Catherine was grateful that the ringmaster had yet to realize that she had tuned him out before they'd finished signing the contract to perform for some big-time law firm in September. Under any other circumstances she would have been a more respectful listener, especially since he was her boss, but scanning the harbor for a man that could only been seen when he wished it was distracting her.
"Mr Yuy and Ms Dorlain! What a pleasant surprise!" the ringmaster exclaimed, catching Catherine's attention at last. "How funny that we ran into you here!" He shot Catherine a look before turning to the couple and said, "We would love to have you come to another show." The ringmaster stepped closer to Relena and lowered his voice, taking her hands in his. "It's a dreadful shame that you resigned your post, but I just want you to know that any time you decide to visit you will continue to receive our celebrity treatment." He squeezed her hands briefly before moving back.
Relena smiled warmly at the portly man. "That is very kind of you. I'll get in touch with Catherine to find out what time would be best. Thank you so much." She looked at Catherine. "We're getting ready to go to a retirement party. Would you care to join us? You look like you're dressed for a night out."
"We went to a fancy dinner to sign some papers," Catherine explained, rolling her eyes as though it was an annoyance. "I can't believe we ran into you. Heero mentioned we would be in New York at the same time, but we didn't think we'd get to see one another. This is so exciting!"
The ringmaster turned to Catherine. "I suspect you shall be staying with your friends? Promise me you will be careful on the way back to the hotel."
The star knife-thrower began to reply, but Heero cut in. "I promise that she will be in good hands." He slipped his arm around her waist, causing her to blush.
"This is good night then. You young folks have a fun and safe evening. Oh, and Relena, I saw your interview tonight; if you are serious about joining a circus we currently have a position open. Your application will be a top priority." The ringmaster gave a courtly bow and disappeared in the crowd.
Heero raised an eyebrow at Catherine as he offered his free arm to Relena. "Don't you think that performance was a little heavy-handed?" he whispered.
"Shut up," she hissed. "It worked." Raising her voice she said, "Relena, your dress is gorgeous. Where did you get it?"
"I'm borrowing it from NBC for the time being," she explained. They joined the crowd waiting to board the cruise ship and Relena pulled away from Heero to face the couple. "You know that you don't have to pretend that it's a huge coincidence that we're all here tonight. Just because Trowa and I aren't...whatever...doesn't mean that you two have to go sneaking around to spare my feelings." Her voice didn't waver, which was a relief. Just saying his name made her throat feel tight.
Catherine offered a guilty smile as Heero shot her an "I told you so" look. "I'm sorry. That was stupid. We'll be up front about it next time, okay? Heero told me it wouldn't work anyway. You're just too smart."
Relena laughed and vowed silently to avoid asking about her best friend's girlfriend's brother.
When it became apparent that she wouldn't be asking, Heero sighed and turned to his girlfriend. "So, how is your brother doing anyway? I tried to get in contact with him a few weeks ago, but I was unsuccessful."
It was Catherine's turn to sigh. "He's thrown himself into inventing new routines and bar hopping. Anything that isn't related to me throwing knives at his head or who can down a car bomb fastest doesn't merit his attention." She shrugged. "Whaddaya gonna do? I'm his sister, not his babysitter. This trip has been a nightmare because everyone went out two nights ago to do some bar hopping and decided that they're not going to do it until we go to a different city where things are less expensive. He's been sulking since they told him and he hasn't left his hotel room since we got back from rehearsal this morning. I checked on him before dinner, but he didn't want to join us."
It was silent for a short while. Relena crossed her arms and sighed. "How long is it going to be before we get to board the ship? I want to sit down." She was dying for a drink as well. "I'm going to see if I can find Giuliani. I'll be fine, Heero. You shouldn't leave Catherine waiting alone."
Heero glared at her. "I am still responsible for your safety and I do not take that task lightly. Catherine knows how to handle herself. Right?"
The knife thrower nodded and smiled. "I don't mind, Relena. Just try to be quick, okay?"
Relena rolled her eyes. "Fine." She grabbed Heero's hand marched through the crowd.
Heero returned two minutes after. "She's going to stay with Giuliani until we board. They needed to discuss something." He glanced at his watch. "I should head to the hotel now if I'm going to make it back in time to board. Tell Relena you forgot something important and I offered to get it for you."
Catherine studied the contents of her clutch and pulled out her phone. "Here. I don't really want to be without my ID card." She kissed his cheek. "No physical abuse." She watched him walk away before making her way to Relena.
