Disclaimer: Gundam Wing and all its characters © Sotsu Agency, Sunrise, and TV Asahi. All fics are not for profit.
A/N: I'm alive! :P The recent activity of Tumblr users that are GW addicts renewed my love for this fandom. Here's a fic for you! Prequel of sorts to Paramour and Etymologies.
by Schizoid Sprite
"Have you ever watched porn, Mr. Winner?"
Quatre started at the question. In a leather chair in front of him, Dorothy smirked with satisfaction, her fingers twirling playfully with the pallid cascades of her hair. He was positive, judging by the predatory flecks gleaming in her eyes, that she already knew what he would say.
There was a short tug-of-war between the almost-irresistible craving to shock her and the stern command of his brain to keep his name clean. "No," he finally said, trying to sound as if he's just humoring her...and failing.
Dorothy chuckled. Everyone else had gone to sleep, after the last notes of music made peace with the cold night air, after all champagne bottles were emptied. Relena had shown him his room earlier but he opted to stay in the ballroom for a while, trying to blink sleep away. For some reason, an alcohol-flushed Dorothy also decided to stay.
"Would you like to see one right now?" She laughed at his astonished face.
"You're drunk, Miss Dorothy," he said nervously when she started to fiddle with the zipper of her dress. "Do you want me to accompany you to your room?"
"Perhaps," she responded with a feigned yawn, letting go of the zipper for a while. "Dorothy Catalonia strip-teasing in front of Quatre Winner in the ballroom. Definitely a tabloid material. Wouldn't want anyone to witness that. My room would be a better venue."
"I—I don't want to watch anyone do anything right now." Quatre could already feel his blush warming his cheeks. He lowered his eyes to Dorothy's naked feet and noticed that her toes were clenched tightly. Were they cold? They looked like small white birds against the wine-colored carpet, and her high heels were nowhere in sight.
"Mr. Maxwell told me earlier that you attempted to…seek pornographic service once."
"Mr. Maxwell lied," he lied with a mocking tone, keeping a mental note of chiding Duo later about disclosing such things. It must be the wine, he thought, but if that was the case…then maybe Duo must have told her something else. Like specifics, which might explain her behavior right now…
Quatre gulped, the epiphany slowly releasing an insipid balloon of memory. He did go to a porn shop with Duo once a couple of years ago, after the latter teased him about "not being man enough," whatever that means. Damn peer pressure. Quatre had only proved how innocent he was when he scrunched an ignorant face at the shop owner's balderdash.
"A 4D Sensolove," Duo repeated with a devilish grin. "Haven't heard of it? It's like portable porn for the rich horny kids."
"I'm not a rich horny kid!"
Duo ignored him. "So you describe your type, then the shutterbugs here, well, they find some girl who matches your descriptions, and then they'll instruct her to lie and pose and moan and do whatever porn girls do on the revolving door of a holographic photographer. This crazy machine captures the sight, smell, and sound of the girl subject in a tiny diamond matrix. That's what you pay for."
Quatre's pinkish pallor had gone ghostly. "C-can we just download something off the internet?"
The shop owner was watching them with an expression of someone who has witnessed this countless times before: unsophisticated badinages between two hormone-driven teens, one of them yet to be baptized with fire. His yellowish smile was a dead ringer for a football finals audience—jam-packed, a large portion halfway on giving a standing ovation.
"Aw, come on, man," Duo teased again, his lopsided smile widening. "We're already here. I'll order one for myself too, okay?"
Order. Like they were in a restaurant. Quatre's strangled conscience was screaming at him, and he almost winced at its sound. Duo proceeded to 'describe his type,' and semi-consciously, with a blush burning his neck, the blond was piecing together the image of his type, too. There was no escape anyway.
"Her hair should be dark and uh, a little unfashionably bobbed," Duo said. "I repeat, not so busty, okay? Underline that. Right. Your turn, Quatre. Let me see what kind of girl turns you on."
"Shut up," Quatre snapped shyly. Duo moved closer to him as he began speaking, which was almost five minutes later. "Blonde. Not strawberry or honey-blonde. Um, you know…platinum. The kind that's almost white, a bit lighter than mine. Then…pale skin. Okay, that's all."
"That's all?" Duo prodded him. "Come on, man. How about her busts? The length of her hair? Let your imagination soar, Q-boy. Think of a movie star or a model."
"I don't know any movie star or model that I like."
"Well, don't think about your sisters. Pale? Blonde? Seriously?"
"I'm not thinking about my sisters!" He hissed with venom. He turned back to the owner, who was still sneering, holding up a clipboard. "Fine, details. Her hair, make it long, perhaps almost reaching her knees—"
"Now don't describe fairytale princesses, Quatre. Rapunzel?"
Quatre ignored him. "Make her eyes icy blue. Oh, and can you make her wear a headband? Right. What else…"
"Her breasts," Duo suggested.
Quatre hesitated—he hasn't really looked at her breasts… "I think that's all. Wait—" how could he forget? "Her eyebrows. A different color from her hair, make them…grayish and a little thicker than normal. Perhaps…with tufts?"
A minute of silence from Duo was already too long, so he looked back at his friend. "Duo?"
"Shit, Quatre," Duo said incredulously. "Shit. You like her!"
Quatre sighed, defeated. The eyebrow detail was a dead giveaway.
