Disclaimer: Gundam Wing and all its characters © Sotsu Agency, Sunrise, and TV Asahi. All fics are not for profit.

A/N: Loosely connected to Arm Candy, the third ficlet in the series "Mars and Venus", but can stand alone.


"Lines Against Circles"

by Schizoid Sprite


"A little more matriarchy is what the world needs, and I know it. Period. Paragraph."- Dorothy Thompson


The instant her shapely legs worked its magnetizing magic on his eyeballs again, he knew he wouldn't be able to stand up for another match with her tonight. The glossy, seductive pout she was wearing was warning enough, and when her eyelashes batted at his direction, he mechanically left his half-imbibed champagne and rushed to the balcony.

He knew it was all in vain. How could he escape from a woman who could make him feel as if she was omnipresent?

"Leaving already, Mr. Winner? The night is still young."

Quatre froze. He was well aware that in that la-di-da tone, in Dorothy-speak, the statement was tantamount to "I got you wearing a bullseye on your back tonight—there's no way you can escape my dart."

Let the game begin, the devilish curve of her lips mutely declared.

"Miss Dorothy," he greeted, his smile brittle. "I suppose you're already aware that I host this party and that this is my house?"

"Of course!" she laughed. "And I've also heard about sure-fire accounts of the host vamoosing to his bedroom even before the first glasses of wine are served."

"I suggest that you give whoever your spy is the pink slip now," he shrugged. "Doesn't he know that the three words he should remember at work are just accuracy, accuracy, and accuracy?"

"Unfortunately, I can't fire Miss Relena because she's not working for me."

She cackled at him when his brow puckered. "Miss Relena?"

"Gossips become precise facts automatically when they come from someone as observant as the former Queen of the World. It has become a prime necessity for her to be always on the ball." She tucked a stray lock behind her ear and shot him a nefarious look. "Seriously, though, I don't think I need anyone to spy on you; you're already a favorite item during conference breaks. Good boy this, gentleman that… they're all unaware of the delicious beast in you."

His eyebrows twitched at the emphasized word. The way she smiled at that made him imagine the devil on her shoulder ready to plunge its pitchfork at him.

"Oh, do let's cease babbling about this senseless topic," she sighed with mock-boredom. "Say, how about quitting the stalling stage?"

"You're stalling, Miss Dorothy?" His tone was derisively incredulous. "I thought your tonight's mission of making mincemeat out of me has already commenced."

"Don't be like that," she chuckled, walking up to him and sliding her arms with meaningful slowness around his waist. "You know exactly what I want."

He made no attempt to squirm away, much to his own surprise. "I'm sorry, but I don't know what you're talking about."

"You don't know, Mr. Winner? Why, do we have selective amnesia or something?"

Her question didn't succeed in perforating his mind, as he was too engrossed by the dance of her hands. The warmth of her moving palms seeped through his suit, causing hitches in his breath. Her fingertips murmured across the fabric, going in languid circles, sometimes in hearts, sometimes in doodled faces, sometimes in taboo words he managed to decipher without trying to...

"Dorothy!" He started when her hands fell on his belt. He pried her hands off the buckle and peeled away from her in madcap haste. "No. Please, not tonight."

"I can see no better time than tonight, right at this very minute, to do this."

"Dorothy, we're in a party."

"And we're on a televised Colony Business Summit the last time we did this."

"No need to remind me," he frowned, blushing. "With that you just ruined everything my PR secretary worked hard for and officially made me the tabloids' focal point of the year!"

"Belt up, honey," she chortled at his beet-red face. "Always making a mountain out of a molehill is not healthy."

He rolled his eyes at him. "Neither is putting 'bully-mister-winner-into-doing-something-I-want' in your daily to-do list."

"You call this bullying?"

"What else could it be?"

"Our personal dictionaries are from different worlds, that's all I know." She smothered her giggles and deftly snaked her fingers around his tie, her other hand sliding up his cheek. "Oh, nervousness sure is human's built-in sauna. You're sweating."

"I'm not nervous."

His face betrayed the statement while he watched his tie sliding off his neck.

"I don't think I can do this," he admitted shakily. "My sisters will be here in a minute, and some of the Maguanacs are going to leave their posts for a while to check on me."

"The more onlookers, the better."

When Quatre held up his hands in defeat, Dorothy expertly tweaked the first buttons of the suit and sent them toppling to the floor.

He knew it before it even started.

He lost the game again.


The 'session' ended in less than half an hour.

"I thought I've humored you enough," he muttered in dismay, his breathing coming in an unstable staccato as he ironed out creases on his suit. "I swore to myself never to listen to you again, but you always provide a decoy."

She threw him a sidelong glance, giving his belt a final brushing touch. "There's no decoy of any kind. You just like me."

"I do, and you're using it to torture me."

"You're torturing yourself," she quipped. "As long as your Project Runaway image persists, I'm going to be here."

Curse her fashion sense and feminine wiles.

Quatre was already used to Dorothy's guilty pleasure of murdering his Galliano suit collection, but somehow, tonight, he couldn't help but bite back a groan of displeasure. He found himself unable to put the now button-less garment back to its original style, but it wasn't exactly what garnered the largest portion of his disgust. With the belt hanging like a bandolier around his waist, plastic ammunitions and metal studs jutting out, all he knew was he wanted to shrink.

"No wonder my wardrobe stylist hates you so much," he said, maneuvering his face into a nondescript expression. "You're stealing her job, and making it worse."

"Questioning my fashion tastes again, Mr. Winner?"

"I've always been worried about your fashion tastes even before the Summit."

"Oh, please," she sighed with pretended languor, coiling her arm around his. "When we undergo 'vogue sessions' or just when I suggest you wear something, I always give you the opportunity to refuse. And you never did."

"Refuse? You're going to have me in the altogether if I refuse to wear that SpongeBob tie during the televised business debate!"

She raised a brow. "What's so wrong about the tie? You're wearing a pink tux so it complements perfectly. It even adds to your cuteness."

He frowned at the supposed compliment. "Cuteness won't help me, Dorothy. People won't take me seriously."

"We'll see about that. Now, stop fiddling with that belt. I secured it well, it won't fall off."

"That's the first thing I want it to do," he mumbled, then squirmed away when Dorothy nudged his ribs. "I mean, with these metal studs and bullet shells, everyone will think I'm advocating war! Do I have to reiterate that this is a semi-formal benefit party and not a rock concert? It doesn't even match my outfit."

Quatre thought he saw an impish look crossing Dorothy's face for a second. "You have to make a statement, darling."

"Not like this."

"Remove it if you want."

"And take the other option and go commando? You always put me in the most compromising position, you know that?"

"I didn't ask you to play my game," she retorted coolly.

"You don't ask, Dorothy, you coerce. Someday I'm going to fix your wagon and you won't like it."

"Oh, so I succeeded in unleashing the beast again?"

When she released a peal of giggles, the last thing on his mind was to get avenged.

"Now, if I succeed in telling Duo to pipe down after he sees me, let's see what the tabloids are going to weave for tomorrow with this...."


fin.

PSA/N: I've put Gundam Wing on the back burner recently as I write for another fandom, but I can't help it---I think a dose of 4xD every now and then has been a part of my fangirly routine. I hope you enjoyed this! I'll go back to 'Adams and Eves' or 'Mars and Venus' sometime before the week ends.

Title is from a poem by Katrina Tapang.