Taste of surrender

Warnings/notes : Treize/Quatre, Lady Une added to the cast, shifting focus, non-episode-oriented fic, slight humor in this chapter

Disclaimer : I don't own Gundam Wing.

written at 29th may 2003, by Misura

This fic would never have been written if not for Kasra and Jessie.

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[Friday, at the ball]

Treize nor any of the OZ-delegates wore a costume. Lady Une had sharply protested against it, claiming it to be completely undignified and Treize hadn't felt like argueing with her.

She was a very capable second-in-command and he had no wish to alienate her by squabbling over such a little thing.

Watching her dance stiffly with some officer who had worked up enough courage to ask her, he hid his smile by taking another sip of his wine. Lady Une had a lot to learn about enjoying the smaller pleasures of life.

Like dancing. Or the taste of good wine.

Because currently, my dear Lady, the only thing you seem to enjoy is the destruction of our enemies. That's simply not enough.

Une tried to relax while her body made the proper movements on its own, silently cursing the insolent whelp who had dared to ask her. Any well-educated young woman learned it was rude to refuse such a request, so she had had no choice really.

She knew Treize was watching her, knew he was pleased with her engaging in a foolish, useless activity like this.

The fact that she admired him did not mean she approved of everything he did or thought. Or that she understood him. She tried though.

If the General thinks so highly of dancing, perhaps I should mention his fondness of this to some of the local women I saw staring at him earlier, too shy to say anything.

She smiled. Treize, no doubt, would have been pleased to see her having developed a sense of humor. Even if he might not enjoy the fruits of it too much.

Wufei glared at the hopeful-looking woman who obviously wanted to dance with him. Behind him, he heard Duo chuckle.

"Why do they keep coming at *me*?" he murmured, loud enough to be heard by Duo and Quatre, but not loud enough to be overheard by anyone else.

"It's the attitude, you know." Duo chuckled again. "You try too hard to look untouchable, to keep them away. Makes you a challenge. Me, they're not interested in, because I'm obviously easy to get and Quatre, well, he simply doesn't draw attention."

In fact the blond 'angel' had drawn quite some attention, but most of it was from elder, motherly ladies who had cooed over his cuteness and tried to introduce him to their daughters or nieces. Said daughters or nieces immediately decided he wasn't the least bit interesting ; how could he be when their mother or aunt *liked* him?!

Quatre took it all with a polite smile, seemingly a bit more at ease after his initial discomfort.

"When are we going to finally *do* something?" Wufei inquired impatiently.

"Patience is a virtue, Wu-man." Duo sighed, wondering how he ever could have thought to pull this off on his own.

"We can't kill him in front of all these people." Heero added, talking through the earpiece all of them were wearing for this mission. "It would make your escape much harder. Wait for him to go to somewhere a little more private."

"If one more woman wants me to dance with her ... " Wufei growled.

"... then you'll accept." Heero interrupted. "Behave normal. Remember that this is a ball ; it's usual people dance at such an occasion."

The fact that there wasn't even a hint of amusement in Heero's voice made the horrified look on Wufei's face all the funnier to Duo.

As soon as they had seen the fuming chinese pilot safely off with his fortunate dancing-partner, Duo and Quatre wove their way to the crowd, in the direction of the OZ-representatives.

Absent-mindedly complimenting the young lady whose name he had already forgotten on her dancing-skills, Treize bowed and returned to his place. Normally he would have been pleased to have so many women ask him for a dance ; it meant people weren't as afraid or wary of OZ as they once were.

Tonight though, things were different. He was expecting certain persons to show up, but they hadn't obliged him yet. It had been a gamble of course, to give them the time and location of this ball, yet he had calculated it to be enough to lure them here.

I also thought there would be too many innocent people here tonight to have them do anything as ruthless as blowing up this entire building with either explosives or by using their Gundams.

Let's hope I didn't miscalculate in that.

Let's hope they don't hate me quite that much.

"Do you think it's safe to go any closer, Duo?" Quatre whispered.

No answer.

"Duo?"

Turning around, he noticed Duo had been claimed by a lady with dark purple hair for a dance. He grinned. Duo would never say 'no' to a dance if a pretty girl asked him. At least as long as he hadn't committed himself to a real relationship.

He heard someone breathe in sharply behind him and spun around, his heart beating quicker all of a sudden.

Treize could hardly believe what his eyes were telling him. The pilot, his former prisoner, whom he had started to dream of by day, was here, standing right in front of him.

The boy wore an angel's costume, complete with wings. He looked, well, angelic seemed an appropriate enough phrase.

"General Kushrenada." A nod of the head.

Treize smiled, feeling oddly pleased the other had been the first to open the conversation.

"Quatre Raberba Winner. Or are you here under a different name?"

"You can call me Quatre." The boy shrugged.

"I'm surprised to see you here." Treize remarked, considering he might as well use this opportunity to strengthen his position as the Gundams' unnamed source. "Very few people knew about this occasion."

"We have our ways to find out things."

They exchanged a smile.

Une frowned as she heard a nervous cough behind her. Not because her current conversation was so interesting but more because any interruption would probably mean trouble.

"Yes, what is it?" she snapped.

"Lady Une, we have discovered a suspicious person on our cameras. He seems to be watching main-entrance 1. Should we attempt to take him prisoner?"

"You have to ask me that? Of course, you idiot!" Her voice was shrill. She had personally supervised the preparations for this ball, meaning she would be blamed for any disruptions.

Not by Treize, who was too polite and too familiar with the difficulties of running a military operation, but others would be glad of an opportunity to besmirch her name.

Speaking of General Kushrenada, where is he?

The soldier who had reported to her beat a hasty retreat, while her eyes searched the room, finally spotting the OZ-general talking to ...

No! It can't be ... that's the prisoner we captured not too long ago.

Determined she started to make her way to the two of them, intent on warning Treize and recapturing the prisoner without causing too much of a fuss.

~tbc~