Title: And Maybe The World Will Follow
Author: DaMoyre (DaMoyre@aol.com)
Archive: Gundam Wing Addiction
Written: Apr.02.01 - Apr.06.01
Setting: A few months after the events of EW.
Warnings: shounen-ai, mild angst, and semi-original characters. (I felt like playing with Quatre's sisters. ^_^)
Virtual pocky to my wonderful betas: Stephanie, Cassiopeia, and ari. *hugs*
And Maybe The World Will Follow by DaMoyre
"Are you sure about this?" The same question for the third time that morning.
"Yes," Quatre took one of Trowa's hands in his and gave him a little reassuring squeeze. "I've never been so sure of anything in my life."
Trowa entwined his fingers through Quatre's in a gentle but powerful grip. "I don't want you to regret this."
"I will not," Quatre replied. "I don't want to hide. There's no need for it."
"Quatre... I have nothing to lose, but you--"
"I want to do this, Trowa," Quatre cut him off.
This time, Trowa simply nodded.
There were no further words, just his silence, but it was enough.
"Thank you for being here." Quatre smiled.
There was no more time to talk. Still holding Trowa's hand, he walked with him through the ample hallway that led to the main salon of the residence. With one last deep breath and another squeeze to Trowa's hand, he stepped into the room.
Twenty-eight heads rose to meet him; different shades of blond, all of them, varying from the pale corn-silk of Quatre's own hair, to sandy blond, to ashen. And then, there were even a few of them whose hair seemed a little darker, a golden brown.
They were all there, his twenty-eight remaining sisters, whom he had met shortly after the war. It was only a little over two years since he'd found out he had so many sisters, that he still had a family, even after his father's dead. Since then, he had done his best to get to know each of them, visiting often, trying to make up for the lost time.
For the first time in months, they were all together at the Winner Estate on L4, where Quatre had requested their presence. Without hesitation, they had all made arrangements to attend the reunion, after all, it was not often that all the Winner children were together under the same roof.
Quatre was as pleased to see them as he was nervous to deliver the news he had brought with him. He smiled softly as he scanned the room, noticing for the first time that most of his sisters' eyes were different tones of aqua and azure, very like his own. He had never given it much thought before.
Fatima and Salima were sitting to his left; and there were Raja and Vega, right across from them, to his right. Even though most of them had different mothers, the family resemblance was striking. Some of them looked so much like one another, that it was difficult to tell them apart.
"Welcome home, Quatre." Salima spoke first. She smiled brightly at Quatre and then at Trowa. "We were all anxious to see you again."
"Look at you!" Quamra rose from her seat and walked over to hug him. "You've grown taller since the last time we saw you," she said, pulling away a little as she gave Quatre an appreciative look.
"It's good to see you, Quamra," Quatre said softly.
"Aren't you going to introduce us to your friend?" Zaida rose from her seat and walked over to Quatre. She threw her arms around him and held him tight for a moment, before turning to look at Trowa. "I'm Zaida, Quatre's youngest sister," she said, and extended her hand towards Trowa.
"Nice to meet you." Trowa took her hand and bowed his head slightly.
"This is Trowa," Quatre said, pointing to his companion. "Some of you might remember him. He visited here last summer."
"But of course we remember him," Jamilah said. From her seat, she smiled at Trowa. "It's nice to see you here again, Trowa. Quatre's friends are always welcome amongst us."
"Thank you," said Trowa, giving Jamilah and the rest of the women in the room a polite nod.
"Thank you, Jamilah. I truly appreciate your kind words," Quatre said, walking towards his sister to greet her at last. He leaned over to kiss her on the cheek, and thought that he heard Raja and Vega whispering softly over his shoulder.
When he turned around, he noticed Raja staring at Trowa, intently, as if she were examining him. Quatre frowned a little, and then tried to dismiss the discomfort as one of his other sisters came over to greet him.
Twenty minutes had passed before the greetings were finally over. Quatre had been hugged and kissed repeatedly, and Trowa had shaken the several hands that were offered to him.
