After several reasonably calm years of co habiting Heero Yuy proposed to his long term partner and in a rush that was entirely typical of both had arranged to be married within the month. Duo had made his demands and stood firm on them. They were to be married in Japan, which was where they said that Heero came from, in a beautiful Shinto shrine in the shadow of Fujiyama. Japanese seamstresses worked around the clock to make the traditional robes in white and the overcoats in red. Duo was understandably excited and Heero veritably beamed.

Each and every one of their friends were excited for them as the day drew closer and closer until they booked out, at the expense of Winner Corp, at entire hotel.

But of course things never run that smoothly.

"Winner-sama," the night porter said knocking on his hotel room door the night before the ceremony, "Winner-sama."

Our protagonist, Quatre Winner, opened the door with one eye open and his robe half pulled on. Behind him his long-term partner, and possible fiancée (he had every belief that he would be accepted if he ever asked) Trowa Barton slept the deep sleep of the pleasantly sated and more than anything else Quatre wanted to join him. He had the sleepy lassitude that great sex brings and the last thing he wanted to see, being far below the insides of his eyelids and Trowa, was the hotel's night porter. "Yes." He slurred. He was quite proud of it because it was completely intelligible. What no one had mentioned to him was that it was in Arabic.

"Winner-sama, there is a problem." The night porter said quietly, "we don't want to make a scene but Miss Peacecraft is making it very difficult for us." Quatre raised an exquisitely sculpted golden eyebrow in query. Trowa was very fond of that eyebrow it should be said. "She has had rather a lot to drink and she's making rather an exhibition of herself." Quatre had a brief image of a drunken Relena pole dancing and quashed it down with a disgusted shudder. Of course being that sort of image it wouldn't leave him alone. "We're worried that she might cause problems tomorrow."

The hotel, it had to be said, apart from being very luxurious (and expensive) was known for its diplomacy in such matters. "Where is Miss Catalonia?" Miss Catalonia could always be relied upon to sort out matters relating to Miss Peacecraft.

"She's indisposed, Winner-sama." The night porter said, "she left with an American reporter several hours ago." Quatre changed his opinion; Dorothy could always be relied upon to sort out matters relating to Relena except where she was swayed by intelligent and good-looking men that weren't gay.

"Just let me get dressed." Quatre said with a sigh. There really was no one else to deal with this; Wufei would call her a drunken onna whilst ranting on about the injustice of it. Heero and Duo were too busy preparing for their upcoming nuptials.

He found Relena Peacecraft, one time queen of the world, sitting at a piano trying to play it; this was hampered by the fact that the lid was closed. He sat down beside her and slid the half full glass of tequila out of her reach. "Hello," she said, "this piano's broken." Then she attacked him with a seated flying glomp, "he's getting married tomorrow and," and dissolved into a fit of sobbing.

"Relena," Quatre said peacefully, "it's what they want, now come on, lets get you into bed so you can be radiant tomorrow." Relena had always known that she didn't have a chance with Heero, being as she wasn't Duo, but deep down that didn't mean that she wanted to admit it. As long as they weren't married there was always that one off chance, that he might choose her. By marrying Duo he was closing off that one chance and she wasn't quite ready for that yet.

Quatre had been the one to invite her to the wedding, in fact Quatre had been the one to invite everyone. Heero was too busy arranging everything else and Duo had been so excited that he had just plain forgot, now he was wondering if it hadn't been a little cruel. Relena would see the wedding, through rose coloured glasses, where she should have been the bride, although she never really would have been.

Of course she was one of Heero's closest friends and it wouldn't have been fair to him to not invite her, and it was his day.

These things were complicated. It was easier, Quatre thought, fighting the entire forces of the Alliance, Oz and White Fang than working out the small and intimate guest list for a wedding that everyone expected years ago.

She reached across him and lifted her tequila, emptying the glass in a single draught. "It's just so banal." She protested, "I'm like something out of a bad romance novel, I always knew I didn't have a chance with him, I did, but I couldn't quite bring myself to believe it. And he wants me there, Quatre, so I'll be there and I'll be fabulous and beautiful and everyone will think that I'm smiling because it's so beautiful and they're so in love, and they are, but I can't. I'm sorry, Quatre, I can't."

He patted her back rather ineffectually. "I want to go to Duo and slap his face and stamp on his toes, or drug Heero's tea but it's not fair." She whined, "I can't do this any more. I know I'm being selfish and silly and drunk but I can't."

Quatre pulled back and looked at her. "Relena Peacecraft," he said firmly, "you have stood down nations, you have raised that pretty chin of yours and made sure your makeup was perfect before you went out and did what you had to do. This is no different. You will do what you have to do, not because Heero jilted you, or any other reason but that you are Relena Peacecraft."

Relena sniffed back a sob, "you're right," she said firmly, "I am a Peacecraft, I am my mother's daughter and my brother's sister. I am descended from kings. I do not quail over something this silly." She got herself to her feet with just a little wobbling, "so I'm going to be at the wedding tomorrow and I'm going to be radiant so no one can say that I let Heero down on his day." She reached over and gave him an alcoholic kiss on the cheek. "Thank you, Quatre, you're so sweet."

He opened the door to his hotel room and climbed back in bed listening to Trowa hiss as he slithered in his naked body against him, "you're cold," Trowa said rubbing his back gently. There was nothing sexual in the touch, just comforting.

"Trowa, how about you and me run away, I'll buy a desert island and make sure no one lives on it and we'll get Iria to ship in everything we need and I never have to see anyone but you." It was a familiar fantasy that they discussed all the time but both of them knew it was just that, a fantasy – not that Quatre couldn't afford it if he wanted.

"You'd get bored." Trowa informed him sleepily, "there are only so many bahama mama's that you can drink before it all becomes boring."

"I'm just tired of it," Quatre said quietly into Trowa's neck, "I'm always the one they go to when things go wrong, and I'm sweet and nice and because of my empathy I just want things to be happy around me but no I get sent to make everything nice for everyone else, why doesn't any one ever do things like that for me." He was being petulant and sulky and he knew it, but he had been wrested out of his bed at an ungodly hour to deal with a drunk politician.

"Because you're the best one at making everything great." Trowa said quietly into the dark, "but I don't think you're sweet, I know better. You're tough and mean and can be," he leant in to whisper the word in his ear, "cruel. You're my killer, aren't you?" Trowa nipped at his ear with those words, "now go to sleep and tomorrow the wedding will be over and we can go laze on a beach for a month or three and let the world go hang as we drown your sorrows in rum."


"Iria can hold the fort," Trowa answered, "Heero and Duo are going on a honeymoon, why can't we?"

"But," Quatre protested.

"No buts, we'll leave as soon as the tide comes in."