Disclaimer: Gundam Wing and all its characters © Sotsu Agency, Sunrise, and TV Asahi. All fics are not for profit.
A/N: Sequel of sorts to Paramour. It's been a while since I last updated. :3 For some reason, the latest updates from Frozen Teardrop motivate me to write again for this fandom.
by Schizoid Sprite
"The knives of jealousy are honed on details. "- Ruth Rendell
Just for the record, Quatre's emotional weather that day was slightly confused and partly soused with sudden bursts of jealous fits.
He just found out that the other man's name is Casimir.
Quatre was positive about that—he heard Dorothy muttering that name one night, smiling, crushing a pillow lovingly against her breasts. Of course he thought that she was just trying to even the score after her little "Sandra-Sandrock" fiasco a few weeks ago, but Dorothy was not that stupid to make him jealous by patterning her strategy after his. Well, technically he did not plan to sleep talk while dreaming about his Gundam—it's definitely not his fault that she misheard him and thought he's cheating on her—but that's beside the point.
That serene smile, he told himself quietly. Dorothy could not fake that.
He sighed and sunk in his seat, thoughtlessly tapping his pen against the desktop. The dull thuds irritated him, but whenever he stopped he would be hearing the man's name echoing in his head again, a sweet three-syllable sound escaping Dorothy's lips. It was driving him crazy and there was nothing he could do about it.
That smile's only for me, he thought selfishly, but he succumbed and added: it used to be only for me.
He did not find any useful information about the man—there are perhaps a hundred Casimirs on L4, probably thousands on Earth and on other colony clusters. All he knew is that the name literally means "destroyer of peace". He rolled his eyes at his own thoughts that followed that; surely Dorothy would not love another man just because of the etymological bits of his name. Names…
All right, all right, his name just means a boring "four", and Dorothy's means "gift of god", and—
"Wait," he told himself with a note of irritation. "Quatre Raberba Winner, you pathetic imbecile. Since when did you start obsessing over name meanings? Dorothy wouldn't cheat on you just because your name's weird and dull… No, Dorothy wouldn't cheat on you, period."
He bit his lip, letting the staccato pen-to-desktop rhythm continue while his restless thoughts tumbled over each other. This was way too childish, but no other ideas came to his mind. Maybe he should confront her about it? She's always so blunt about everything anyway…maybe too blunt to a point that she can break his heart with just a one-word answer he dreaded to hear if he would ask about the man.
He was rehearsing and imagining what his conversation with Dorothy would be like when the woman in question strode inside the office, worsening his turbulent emotional weather. He started at first, then tried to smile. When Dorothy just raised an eyebrow at him, he knew the attempt to look okay was nowhere near successful.
"So…a hundred mega-Helens today, Dorothy," he said in greeting, his voice quivering ever so slightly. Dorothy smiled at that. It was some kind of personal compliment between the two of them—one milli-Helen is a unit equivalent to a beauty that can launch exactly one ship, one mega-Helen a billion. Quatre has been reading a lot of pre-colonial books when he was planetside, and mythologies turned out to be his favorites. He liked Helen of Troy for some weird reason.
"Thank you," Dorothy responded sweetly. "I can totally launch a hundred billion pirate ships for you."
Quatre chuckled at the joke, thinking that he had escaped her with his not-so-good acting skills today. One glance at her eyes—half-squinted but still sharp with a predatory gleam—told him he was wrong, that she knew something was bothering him and she wants to know what.
"Not pirate ships," he said, breaking their eye contact. "Something like my sisters' space yachts. Have you seen them? They're almost like floating five-star hotels."
"Save those for the mega-Helens you can give to those silly giggling girls at your parties. A hundred billion pirate ships suit me more, you know." She tilted her head to the side and smirked. "Or maybe a hundred billion Libra battleships, with a fleet of Dolls on the side."
Quatre laughed, his hand finding its way automatically to the years-old scar on his stomach. Before he could bring up memories again, Dorothy perched atop his table and crossed her forever legs. His eyes crawled on the length of her skin, and he cursed inwardly for falling prey so easily by her old, wheedling techniques. Strategy number one: skins. His irritation shot up a notch when he heard her stifle a giggle.
"Tell me about it," she said, amused.
"What kind of game are you playing with me now?"
He knew from experience that when Dorothy answers questions with questions, he's going to be in big trouble if he doesn't do what she wants. He was not ready, though, so he just pushed back his urge to just hug her and kiss her and beg her to say that there's no other man and—
"I'm not playing any games," he snapped, stopping his own thoughts. "I don't know what you're talking about, Dorothy. I don't have any problems."