Quatre took a seat next to Jamilah and Trowa sat on a chair close by. The servants brought over coffee and trays full of sweet-smelling pastries to the salon.
Trowa placed a napking over his lap and sipped on his coffee. "What are these?" he asked, pointing to the tray closest to him.
"That's bannana mutabak, and that over there, is halva," Jamilah said helpfully. "Try them. I think you will like them."
"You should try the ma'amul," Quatre said, pointing to a tray with small cookies. "They're made from dates." He picked a few of them and placed them on his napkin.
"I think I'll have this." And Trowa helped himself to a piece of baklava instead.
"But you've had that before, Trowa!" Quatre smiled. "You need to try the others."
"Later," Trowa said quietly.
They ate and chatted for a while, and Quatre began to wonder if perhaps he should address his sisters now. But he didn't have much time to consider the thought, because it was Vega who asked everyone to quiet down. She set her coffe cup down on the table.
"Why did you ask us to come here, Quatre?" She crossed her legs and cocked her head a little. "You said you had important news for us. Why don't you tell us now?"
"Ah, yes," Quatre nodded. He cleared his throat and fidgeted with the napkin on his lap for a moment. This was the moment he'd been both longing for and dreading at the same time. He knew he'd gathered his sisters here to speak to them about his relationship with Trowa, and yet, now that he felt their eyes on him, now that he had their undivided attention, he wished for nothing more than to disappear, to be swallowed by space.
"You're being so mysterious," Vega almost sang, a teasing tone in her voice. "Come on, Quatre. We're all curious now!"
Earlier that morning, Trowa had asked him three times if he was sure about this decision. Not once, not even twice, but *three* times. And all three times Quatre had answered with the same conviction. This was something he wanted to do. This was something he *needed* to do.
Why then was his heart thudding so hard inside his chest, and his stomach fluttering like a million birds flying inside of him, tickling him with their feathery wings? His palms were sweaty, and he kept rubbing them on the napkin on his lap, folding it back and forth, turning it around and around.
How had the room suddenly become so warm? It was the middle of the colony's artificial spring, and it really shouldn't be so hot. But it was. Quatre felt the collar of his dress shirt robbing him of breath, and he almost wished he could strip right there and then. Vest, tie, shirt and all.
It was so warm...
"Did you do something bad, Quatre?" Raja leaned forward, resting her elbows on her knees, cradling her face between her hands.
"Oh, don't say that!" Sana frowned. "Quatre would never do something bad."
"But of course not," Raja smiled. "I'm only teasing our little brother, since he's being so... mysterious."
"We know that Quatre is a good boy," Vega added, with a little smile that seemed to turn bitter as she looked over at Trowa.
"Let him speak," Jamilah's gentle voice was soothing in Quatre's ears.
"I..." Quatre took a deep breath and finally looked up. Their eyes again, those aqua and celestial eyes fixed on him. They were expecting him to talk, not even having a clue about the reason for this gathering, and yet, they all looked expectant, and hopeful. Did they think he had good news for them? He didn't want to let them down, didn't want to hurt them. He only wanted to share this part of his life with them, hoping that they would understand.
But what if they didn't? Quatre's heart ached thinking of their reaction.
Perhaps bringing Trowa here today had been a mistake. This was something he should have done on his own. He didn't want any of his sisters to be rude to Trowa, or to make any unsavory remarks while he was around.
This wasn't as easy as he'd expected it to be.
On the one hand, delivering these news would not be as difficult as confessing to all of them that he was a mass murderer. What would they think of him, if they knew what he had done with Zero? Quatre felt his heart sinking remembering that incident. He had taken so many lives.
On the other hand, he knew what was expected of him. They wanted him to marry, and produce heirs. And yet, while he could not have children with Trowa, the help of advanced technology would make it possible for the Winner line would perdure.
With that solved, all he wanted to do was tell them that he'd found someone he loved; just the way they had shared with him news of their engagements. He had attended a few of their weddings in the past, and each of them had looked so happy, radiant, fulfilled. He wanted to tell them that he felt the same way when Trowa was around him.