The former Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs was deep in conversation with Giuliani and the morning anchorwoman. Catherine waited for a brief pocket of silence to touch her friend's shoulder. "I hope I'm not interrupting anything terribly important, but I forgot my phone at the hotel and Heero offered to get it for me. I didn't want to stand alone, so I was hoping I could join you."
Relena gave a tight smile that made Catherine feel like she was suddenly very cold. "Of course, Cathy. You're more than welcome. Alexandre, Stanya, this is Master knife-thrower Catherine Bloom. She performs in the circus I was just telling you about. You really should go and see a whole performance. It's breathtaking." She turned to the knife-thrower. "I showed them a clip from one of the shows I went to."
Catherine smiled as they praised her talent and shook hands. "It's very nice to meet you both. Mr. Giuliani, thank you so much for allowing me to join in the festivities. Happy retirement."
The former show host laughed. "The more the merrier, especially with eyes like those. I would be honored if you would join me at my table this evening and perhaps I'll get lucky and you'll gift me with a dance or two."
"That's very flattering, sir, but I would like to sit with Relena. We don't get to see one another very often because of travel." She bit the inside of her cheek, hoping he wouldn't push the invitation.
"Well, that works out well because Relena will also be seated at my table. So it's settled. I hope to get the first dance, young lady." He winked at her.
Relena shook her head. "Alex, you are barking up the wrong tree. She is in a serious relationship with Heero Yuy."
Giuliani's smile faded slightly. He inclined his head in Catherine's direction. "I am still looking forward to engaging you in delightful conversation, but I understand if you won't share a dance with me and I won't do anything to cause Mr Yuy to do anything unnecessary or embarrassing."
Catherine laughed. "Thank you. I'm sure I'll be able to sneak in one dance." Relena touched her arm to get her attention. "What's up?"
"Would you accompany me to the powder room?"
"Um, sure." She had a bad feeling about following the brunette away from people, but she couldn't refuse without being awkward. "Are you feeling okay?"
Relena smiled and pushed open a door, gesturing for Catherine to enter first. "I feel fine," she said as she pulled the door closed behind her. "However, I would be a hell of a lot better if you would tell me how you could possibly think that it was a good idea to send Heero over to your hotel to talk to Trowa." It was an effort to keep her voice down. "I don't know what you two are scheming, but it needs to end now."
Catherine was having a hard time accepting the fact that Relena knew just what her and Heero were up to, so it was only natural that her response consist of denial. "I don't know what you're talking about, Relena. I really did forget my phone. See?" She opened her clutch. "You can even do a body search, if you feel it's necessary. I'd prefer it if you didn't."
"Playing dumb doesn't suit you. I know perfectly well that you gave it to Heero before he left so that you could 'prove' that you forgot it." She snorted. "There would have been a higher chance of me believing that you forgot your ID. That's not something that is easy to part with." She handed Catherine her PDA. "Call Heero and tell him to come back here now."
Catherine shook her head. "No. I'm sure he's upset with Trowa, but I made Heero promise he wouldn't hurt my brother."
"You are being stupid! I'm not concerned about Trowa's safety! In fact, I kind of hope that Heero kicks his ass because he deserves it for being such a jerk!" Relena realized she was yelling and braced herself against the sink, looking at Catherine's reflection in the mirror. She mentally counted to ten before speaking again. "I know that you two are only trying to help and I appreciate that you care about us and our happiness enough to plan out something elaborate to get us back together. I really do. It makes me happier than I can say that you care that much about me. But you need to get it through your head that forcing us back together is not going to make us happy."
She turned away from the mirror and spread her hands. "I'm in love with your brother and I'm hoping that he still loves me and that we're going to get the fairy tale ending, but I also accept that I'm existing in this plane known as reality which means that I also have to accept the fact that I hated him when he left and I still hate him because he has shut me out of his life completely. I know that what he found out about me was hard to handle and he should have heard it from me first. Everything happened so fast...I tried my hardest to tell him. But he never gave me a chance to explain and after everything Misty put us through, I thought he would be more willing to hear my side of the story. This time he is in the wrong and if he wants me back, he has to come and get me all on his own. No outside influences. If I find out that you and Heero are involved in any more attempts to play Cupid, I am severing all ties. Are we clear?"
