04_after: (out of focus)
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.
04_after: (open)

When Quatre's watch goes off, he wakes up immediately, the late evening light drifting in through the window. He'd fallen asleep on top of the covers, though he expects the workers here wash them regularly. It was as much for comfort as anything else.

He changes into the clothes the bar gave him--the same black linen pants and practical shoes as it gave him after the Cullen party, but a soft blue-grey sweater instead of a long sleeve shirt. He carefully stores his already folded business clothes in the bag, and takes it down with him to the Bar (locking the door behind him).

He drops the bag and key off at the bar, and peels the tangerine he'd picked up while sitting with Trowa and Cass, and he waits for the former.


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Quatre Winner

April 2012

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