He bit his lower lip a little and then spoke. "I asked you all here... today... because I wanted to let you all know about something that is very important to me."
He paused for a moment and looked at them. They were silent, some of them looking at him with tender smiles on their faces. They had asked him in the past if he would find a wife soon, if he would court someone from the colony, or perhaps someone on Earth. Jamilah had even suggested Relena Peacecraft as a worthy candidate to become the wife of the Winner heir. But he had never told them that marriage wasn't exactly in his plans. He should have said something earlier, and he felt extreme guilt for keeping this a secret for so long.
He was going to disappoint them. A heavy weight on his chest kept him from speaking, a knot in his throat, and the temperature in the room, rising and rising...
He felt so alone, sitting there, amidst all his sisters. A room full of people, his family... strangers.
He was alone.
And this wasn't the first time. He'd felt this way in the past, during the war. He had been fighting for peace, for what he thought to be right, and for that, he had earned his father's disapproval. It hurt so much to know that he had let him down...and would he ever forgive him?
Once again, he would let his family down. He would not meet their expectations. And he felt alone again, missing the comfort of Sandrock, wishing he could at least have that now.
"Are you not feeling well, Quatre?" Jamilah moved closer to him, putting her hand over his.
"He looks pale." Sana sounded concerned.
"Would you like to lie down?" Jamilah asked, pressing her hand on Quatre's. "We can talk later."
"I think he should just tell us now," Raja interjected. "Whatever it is, it's obviously making him very uncomfortable," she added.
"And if this is so important, then perhaps his friend should wait outside." Vega looked over at Trowa. "This seems like a serious matter that might only concern our family."
"No," Quatre shook his head. "Let Trowa stay. He's my... guest." He lifted his eyes to meet Trowa's for the first time since they'd walked into the room. Trowa only nodded and smiled softly at him.
Looking into Trowa's eyes, those eyes that were the color of the sea, a calm and intense sea, Quatre felt a force inside of him, a force that would drive him, will unwavering, towards the end.
"I'm fine." Quatre patted Jamilah's hand and then rose from his seat. He walked towards the glass doors and looked out for a brief moment. There were flowers planted in the garden, beautiful, colorful flowers, standing up straight and proud, stretching up under the artificial sunlight. They were so free, able to move back and forth with the wind, whichever way it blew. He wanted that, their freedom. Quatre took a deep breath and then turned to look at his sisters once more.
"You have all been very kind to me, and I want to thank you for it," he said. "I never knew I had such a large family, and I'm so glad that I finally met you all."
He paused for a moment and walked towards them. "I love you," he said, looking into Jamilah's eyes. "I love all of you."
"Oh, Quatre," Jamilah smiled. "We love you too."
"We are all so proud of you, Quatre," said Sana.
"Because I love you," Quatre continued, "I don't want to keep anything from you." He looked over at Trowa, as if he were his one and only fountain of strength and then crossed his arms across his chest. "Some of you... have asked in the past, if I would pick a bride soon--"
"Well, it is time for you to marry, Quatre," Vega interrupted. "You're the only Winner male!"
"Shh!" Jamilah pressed her finger to her lips and looked at her sisters, as if warning them all not to interrupt.
"I know I'm the only Winner male," Quatre said quietly, feeling his determination falter for a moment. They would not accept this... they would not.
"Is that what this is about, Quatre?" Raja spoke, ignoring Jamilah's request. "Have you chosen a bride?"
"No," Quatre shook his head, dropping his hands down, his fists slightly clenched. "I have not chosen a bride, and I don't think I will... at all."
Some soft gasps were heard in the room, but before anyone could say anything, Jamilah spoke, "Why is that, Quatre? You don't wish to marry?" She sounded as calm and gentle as she had sounded all along and Quatre thanked God for gifting her with such patience, such kindness.
"I don't," Quatre said firmly, droplets of perspiration forming on his forehead. "I don't need to find a bride because I have already found someone special," he said, and this time, he looked directly at Trowa.
