A card, a designer tie

a Gundam Wing fanfiction

by Masamune Reforged

Disclaimer: I don't own Gundam Wing or the characters.

Warnings: Fan Rating - Teen (adult language, angst)

Characters: Quatre Winner, Duo Maxwell (friendship)

Word Count: 660

Synopsis: Hurry before it's too late

Author's Note: Setting - L4, the third Saturday of June, AC 196, night.

-A card, a designer tie-

Quatre stared down at the half-torn scrap of paper and bit his lip, hoping it would bleed. Something miserable and sweeping lurched and reared inside of him. It made him want to wretch, scream, punch something.

Instead he only fought back his tears.

Behind him, footsteps approached on the smooth, perfectly set tile, too softly to be any of the Magnacs or his sisters. Abdul and Auda were nearby, not close enough to bother him, but close enough. Rashid too, most likely. Quatre knew Duo was approaching him with purposeful clumsiness, giving Quatre time to compose himself a little. The footsteps stopped, a few paces away.

Duo said nothing, and Quatre found himself snarling a nasty, "What did they say?"

Duo let out a huff of breath. Quatre knew it wasn't his fault. Don't kill the messenger. But he wanted to lash out at something. It was childish, but...

After a long silence, Duo spoke. "Iria says if you absolutely don't want to, one of them will do the dedication speech." There was nothing easy in his tone. They didn't need that kind of effected lightness between them.

"Okay." Quatre tried to hold back the venom from seeping into his voice. He fared little better with the shaking that made his arms twitch. Quatre silently begged Duo to leave him alone.

Duo sighed wearily and took a step closer. Quatre tensed visibly. Duo stopped where he stood and said simply, "Look. I'm not going to dote over you, or try to tell you everything's going to be alright, or any of that shit." Quatre was thankful for the harsh crack in Duo's voice. He needed that now, cutting honesty. "Just go back inside and, I dunno, tell them how you feel or something."

Quatre almost laughed, thankful he didn't. The tears would have fallen.

How he felt. How did he think he felt?

"Hell, I don't know," Duo said, almost as though he'd read Quatre's mind, but more likely just talking to keep the whole thing from crashing further through the floor. "I'm not even going to pretend I do."

The words landed beyond the wall of anger, below the turmoil of guilt. Quatre realized with a sting of guilt who had spoken them. Of course Duo couldn't understand, but he was still trying to do his best. Meanwhile Quatre was being selfish. Always so childish and selfish.

He couldn't be childish any more, couldn't be selfish. Wasn't that what his father had always tried to teach him?

Quatre turned around. Duo had his hands stuffed in his pockets, a shadow covering his face despite the illumination of the street lamps outside the L4 Winner Headquarters. It--he--loomed behind Duo, massive and ominous, blanketed in a gigantic tarp, like a ghost from a children's book.

Quatre was glad for the tarp. The thing underneath was not real, but it had eyes. How was he supposed to look into those eyes?

"A fucking statue," Quatre spat angrily. Dead still floated in space, faces perfectly frozen in their final moments of horror and desperation; and they were giving him a fucking statue. Duo met Quatre's eyes. He gave a shrug and a hopeful smile, but he said nothing.

"I'll do the speech," Quatre said, not sure why, but knowing full well he would the moment the words left his mouth.

"You sur—"

"Yeah," Quatre cut him off. "Yeah, I'm sure." He found a way to smile at his friend. Duo almost laughed in relief, but checked himself. Quatre stepped forward and put an arm on Duo's shoulder. "Let's go back inside."

His eyes lingered on the imposing figure towering over him, but he felt Duo nod. The flyer lay on the street.

--50% off! Sale ends Sunday!

Hurry before it's too late!

This Father's Day, show him how much you love him with—"

-end

'A card, a designer tie'

Notes and ramblings:

Happy Father's Day everyone. (*ducks shoe throwers*)

I realize it's a bit unrealistic for there to still be corpses from the first Eve War that haven't been recovered, almost a full six months after the battle. If memory serves me correctly, the body count wasn't all that high, and, well, you'd expect with their technology they could have salvaged them all. But the line about the statue and the bodies was one of my 'keypoints' when i started musing about this fic.

I have no explanation why Duo would be here. I wanted to do something with one of the boys about Father's Day, but, yeah, none of them have real fathers (that we see) except for Quatre. I wanted to set it after he died, which I believe is already past Father's Day 195. I imagine Duo and Quatre would still be in touch, but even to me it's a little strange that Duo would be there.

Feedback is loved and dearly appreciated