan, and lean on the back of the chair. "Great," I mutter under my breath. I rest my head on the soft fabric for a moment, then straighten up resolutely. "Well, we'll just have to work this out quickly," I announce. "Quatre, I'm hoping you can recommend a lawyer," I tell him. "I'm not planning to ask for anything at all, so hopefully we can get divorce proceedings moving as quickly as…"

"Wait a second." Quatre frowns at me. "What do you mean you aren't asking for anything?"

I frown back. "I don't want any of her money," I explain. "So there shouldn't be anything for her to contest."

"What about the money you earned with the Preventers?" he asks. "Weren't you paid separately?"

"Yes, but…"

"You can't ask for nothing," he informs me resolutely. "That makes you look guilty."

I spread my arms wide. "I am guilty," I admit. "I cheated on her, I left her, I didn't come back for a year-and-a-half…"

He shakes his head again. "You can't ask for nothing," he insists.

"But I don't want…."

"You can discuss that with the lawyer," he interrupts. "I…" he stumbles to a halt, flushing red. "I, uh…made an appointment for you tomorrow."

Duo leans back and grins widely. "I knew it," he crows. "I knew the Q-man set up a schedule for us. What else have we got?"

Quatre looks embarrassed. "You don't have to do anything," he assures us quickly. "I just…"

"It's ok," Trowa tells him. He looks amused too. "We assumed that you needed more from us than for Heero to settle his divorce."

At the d-word, both Trowa and Duo glance at me, grinning. I scowl back at them. They wouldn't think it was very funny if they had to deal with Relena.

"You're right." Wufei leans forward, his gaze moving intently among us all. "We need…we all need…to be involved in settling this dispute in the political arena."

Duo sticks his tongue out. "Politics," he mouths, as though the word tastes bad. "I'm not very good at that sort of thing, Wu, really."

"We have to beat Relena at her own game," Wufei replies simply. "She usually plays on her position to gain public support; we have to play on ours."

"Our position?" I repeat dubiously. I don't know about the rest of them, but I don't think I have much of a position.

"You mean, the ‘dead-beat husband and his two male lovers' position?" Duo asks wryly.

Wufei grimaces. "No, though that will doubtless come up," he warns. "I mean, the ‘The Pilots Who Saved the World," position," he clarifies.

"Ah…," Duo murmurs wisely, turning to grin wickedly at me. "I guess even World Saviors can be dead-beat husbands."

"Duo…" I growl warningly. He needs to stop calling me a dead-beat husband.

"I don't want to do it either," Quatre is saying softly to Trowa, whose blank, expressionless face betrays his lack of enthusiasm for this plan. Quatre's hand is on Trowa's knee again, I note with what I assure myself is casual regard. "But it's the only real way to gain support for Dufasion's position."

"What makes you think I support Dufasion?" Duo inquires whimsically. "I think Relena would be just charming as the head of the Preventers. Maybe she could whip out that tiara she had when she was Queen of the World. It must be getting dusty now, poor thing, I'm sure she'd love to wear it again…"

"Well, so that you can better make up your mind, I've scheduled a meeting with all five of us and Dufasion the day after tomorrow," Quatre tells him sweetly.

"Maybe you'd like the way he looks in a tiara," Wufei suggests gravely.

"I'm sure I would," Quatre murmurs under his breath, leering suggestively at Duo. Wufei growls under his breath, and Quatre smiles innocently at him.

"We'll discuss the situation with him…and then decide," Quatre finishes vaguely.

My eyes narrow. "Decide what?" I demand suspiciously.

Quatre takes a deep breath. "When…we should all go speak to the World Council," he says nervously.

And I thought I had been tense before. "We're going together to speak to the World Council?" I demand.

Quatre fidgets uncomfortably. "It'll really make the most impact," he assures me miserably.

Duo sighs loudly. "When are we scheduled to go?" he asks resignedly.

Quatre looks shocked. "Duo! I said we'd decide Wednesday if…"

"Give it up, Q-man," Duo advises. "We all know you. When are we going?"

"Next Friday," Quatre mutters, staring unhappily at his lap.

Duo and I groan in unison. Trowa stares at Quatre, an unreadable expression in his eyes that speaks louder than words.

"You'd better be providing some strong alcohol next Friday night," Duo warns ominously.

"You'd better be providing some strong alcohol tonight," Trowa adds tonelessly.

Wufei and Quatre both stare at him in surprise. Seeing the situation through their eyes, I suddenly can see where there has been change - Trowa is still on the sofa, he hasn't left the room or flat-out refused to be a part of this, and he's even making jokes. Definitely an improvement. Duo and I worry because his face still gets that blank look, he still takes refuge in silence…I guess that the changes have been too gradual and subtle for us to notice, until we're here, seeing them through the eyes of someone who hasn't lived them with us.

"Of course," Quatre stammers, recovering. "I thought…if you wanted…we could have dinner tonight. Do a little more catching up, let you relax a little…"

"Why don't we meet at your apartment tonight?" I suggest. "It's right next to ours, and you're more…settled than we are at the moment," I finish, recalling the chaos that marks our new residence.

"All right," Quatre says slowly. "But I thought…"

"If you have other plans for right now, I have to bow out," I say regretfully. I'd really rather stay and hang out with them.

"Where are you going?" Duo asks. Quatre stares avidly at me, obviously relieved that Duo asked the question he had been trying to figure out a polite way to ask.

"I have to go see Relena," I say reluctantly.

Quatre immediately shakes his head. "You shouldn't go until after you've met with the lawyer," he advises.

"She already knows I'm back in Sanc," I insist. "You know how she is. If I don't go see her, she'll probably come to me." Duo shudders theatrically, and even Trowa flinches slightly. "It's better just to get it over with," I conclude gloomily.

"Do you want us to go with you?" Trowa asks quietly.

For a moment, I consider selfishly accepting his offer. I really don't want to go see Relena. "No," I refuse reluctantly. "That'll only make it uglier."

"Heero, you really don't have to…" Duo begins.

"Yes, I do," I correct him. I smile at him to lighten the harshness of my tone. "You guys go through Quatre's liquor cabinet, and we'll all get good and drunk tonight," I suggest.

Duo grins wickedly. "As I remember, Quatre has a very well-stocked liquor cabinet," he muses.

"If you get sick in our apartment, I'll kill you," Wufei tells him flatly, obviously recalling one very memorable night soon after we had all moved to the Sanc Kingdom.

Duo grins at him. "I've got more practice now, Wu-fenator," he assures Wufei, ignoring the indignant sputter over the nickname he chose. "Besides, our place is right next door. I can go be sick at home."

"If you're going to see Relena, maybe I'll go see Catherine," Trowa suggests softly. He smiles. "I'll probably be happier to see her today, than tomorrow," he comments wryly.

"If you're both going to see women, what am I supposed to do?" Duo demands.

"Unpack," Trowa and I say in unison, grinning at each other at Duo's loud groans of denial.

So, with plans firmly in place, the party breaks up, everyone agreeing to meet later at Quatre's. Noone says anything further about my decision, noone questions it or tries to talk me out of it. But I see their worry in their eyes as I say my good-byes. I chuckle as I buckle myself into the car that Quatre loaned me, since Duo and Trowa and I only have one car between us at the moment. We've all seen each other into battle numerous times, sometimes with hardly a qualm. But go see an enraged Relena, and everyone acts as though I'm walking into the jaws of death.

My amusement fades as I maneuver the car onto the road. They may be right. Next to Relena in the mood she's in, battle would be easy.

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