"Yes." Catherine's voice was subdued. "I'll make that phone call now." Relena handed over her PDA and opened the door. The night air was cool and refreshing after such a closed encounter. Catherine walked a short distance away and waited impatiently for Heero to answer.
Trowa opened the door and laughed, but it sounded wrong. "I was wondering when you were going to darken my doorway." He left the door open and sat on the bed as Heero let himself in. "Can I offer you a drink? Scotch? Tequila?" He held up the bottles and shook them gently.
"Scotch." Heero's answer surprised the former Heavyarms pilot. "So I take it you're still not over Relena? Your room reeks of booze." Heero looked around, vaguely disappointed at the mess he found. Trowa was usually the tidiest person he knew.
"I don't want to talk about her with you." Trowa handed Heero a glass and lifted his own. "Here's to...the fact that life can still surprise me."
"Why don't you want to talk about her with me? If anything, I'm the one you should be looking to for help. I know her better than anyone." Heero took a swallow of scotch. "Is this Glendronach?"
Trowa raised an eyebrow. "Yeah. Aged thirty-three years in sherry casks. It was an apology gift from Misty."
Heero nearly choked. "Are you shitting me? One bottle costs nearly eight hundred dollars. How the hell could she afford that?"
The circus performer smirked and poured himself another measure of scotch. "It is not my job to ask questions, only to accept it with dignity and enjoy it at my leisure. This is delicious." He sat on the bed with his back against the wall, gesturing for Heero to take the desk chair. "I didn't have you figured for a scotch man."
"We all have our secrets," Heero replied, resting his feet on the bedpost. "You, of all people, should know that."
"What are you doing here? Catherine told me that you were meeting for a party or something."
"She forgot her phone and I volunteered to come back for it."
Trowa laughed. "Bullshit. She had her phone at the dinner meeting." He scratched the side of his nose with one finger and pointed at his visitor. "You needed to have an excuse ready for Relena, which means that Catherine is talking to her right now. Are you trying to trick us into getting back together?" He laughed. "Jesus, you better hope Relena doesn't figure it out, but I'm sure she already has. This was Catherine's idea, wasn't it? I told her not to meddle."
Heero sighed. "I told her this wouldn't work. I'm not here to convince you of anything. I had been planning on kicking your ass, if you want the truth. That time has passed now that you've shared this nectar with me. All I'm here to do is tell you something important." He finished his drink and set the glass on the desk.
"I'm all ears."
"Stay the hell away from Relena unless you mean to make amends."
Trowa leaned forward and glared at Heero. "What are you talking about? She's the one that didn't tell me she was already in another relationship, especially one with a woman that happens to be engaged to my best friend, a woman that I think is the devil incarnate! After all the problems that Misty caused, I thought Relena would want to inform me of her current relationship status."
"Her relationship with Dorothy was something that no one but the two of them knew. Dorothy never told Quatre and Relena never told me."
What Trowa said next was born from a lethal mix of alcohol, depression, jealousy and rage and he paid for it in full when Heero's fist connected with his jaw, sending him crashing into the nightstand. Trowa sat up quite slowly, one hand on his head. When he brought his fingers away he saw bright crimson. His lip was swelling rapidly and his jaw felt strange. Pain was beginning to flare throughout his body.
Heero stood over the bleeding clown, cradling his hand. "I think your jaw broke one of my knuckles." His pocket began to vibrate, but he ignored it in lieu of the situation.
"I think your knuckles broke my jaw," Trowa slurred. "Boxer's or brawler's?" He grunted as he stood. "I'm dizzy." He sat clumsily on the edge of the bed.
The former Perfect Soldier looked up from his hand and glared at his friend. "Boxer's you asshole. You deserved it and you know that."
"I know it." Trowa blinked several times and willed the room to stop spinning. "If I was sober -"
"You don't want to finish that sentence." Heero found a scarf and tied it around Trowa's head to help support his jaw and reached out a hand to help the injured man off the bed. "Come on."
"Does that mean we're going to the hospital?"
"Yeah. We need to come up with an explanation for the girls. Catherine cannot know I did this." Heero helped Trowa limp his way to the hotel lobby and asked the receptionist to call them a cab. When Trowa was settled in a chair he stepped away to check his phone and cursed quietly. He decided to blame it on Trowa's delicious scotch and returned Relena's phone call.
"Heero?" Catherine answered and it threw him off for a few seconds.
"Why are you answering Relena's phone?"
