04_after: (out of focus)
Quatre Winner ([personal profile] 04_after) wrote2010-10-15 02:38 am

(no subject)

What wakes Quatre up is a quiet noise between the kitchen and the main room -- the sound of someone moving the curtain between the two, perhaps.

He's not worried; nothing feels threatening, and Trowa's not lying on the bed. He expects that his boyfriend has just gone to grab something. But he's awake now, so he stands and stretches slightly.

His pajamas rub against his skin -- which should be the first sign that he's still dreaming, he hadn't changed into pajamas before sleeping, but he doesn't notice it -- and he walks out into the kitchenette, and then pulls open the curtain to the main room.

There's a tall man with dark hair and a mustache, seated at his desk, reading through one of the paper reports Quatre brought with him.

Quatre stands -- staring, shocked.

"Do you really think it's wise to be working towards acquiring the L3 contracts while you're still doing repairs in the K-39 sector?" the man asks, glancing up slightly. He's speaking unmixed Arabic, the formality of which isn't lost on Quatre.

"If we waited, the L3 colonies would fall further into disrepair and the government would trust us even less, as it is we're still only mostly through the diplomacy; there was also danger of a power vacuum -- Father," Quatre hesitates, slightly, "what are you doing here?"

"Making sure you don't run the colony into the ground," Mr. Winner replies, and both he and Quatre wince at the sentence the moment after he ends it. "To you and your sisters' credit," he continues, sounding mildly apologetic, as he turns the chair and stands, "you don't seem to have done so -- hm." Mr. Winner stares at Quatre for a half moment, taking a few steps closer. Quatre doesn't move. "You're taller than I expected."

Quatre half-smiles, even though his father still looms over him by several inches, and says "It's been a long time," quietly. They both stand there awkwardly for a long moment, before Quatre draws himself together and extends a hand to the seating area. "Would you like to sit? I have beverages, if you want anything."

Mr. Winner relaxes, almost imperceptibly, and holds up a hand in gracious refusal. "I'll be fine, but of course -- we should sit."

They do; Mr. Winner takes the armchair, and Quatre sits on the couch. Mr. Winner is thinking about something, in the way Quatre's long learned from watching him on conference calls and in his office, and talking to his eldest daughters, elbows crossed on his knees as he looks down over them. Quatre is quiet, almost reflexively.

"You stayed a Gundam pilot."

Quatre was expecting the statement, but he still feels the breath catch in his throat for a moment before he pushes the feeling away. "Is this really what we want to discuss?"

Mr. Winner straightens, slightly. "Would you rather discuss trivialities? I'm talking to the man who holds my family's future in his hands; I think his decision-making might be of importance."

"If you hadn’t noticed," Quatre says, voice cold, "we saved Earth."

"And how many died, unnecessarily?"

Quatre is quiet. His father looks to him, and he swallows. "Too many."

They are silent, and then Mr. Winner sighs. "You know that war engenders war," he says, slowly. "Don’t you, Quatre?"

"Sometimes,” Quatre easily falls into the old rote, though it's not less heartfelt for its familiarity, "the only way to buy peace is through defeating those who oppose it."

"And that was your logic behind destroying that colony?" Mr. Winner's tone is disbelieving, wry.

"Father -- " he lets out a harsh breath, and squeezes his eyes shut against the tears surprised out of him. "No, no, of course not -- that was different -- that's not -- "

There's the noise of his father standing up from the chair, and he's opening his eyes as Mr. Winner sits near to him, a look on his face of uneasy surprise. "I shouldn't have," he starts, and stops. "I'm sorry." He pats Quatre's knee, awkwardly consoling. "You know -- I don't agree with you. But you know I love you, don't you, son?"

Quatre stares back at him, trying to think of what to say, before he's jolted out of the dream as his boyfriend wakes up.

He lies on his bed for a moment, staring at Trowa, before letting out a shaky breath. He's guiltily, overwhelmingly, relieved.
3nanashi: (Sidelong.)

[personal profile] 3nanashi 2010-10-17 05:29 am (UTC)(link)

Trowa doesn't say anything, but his brows draw down infinitesimally in a silent, concerned question.

(It's easy to push back his own emotions -- regret, uncertainty, wistfulness and something akin but deeper -- with Quatre looking like that, and with the room solid and real around him. He's not asleep any more. That was just a dream; he can ignore it.)
3nanashi: (Comment.)

[personal profile] 3nanashi 2010-10-17 06:12 am (UTC)(link)
Trowa's head shifts slightly, in the same dismissive gesture: nothing to worry about, it's fine.


"Just a dream."

Even mentioning his dreams to someone else is -- strange. Nothing he's unwilling to do, but unfamiliar. Cathy doesn't ask, any more than he asks about hers, and no one else would.

But it's also odd, and a lot more immediately relevant, that they woke up at once, like this.
3nanashi: (Hmm.)