"Explain what you mean by that!" Vega demanded, rising from her seat. There was a certain ire in her tone of voice, and Quatre shuddered, meeting her eyes, which now seemed as cold as the Artic Ocean.
"That is exactly what I mean," Quatre replied, meeting her eyes. "This is why I brought Trowa with me. He is that someone special. I wanted you all to meet him."
"He's a homosexual!" Raja cried out, her voice loud and sharp, drowning the soft gasps and murmurs from her other sisters.
"That is such a disgrace!" Vega approached Quatre, moving so close to him that he could feel her breath on his face. "How can you shame our father like that!"
"How can you shame us all like that!" Quamra, who was usually quiet and timid sounded furious now.
"Quatre, you should be ashamed of yourself!" Raja yelled, rising her fist.
"I'm sorry, Raja," Quatre said quietly. "I am not ashamed."
"Why should he be ashamed?" Trowa spoke, his voice was soft but the tone was firm.
Raja turned around and glared at Trowa, and he simply looked back at her, with eyes so cool, that seemed almost void of any emotion.
"I suspected he was up to no good!" Vega turned to Jamilah. "Wasn't it obvious that something wasn't right when he has never been seen with any female friends like other boys his age! He's never brought anyone home but that guy with the braid who visited last month... and now *him*!" She pointed an accusing finger towards Trowa.
"Father was right when he didn't want him to fight that war! He probably knew that he would end up with bad company," Raja said bitterly.
"It was a necessary war," Trowa said simply and leaned back against his chair.
"Please, Raja," Jamilah said, and she moved closer, preventing Raja from speaking again. "You know well that is not the reason why Father didn't want him to fight the war. Father wanted peace."
"His only son," Quamra sighed heavily. "I can't stand this." She glanced over at Quatre and then at Trowa before storming out of the room.
Quatre winced as he watched Quamra leave, and then he looked over at Trowa, who remained motionless on his chair. "I didn't want to cause you pain," he said apologetically, both to his sisters and to Trowa.
"See what you have done!" Vega spat, standing in front of Trowa, towering over him. "I won't even blame it on my brother. It's all of you, Gundam pilots... fighting that bloody war... you're monsters!"
"We defended the colonies from the real monsters," Trowa said, and then he stood up. "I should leave." He walked a few steps towards the door before Quatre caught up to him.
"Don't leave, Trowa," he almost pleaded.
Trowa met his eyes for a moment and then he nodded, silently walking back to his chair.
"You *should* leave," Vega hissed.
"That's enough!" Jamilah grabbed Vega by the arm and pulled her aside. "I am your eldest, and as such, I will ask you all to respect my authority and not behave this way in my presence. For generations, the Winner family has been known for their hospitality. You will not treat one of our guests this way!"
"Let me!" Vega pulled away from Jamilah's grip on her and walked out of the room. Raja followed Vega out of the salon, and a few more of the sisters walked out after them, barely looking at Quatre, and completely ignoring Trowa.
There were nineteen of his sisters still in the room, and Quatre bowed his head, tears welling up in his eyes, but never rolling down. "I am very sorry about this," he said. "It was not my intention to cause distress...but I had to let you know."
"It's... okay, Quatre," Zaida said quietly and then she walked over to Quatre and wrapped her arms around him.
Jamilah looked over at Zaida and smiled approvingly. "If our sister Iria were here, she would give Quatre her blessing, and accept his decision." She moved next to Quatre and placed a hand on his shoulder. "She's no longer here, but as the eldest, and in her name, I want to give Quatre my blessing. I'd love for all of you to do the same."
"Jamilah," Quatre gasped, looking up at his sister. "I... I don't know what to tell you...or how to thank you."
"You don't have to, Quatre." she shook her head a little. "You are my brother and I love you."
"I'm so sorry I ruined the family gathering," Quatre said.
"Don't worry, Quatre. Our sisters will come around. This really isn't as serious as they make it sound. Some of these beliefs...they are outdated." She waved her hand a little in dismissal. "We all love you, Quatre. Just give them some time."