"Look, you were right. She figured it out as soon as I told her you left and she is pissed off. You need to come back now before something bad happens." Catherine's voice was low and rushed.
Heero mouthed a string of Japanese profanity before replying, "That's a negative. You and Relena are going to have to enjoy that party without me."
"What?" Her voice went from low to shrill in a split second. "What are you going to be doing in the meantime? Please don't leave me alone with her right now. She's really good at making me feel guilty."
"I need to take Trowa to the hospital. I think his jaw might be broken...and my hand." He paused as she screamed at him. "Calm down. We're going to be fine. No, I didn't do it on purpose. We had a few drinks, talked, and when it was time for me to leave, he decided to walk me to the door. I tripped over his suitcase, he tried to stop me from falling, I accidentally punched him because of how he grabbed me, he lost his balance and we ended up falling on the nightstand."
"Is that my sister?" Trowa called from across the lobby. "Lemme talk to my sister."
Heero rolled his eyes and wondered how much more he could take. "Do you want to talk to your intoxicated brother? ...of course you do." He strode across the lobby and handed the phone to Trowa. "Here. Try to keep your voice down."
Trowa held the phone up to his ear carefully. "Hey sis. I messed up." His words were badly slurred. "I said something bad and Heero punched me for it. I deserved it though. It was really, really bad. How's Relena? I hope she's making you miserable for sending Heero here. My head hurts. Whaaa."
It took all of Heero's willpower to keep his hands from strangling his former comrade-in-arms. "Hang up right now, you stupid jackass."
"Heero says I have to go now." Trowa hung up the phone and handed it back, a grim smile of satisfaction on his face. He stopped speaking unintelligibly. "That's what you get for punching me so hard, you son of a bitch."He touched his jaw gingerly. "Duo always said the easiest way to provoke you was through Relena. I didn't believe him." He held his hands out in a gesture of peace when he saw Heero's expression. "Don't worry. I'm going to stay away from her until I've figured things out. This is an experience I'd rather not reapeat."
Their cab arrived and they got in quickly, urging the cabbie to get to a hospital as quickly as slightly illegally as possible. "You are spectacularly stupid when you're drunk."
Trowa lifted one corner of his mouth. "You sound like her. And you're right. I regret what happened here tonight."
"If something like this ever happens again, I will do my best to kill you."
"Who knows?" Trowa leaned his head back. "Maybe I'd let you. Wake me when we get there."
"You aren't going to sleep." Heero looked over at the man his best friend had fallen for, studied his face for a moment. "What has happened to you?"
Trowa chuckled. "I don't know why I'm going to answer you, but I am. And it's going to be long-winded, but I guess you aren't going anywhere." He stared at the carpeted ceiling. "Ever since the war ended, I've gotten things I never thought I wanted – a home, a family, a job that I truly enjoy, women that throw themselves at me...a name that people know. It was great for a while, but I was starting to feel bored and borderline depressed. I was beginning to wonder why I bothered doing anything when I knew exactly how the day was going to end before I got out of bed in the morning."
He glanced over at Heero and offered an odd smile. "Then you brought Relena to the show one night and everything about that evening was entirely different from what I had expected. She defied every preconceived notion I held of her. She was new. That's what attracted me to her the most at the time. My feelings have evolved in ways I hadn't considered possible and sometimes I think that she's a highly addictive drug and I'm a junkie that can't wait for my next fix. I want her too much. Do you know what I mean?"
Trowa didn't wait for his fellow passenger's reply. "I guess what's happened to me is that I want her all to myself and I will always be competing against someone else for her affection and now I know that someone is Dorothy Catalonia."
"You really are an idiot," Heero muttered under his breath. "Did being with Dorothy stop her from loving you back? Exactly. Misty certainly wasn't your competition and neither is Dorothy. You're competing against your imagination and losing. Badly."
They arrived at the hospital and Trowa paid the fare. They showed the emergency room receptionist their top-priority medical cards and were whisked away to a different section of the hospital to await speedy treatment. "Never thought I'd actually use this thing," Heero commented, shoving the card into the back of his wallet.
"Under normal circumstances we wouldn't," Trowa replied. His jaw was beginning to feel uncomfortable and stiff. "You should have stayed with Catherine and Relena."
Heero grunted, unwilling to pursue that branch of conversation. A nurse appeared. "Mr Yuy and Mr Barton, would you mind sharing a room? We're a little backed up tonight."
"It's not a problem," Heero replied and they followed her into a small examination room.