Dorothy rolled her eyes, ignoring the sudden frustration oozing out of his voice. "It would've been more convincing if you didn't sound so defensive. Newsflash—I'm your wife. I know there's something bothering you. Please let me take a peek at the seemingly so messy head of yours right now?"
"Honestly, I'm just tired." Quatre sought for something else to say, found none, and cursed himself silently again.
Strategy number two: endearments. "Dorothy, I'm just tired."
There was a long pause.
"Okay," Dorothy finally said with a sigh. Quatre looked up at her now apathetic face, suddenly feeling a tad offended. Not that he wanted her to go on and ask him about it. It's just…usually, Dorothy would go through strategies three and four—an embrace and a peck on the lips—before giving in or guessing his problem right. Everything felt weird in an instant, and then there were butterflies ramming against the walls of his stomach.
Quatre tried to hide his immature disappointment by bowing his head and scribbling onto a sheet of notepad. His eyes widened when he noticed what name he'd written. He quickly crumpled it and hurled it at the trash bin.
"I just stopped by to check on you," Dorothy said with a yawn, tossing a handful of hair over her shoulder. "I'll be on my way to the Peacecraft Gallery in an hour, I promised to help Miss Relena design the place for the exhibit tomorrow. She said you can come over if you want."
He didn't even look at her when he responded. "Um, no thanks."
Just for the record, Dorothy's emotional weather that day was not as good as Quatre thought it was.
"Tell me what the problem is," she snapped suddenly, lifting his face up in a not-so-gentle way, the claw of her fingers on his chin. "I don't like it when you're becoming so bratty like this, Quatre. Was it…something I did?"
He slowly pried her fingers off his chin. He trembled a little, because he knew Dorothy was becoming a little upset and because he didn't want to lie to her all of a sudden. "Nothing, really. Like I said I'm just—"
"It's me who's already tired! Quatre, please? What is it?"
He swallowed the bile in his mouth, unsure about what to do or say. There's a faint blush staining Dorothy's cheeks now, and she looked as if she was about to cry. He had already opened his mouth to ask her about the other man but she beat her to it:
"Is it about Casimir?"
"It is about Casimir, right? You found out…"
It took Quatre a couple of minutes before he gave her a sad smile. "Well…you've been loudly announcing his name every night in your sleep."
When Dorothy just stood there, her reaction unreadable, he suddenly didn't know what to do or what to say next. So she really was cheating on him? It felt like a punch in the gut, one that screws everything in there, even crushing the butterflies that were fluttering there a few moments ago.
"So…" he swallowed, because the syllable embarrassingly shook when it rolled off his tongue. He continued anyway. "So it's true? What I…thought you did? Casimir?"
Dorothy didn't reply readily at that; she just plopped herself on the nearest seat, biting her lip. "It's not that I don't want you to know." She shrugged nonchalantly. "I thought you'll like it."
Quatre felt a raging heat suffusing his face. "Like it? Like it, Dorothy? How on earth will a husband—"
"Calm down, will you?" she cut icily, rubbing her temples. "And don't raise your voice, please. We can just change it if you want, for god's sake."
Quatre scrunched his brow. "What?"
"I said we can just change it," she exclaimed, a hint of exhaustion touching her voice. "The name, I mean. I know you wouldn't like Casimir's meaning, but I have to try. It sounds like an Arabian Prince's name, at least to my ears. But since you didn't seem to like it—and I'm pretty positive it's all about its etymology—well, we can just change it, even pull it out of the names list I made. Perhaps we can even pick a couple for girl's since we're still not sure—which reminds me, I cancelled my check up yesterday, I have to reschedule it— but I'm really hoping it's a boy…"
Realization dawned slowly on Quatre's face, pushing up the corners of his mouth into a smile so wide that it would have shamed the Cheshire Cat's grin. He laughed at himself for the big silly mistake, listening as Dorothy babbled a string of weird sounding names. Apparently, Dorothy hasn't noticed it. He slipped next to her and wrapped her in his arms.
"I bet he's going to be worth some mega-Helens, knowing for sure that he'll take after his mama." He kissed the shell of her ear when she muffled a little laugh. "Billions of miniature Libra ships, with cute little fleets of Dolls—or some robot plastic models—on the side."
Dorothy chuckled. "The next time you don't like something, just tell me. I don't want you acting like the boy Iria once told me you were. Hmmm, I still like the name Casimir though…"
Just for the record, Quatre's emotional weather that day was exactly what he wanted it to be: perfect.