When they got the Sensoloves a few days later, Duo went straight to his room to do whatever boys do in possession of any pornographic material. Quatre went straight to his office and chucked his diamond matrix into the trashcan. Duo found it later, but he didn't admonish Quatre or called the blonde "not man enough." The braided boy was even sporting a knowing smile when he shook his head at his friend.
Quatre blinked back to the present. Dorothy was looking almost moonily at him between the curtains of her glossy locks.
"Will you accompany me to my room?" she teased.
"No," he laughed nervously, waving a hand as if to ward off the conversation. "You don't look that drunk anyway. I think…I think you'll find your way." The memory was clobbering him with guilt—and now with embarrassment—but at least he didn't use the material.
Dorothy schooled her face into a hurt expression. "Everyone thought you're a gentleman."
"Then perhaps everyone's right," he shot back meaningfully. "Miss Dorothy, you're too classy to be on porn, even if it's self-made." He added, "you're too special," but Dorothy didn't hear it because she started to talk when he said it.
"I would like to take that as a compliment but I can't. Is my smile not aphrodisiac enough? Not even with alcohol?"
"I didn't drink."
Dorothy laughed, and Quatre thought he heard a hint of offense in her tone.
"Well then. I'll be going now." Dorothy tottered slightly when she got up. Quatre lent himself as a human crutch, gingerly attempting not to let their torsos touch, because honestly he wasn't sure what would happen if they did.
"You didn't ask me to dance during the party," her butterfly-like whisper fluttered to his ear. "I was waiting, you know that? I would have asked you, but Maxwell bet his bottom dollar you would go over and rescue me from the disgusting queue of sycophants that were waiting for me to take their hands. I thought you were my knight in shining Armani."
She's drunk, she's drunk, Quatre repeated like a mantra as he guided her to the door. Duo, I'll kill you. I really will.
"Will you dance with me now?" she asked, stopping in her tracks.
"Miss Dorothy, you can't even stand straight."
"I can. Don't worry, Quatre. I didn't bring any rapier with me—or anything I can skewer your guts with."
He let out a gulp of laugh. "I kind of wished you did, for old time's sake."
"Did you have it removed?" Quatre gasped when she felt her hand slithered to his side, touching the scar from their little Libra pas de deux. "You didn't."
"Souvenir," Quatre said sheepishly. "It's small enough to keep. Some people have bigger wounds, and most of them never heal." They stood in the middle of the ballroom, motionless for a few minutes. He became largely aware that he was holding her hand, and she, indeed, was standing straight. In the faint moonlight splashing from the floor-to-ceiling windows, she looked as if she was about to cry.
And he didn't want that to happen. He took her in his arms, caged her in there, wanting to scare the tears away. She felt her tremble a little, and if she was shivering or laughing quietly, he wasn't really sure. His heart tolled in his ears, and the steady thud-thud-thud of Dorothy's own heartbeats provided the rhythm of their clumsy pseudo-dance.
He led her in her room a few minutes later. She requested him to search for a sleepwear in Relena's cabinet in the room, and when she noticed Quatre's hesitation, she chortled and told him she wouldn't ask him to assist her in changing to them. Unfortunately, there wasn't any nightgown—or pajamas for that matter—in the cabinet.
"What's in there?"
"A tux and a wedding gown," answered Quatre, a tad mystified.
"That will do."
"You can't sleep in a wedding gown, silly."
"Bring me the tux."
When Quatre froze, Dorothy clumsily lunged to get it herself. Without any pause, she stripped off her party dress and changed into the tux, forcing a beet-red Quatre to turn around for a while.
"You can face me now."
Quatre slowly turned around. He squinted to admire how the clothes look on her. Dorothy in a tux? He expected it to be slightly…stirring, but his sight was blocked by a mesh of translucence that seemed to be made up of moonlight. Dorothy was arranging it on his head, and he could smell her wine-tinged breath. Too drunk, he thought. Too soft.
Dorothy stood back to adore the wedding veil on Quatre. "It suits you," she chuckled. "Now, Quatre. Don't pull a runaway bride on me. For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, till dawn to us part."
"Please stay with me till morning?"
"Look, Dorothy. I like you, but I can't—"
"We won't do whatever it is on your mind," she snapped, stifling a yawn. "Just stay with me till I fall asleep. Okay?"
She didn't wait for his answer. She dragged him towards the bed, plunging on the sea of bed sheets that entangled around them like tentacles of a Kraken. Before Quatre could even breathe a word of protest, she was already a beautiful flotsam drifting halfway to dreamland. He beamed through the veil. I just told her that I like her, he thought. And I'm sober. He didn't know what to wish for—if he wanted her to remember that or not.
"It may sound weird or silly, but I'm quite flattered about the Sensolove," Dorothy whispered in her half-sleep, perhaps knowing that Quatre was observing her.
He rummaged in his head for the right words to say. "Um…I don't know. I would still kill Duo." He knew he could go then, when she smiled serenely against the pillow, but he didn't move a finger. "Well, a promise is a promise, Lady Groom. Till dawn do us part."
He wanted to lean in and give her a faux-wedding kiss, but he decided against it. Instead, he imagined what it would be like if they were somewhere else, sharing the same vow except that a d-word in it was altered a bit.