The nurse lingered in the doorway. "Mr Yuy, Dr Annabell Brightly will be in to see you in just a moment. Mr Barton, I need you to come with me so that we can get some x-rays of that jaw. Can you tell me what happened?" Their voices faded as they walked down the hall. Heero made himself as comfortable as he could on the exam table.
Several minutes later, Dr Brightly arrived. She shook his hand as she introduced herself. "So. It says here that you sustained a work-related injury to your hand. Tell me, does your job involve punching people in the face?"
"Yes." He glared at her when she gave him a flat look. "I'm a bodyguard."
"I see." She pushed a wheeled cart over to the exam table and draped Heero with a lead apron. "Lay your hand on the table, as flat as you can, and hold still." Little did she know that he was a pro at having x-rays taken of various bones and the procedure was over quickly.
She studied the transparencies, Heero looking over her shoulder. "It isn't broken, but you should treat it like it is to prevent further injury. Good thing you know how to punch someone properly or this could have been much worse." She laughed as she began neighboring his middle and index fingers with a stretchy bandage. "I never thought I'd say something like that. " She scribbled some characters on a prescription pad and ripped the page off, handing it to Heero. "Here's a prescription for percocet. Use sparingly. You should soak your hand for ten minutes in the morning and ten minutes in the evening with Epsom salts. Other than that, leave it bandaged and don't stress your hand. You should do this for about three weeks. If it doesn't seem like it's getting better after that time, schedule an appointment with a specialist. I've added a referral if you need it."
"Thank you." He shoved the prescription in his pocket. "Do you have any idea how long it's going to be before my friend is finished?"
Dr Brightly opened the door that led into the waiting room. "I'll have the receptionist tell you if it will be longer than fifteen minutes. Goodbye, Mr Yuy."
Heero made himself comfortable in the waiting room and called Relena's phone, hoping that she would answer instead of Catherine. She picked up on the third ring.
"Catherine tells me that you broke Trowa's jaw." Relena sounded pleased. Heavy bass thumped in the background.
"Affirmative. He deserved it." Heero closed his eyes and tried to ignore the pain in his hand.
"I'm sure he did. I've got your little knife-thrower calmed down so hopefully she won't try to kill you. Is your hand okay? Is Trowa in terrible pain? I kind of hope so."
He frowned. "I imagine he is in some amount of pain. You should cut yourself off from the open bar before you get into trouble. I knew I should have stayed there with you instead of trying to help Catherine with her idiotic plan."
"The things we do for the ones we love, right? Speaking of which, I love you but if you interfere with this Trowa complication again, I am going to sever ties with you permanently. That is not the alcohol talking. We'll continue this discussion in the morning." She hung up, leaving Heero with a terrible feeling in his stomach.
Trowa emerged from the back room a moment later, drugged up but able to function. "You didn't break my face, you bastard. Just dislocated it. Still hurts, but I ain't even mad. Morphine is a hell of a drug."
"Great. Can we go back to the hotel now? The ship will be coming back to the harbor at one-thirty and I plan to escort Catherine and Relena back to the hotel."
"You're staying in the same hotel as us? You suck." Trowa followed Heero back to the emergency lobby where they awaited another cab. They didn't have to wait long and Heero gave the cabbie the address to the hotel. "You're paying for this one, right?"
Heero grunted. "Only if you stop talking for the remainder of this trip." It was the last thing he would have imagined telling the former Silent Soldier. Trowa mimed zipping his lips closed and the car ride commenced in silence.
Relena and Catherine stumbled onto the weather-roughened planks of the harbor docks, giggling and holding on to each other to maintain balance. They walked over to a bench and sat, both removing their high-heeled shoes.
The knife-thrower groaned happily as she massaged her right foot. "Ohhh, that is so much better." She turned to Relena. "Thank you for forgiving me. I really was only trying to help."
"I know. Let's just drop it, okay? I think we've had enough drama for one evening." She glanced around as the harbor began to empty of people. "I thought Heero would be here by now. Do you think we should just head there on our own?"
Catherine yawned and grinned. "Okay, stop me if you think this is a bad idea, but I think we should hide somewhere so that we can see how he reacts when he can't find us. Then we can jump out and scare him."
Relena shook her head violently, several locks of hair falling from her updo. "Nooooo. That's a terrible idea. Gundam pilots are the last people I would ever want to catch unawares. I don't have a death wish any longer, thank you very much."