[personal profile] 3nanashi 2010-10-17 07:02 am (UTC)(link)
Trowa sits up with him, letting his hands rest quietly in his lap. The bedside table's small lamp illuminates the room, leaving plenty of shadows but more than enough light to see by.

"Sure," he says.

It's an echo of the past, that question.

Apparently it's a night for that.
3nanashi: (Observe.)

[personal profile] 3nanashi 2010-10-17 07:49 am (UTC)(link)
Trowa follows.

(He doesn't miss Quatre's glance, or the way his back relaxes after it.)

Years ago, in Peacemillion's kitchen, he'd sit at the big table under the harsh spaceship lighting, waiting while Quatre fussed with tea and water and cups, scrupulously giving both of them space, for the dreams Trowa couldn't remember and Quatre's guilt that he only half-understood. They talked of tactics and recent battles, when Quatre brought the tea over, or Quatre would chatter of other things while Trowa listened in silence.

Now, he pauses for an instant, and then joins Quatre by the counter.

After a moment, he lifts a hand to rest his fingertips against Quatre's upper arm -- light, and brief, and deliberate.
3nanashi: (Soldier.)

[personal profile] 3nanashi 2010-10-17 08:12 am (UTC)(link)
. . . Okay.

Trowa doesn't actually care much about the kind of tea. It's tea; it's fine. He's not allergic to anything.

He picks mint, after a moment. (It's closest.

And it's not a kind Hino Takashi or Naomi Poncet or David Harrison used to brew, either.)
3nanashi: (Hmm.)

[personal profile] 3nanashi 2010-10-17 08:33 am (UTC)(link)
Quatre doesn't usually deflect quite this assiduously.

It's telling.

"Sorry," Trowa deadpans, since apparently that's how Quatre needs this conversation to go.

"Next time I'll let you pick."

If they're talking predictability.
3nanashi: (Talk.)

[personal profile] 3nanashi 2010-10-17 09:01 am (UTC)(link)
(Quatre could ask -- but he never will, because that's not how they work, and Trowa's not going to volunteer to talk about it.

It is, he feels, irrelevant to discuss.)

"The history's not bad."

"She did her research pretty well. Her policy conclusions are more biased."

Trowa doesn't really read books for objectivity, but he approves when he finds someone making a decent try at it. (That's rare.)
3nanashi: (Down.)

[personal profile] 3nanashi 2010-10-17 09:15 am (UTC)(link)
Something else that's telling: every time Quatre tries to adjust his cufflinks in a t-shirt. By this point it's not telling Trowa anything he doesn't know perfectly well, though.

"Yeah," he agrees.

"She's trying to capitalize while it's newsworthy. Publication was this year."

There aren't really any popular books about L3's environmental support network and the optimal infrastructure thereof. But insofar as they exist, Agnes Werther's biography of the semi-famous engineer Janine Grant is trying to be one; it's too scrupulous about its technical details to really succeed as popular history, though. This is part of why it's gaining fans among certain corners of the colonies' scientific establishment instead.
3nanashi: (Hmm.)

[personal profile] 3nanashi 2010-10-17 09:48 am (UTC)(link)

That covers a lot. (It describes Trowa's dream, too, but -- it describes a lot of things.)

Trowa's listening.
3nanashi: (Down.)

[personal profile] 3nanashi 2010-10-17 05:31 pm (UTC)(link)
Trowa is silent for a moment, watching.

Then, "Yeah."

He doesn't either.

Not like this one, anyway.
3nanashi: (Hmm.)

[personal profile] 3nanashi 2010-10-18 04:01 am (UTC)(link)
As he accepts the mug: "It's Milliways."

Which means, who knows.

(This isn't audibly dry. There might be a tiny thread of that underneath, anyway -- though it's also a perfectly straightforward statement.

Milliways makes it a lot harder to rule possibilities out. But possibilities aren't the same thing as certainties.)
3nanashi: (Down.)

[personal profile] 3nanashi 2010-10-18 04:55 am (UTC)(link)
(Trowa doesn't know how a conversation with Captain Singh would really go. He's never spent much time thinking about it, nor wanted to. There's no point in planning it out; if the captain ever comes to Milliways, they'll find out then.

But whatever he might have pictured -- it wasn't that.

It didn't feel like a dream either.)

He doesn't say any of that.

What he says is, "A lot of people around Milliways talk pretty freely."

"We can see what turns up."

It's not the same as a more active investigation -- but if there's some sort of dream magic going around, that seems the kind of thing you're likely to hear about.

(Especially if you regard eavesdropping as a lifelong hobby. Um.)
3nanashi: (Private.)

[personal profile] 3nanashi 2010-10-18 05:23 am (UTC)(link)
The look Trowa buries in a sip of tea isn't actually a smile. It is, in fact, just as impassive as he was a moment ago.

But there's fondness underneath.

"All right."

He would have anyway. But it's a little more targeted with this conversation as evidence to back it up.