"This is very upsetting," Sana said quietly. "Our father--"
"Wherever our father is, Sana, he won't condemn our brother," Jamilah said. "I know this, because father was a loving and kind man. Children aren't always what parents want them to be... but that doesn't mean they stop loving them." she turned to Quatre again. "And I know that father loved you very much."
"Father would not have been happy about this," Salima said, shaking her head sadly.
"Our father was a pacifist," Jamilah pointed out. "How can one live for peace and not accept differences? How can peace be achieved without tolerance? Our father would have understood, just like I'd like you to understand. Perhaps this isn't what we wanted, but this is what Quatre wants... and this is *his* life! If we love him, then we should be happy for him."
Silence fell in the room for a few moments and only Quatre's soft sighs could be heard. The worst part was over. He had finally gotten that out of his chest. He did not have to hide anymore, and he was grateful for the support that some of his sisters were offering. Some of them had left, but the rest had remained. They had not turned their backs on him. Maybe, just maybe, he wasn't so alone anymore...
"Thank you," Trowa spoke. He stood up from his seat and walked towards Quatre and Jamilah.
Quatre looked at him, feeling the strong emotions inside his chest overtake him. No, he wasn't alone anymore! He would never be, because he had Trowa, and he would never have to hide his feelings for him again.
"You're welcome," Jamilah said softly. "I only wish Quatre had warned me about this. I would have tried to talk to our sisters before."
"Well, as you said," Zaida said shyly, "they will come around."
"And with so many sisters... it will be nice to have another brother," Zaida added, and then she gave Trowa a light hug.
Jamilah smiled. "Another brother around won't hurt."
"Thank you!" Quatre threw his arms around Jamilah, burying his face on her shoulder.
"You're welcome, Quatre. And now... why don't you rest for a while? You and Trowa must be tired. Most of our sisters will go back to their homes today, but some of us will stay here until dinner time."
She looked over at her sisters.
"I think I will stay for dinner," said Sana.
"Yes, we will too." Zuleika and Fatima nodded.
"Very well," Jamilah nodded. "I will order dinner, and I hope that you will both join us." She looked at Quatre, and then turned to Trowa.
"We will," Trowa said quietly, his words bringing a bright smile to Quatre's lips.
"Till dinner time, then." Jamilah walked out of the room, the rest of her sisters following after her.
Once they were alone in the salon, Quatre was finally able to breathe easily. He was so tense, he felt as if though his muscles were made of Gundanium. But it was over... at last. Now he could relax in Trowa's arms, now the room didn't seem too hot, or too cold. Somehow, the temperature had suddenly become perfect.
He moved close to Trowa on the couch and wrapped his arms around him. "I love you, Trowa. I'm very sorry that I had to put you through this. I wish--"
"Shh," Trowa pressed a finger to Quatre's lips. "I would not have let you go through this on your own. Thank you for letting me be here with you."
"I could have never done this without you," Quatre sighed, feeling exhausted from the day's events. He rested his head on Trowa's chest and closed his eyes for a moment. "You made everything so much easier."
"Some of your sisters are very angry," Trowa said quietly.
"Yes...I know." Quatre opened his eyes and looked up, resting his chin on Trowa's chest. "But you know what? Duo says that you can't always please everyone... so you have to make yourself happy, and just hope that the rest of the world will follow... or let them mourn on their own, and move on." He smiled softly at Trowa. "Perhaps he is right."
"We know Duo is *always* right." A soft smile formed on Trowa's lips.
"Ah, yes! He's *always* right!" Quatre grinned.
Trowa passed a hand through Quatre's hair, smoothing back his bangs.
"Make me happy," Quatre whispered, staring direclty into Trowa's eyes, offering his lips to him.
That single kiss took away all the pain and all the stress from that morning. A kiss that was tender and sweet, passionate and gentle all at once. Just like Trowa...
Being next to him, so close to him, tasting his lips was all that Quatre needed to be happy.
And maybe the world would follow.
- Fin -Please send comments to: DaMoyre@aol.com