"You're no fun, Lena. C'mon, we'll just hide over here, see what happens and come out before he goes head-hunting, okay? Please? You made me feel so awful about tonight." Catherine threw in a pout that she normally reserved for Heero.
Relena narrowed her eyes. "Don't think your 'sexy pout' is going to help you convince me. I'm not allowed to be attracted to you." The former politician looked around. "I guess we can hide inside that information booth, but you have to promise me that we'll come out of hiding before something bad happens." They leaned against one another to stop the world from spinning as they made their way over to the booth. Surprising Catherine, Relena picked the lock. "Duo taught me while I was avoiding the media," she explained. "I don't think he expected me to use my new skill for evil. Man, I wish Duo were here right now to help me with this mess."
They made themselves as comfortable as they could in the cramped space, Catherine sitting on the chair and the smaller girl perching lightly on her lap, both leaning back to stay in the shadows. "Let me know if your lap starts to fall asleep," Relena whispered.
"I think I'll be okay. Hopefully Heero will arrive before that happens." Not a minute had passed before they caught sight of their target jogging briskly down the dock. "There he is," Catherine whispered excitedly. "He looks like he's in a hurry."
Relena giggled, but the sound died instantly when Heero turned around and yelled, "Hurry up! If we don't find them, I am going to hold you personally responsible!"
"Maybe if someone hadn't dislocated my jaw, I wouldn't be on painkillers and I'd be able to go faster!" Trowa retorted, but quickened his pace to catch up.
"Maybe if you weren't an idiot, I wouldn't have had to dislocate your jaw in the first place," Heero grumbled. "I don't understand why you didn't stay behind anyway. Relena is not going to want to see you like this. Speaking of which, where the hell are her and Catherine?"
Relena turned to face Catherine with a horrified look on her face. "Catherine, I can't go out there now! Oh, why is Trowa here?" she fretted.
Trowa's sister rubbed her back to calm her down. "It's going to be okay. I'll go and see if I can't get him to walk back by himself." She frowned as her happy buzz faded. "Heero really is the worst sometimes, isn't he?" They maneuvered so that she was able to exit the booth. She ducked behind the low structure and smoothed her dress and hair before stepping onto the dock once more. "Heero, there you are!" she called in greeting. Heero walked over with Trowa in tow, realizing quickly that she was intoxicated.
"Where is Relena?" he asked in reply, which earned him an angry glare. "What?"
"I'm your girlfriend and you can't take the time to say hello to me properly? What the hell is wrong with you? You care about her more than me, don't you?" Catherine stopped short when she saw Trowa up close. "Holy hell, what did you do to my brother?" She pushed past Heero to scrutinize Trowa's injuries. "Are you okay, sweetie? You look terrible!"
"I'll be fine. But seriously, Catherine, where is Relena?" Trowa asked through his stiff jaw.
The knife-thrower threw her hands in the air. "If you're both so concerned about your precious Relena, then why did you both abandon her, hm?" Twin sets of bewilderment and guilt met her gaze. "If you must know, she is safe and nearby, but do you really think she wants to see you, especially when we're both drunk off our asses?" She giggled, her happy mood returning. "Speaking of asses, Relena's is really nice. When she was sitting on me, it wasn't uncomfortable at all! What?"
"In what context was she sitting on your lap, exactly?" Heero demanded. Trowa folded his arms over his chest and glared at her.
"Oh. My. God. Get your minds out of the gutter. We didn't magically turn into horny sluts after the third drink, okay?" Catherine reached up and released her hair from the large glittery clip. "Anyway, it's getting late and all I want to do is crawl into my bed and sleep until noon." She looked between her brother and her boyfriend. "Relena doesn't want to see you right now, Trowa, and all things considered I don't think she's going to want to see you either, Heero. She probably heard this entire exchange. Morons."
Heero released the breath he'd been holding and wrapped his arms around his girlfriend. She resisted for all of two seconds before melting against him. "I'm sorry, Catherine. I didn't mean to insult either one of you. I was just worried about both of you and it put me on edge. So where is she?"
Catherine turned and pointed. "She's in the information booth. We were hiding to see what would happen when you couldn't find us, but you ruined it by bringing my brother along. No offense, Trowa."
Trowa grunted and walked over to the information booth. "Shit. Heero, you're really not going to be happy about this, but..." He trailed off and waited as Heero sprinted over, already guessing what he would find.
Relena was gone.