"What do you mean you can't arrange for bail?" Quatre demanded of Ashe, one of his finest corporate lawyers. For some odd reason,
he wondered again just why the two best attorneys he could locate insisted on going by a single name each; it just didn't seem dignified.
The golden haired man looked a bit skittish since he, too, was unaccustomed to being thwarted in legal moves. "Sir," the man adjusted
his tie for the third time in less than a minute, driving Quatre crazy. "You know that myself and Jojo are working on this as much as
possible, but the government simply will not budge. They are firmly convinced that anyone trained to be a Gundam pilot is too risky to
release on bail considering the strength of the charges against him." The man nervously twitched a bit under Quatre's clear displeasure.
"So what, Ashe?!? That's why I pay you and 'Jet' so damned much money, to get things done! If you could handle that hostile take-over
of Petcetera, how is it you can't get a 17 year-old released on up to $10 billion or more?" Quatre demanded angrily.
Twisting his tie nervously, the lawyer considered how best to answer a question he couldn't really answer in the first place. The man had
adjusted said tie once too often and Quatre simply reached over and snatched it, discovering to his personal horror that it was a
*clip-on* tie of all things! In utter disgust, he threw it in the recycle bin then caustically remarked, "You can also learn to tie a Windsor
knot like everyone else, too, Ashe!"
Looking appropriately cowed, the attorney finally answered truthfully, "Mr. Winner. You know that we would try everything legally
available to carry out your wishes, however, there is nothing we can do at this time regarding bail. There is a hearing scheduled to
reconsider it and we were able to get that scheduled rather quickly, next week in fact, but for now there is no option on the matter."
Quatre's face darkened further, but Ashe had wisely held back a trump card. "But, sir, there is one piece of good news! I did arrange
for a change in the "no visitors" policy since bail was denied. I was able to obtain visiting for a single individual every other day until the
hearing." Ashe knew his career was riding on this and watched his employer's face carefully.
"Wonderful!" Quatre beamed. "When will that begin and how long is the visitation?"
Relaxing knowing he was safe after all instead of trapped like a rat in a maze, Ashe leaned back finally more relaxed. "It begins
tomorrow, sir. One person only, 30 minutes, from 11:00am until 11:30am only, maximum security, no personal contact or exchange of
materials, but whoever visits Mr. Yuy will be allowed to sit opposite him and speak through a phone connection to bridge the double
reinforced bullet-proof glass." Taking a breath and straightening some papers, he added, "I assume you'll want me there to begin
preparing an argument for the bail hearing?"
"NO!" Quatre nearly exploded. "Um, sorry, Ashe, but no, there's someone else who needs to see that man far more than you do. We
can handle the bail arguments later, right now we need to let his fiancÚ see him before Duo goes out of his mind entirely."
"Hmm, unusual, sir," Ashe looked a bit dejected hating to miss the opportunity he had used so many favors to obtain in the hopes of
increasing the odds on gaining a bail agreement.
"Perhaps, Ashe, but those are my orders nonetheless." Quatre stood to indicate the man was dismissed. "You will tell no else of this, do
you understand? All of this information regarding bail being denied as well as the visitation issue are strictly for my use at this time. The
only person you may discuss this with is Jojo since he will work on the preparations for the hearing. While I would have preferred to
have you report back a successful mission of obtaining Heero's release on bail, this will simply have to do for now."
A curt nod of the head sent Ashe nearly scurrying out of the office. He was most displeased since his boss obviously failed to see how
much he had wagered to get what he'd gotten and didn't much like the treatment. But, he reminded himself the money was indeed quite
good, and he'd go on home to Jojo in their three story townhouse and they could talk it over together sharing a bottle of wine on the
sundeck. With the extra money from the case they might even have enough to invest in that old lighthouse the two wanted to buy. Yes,
that was good enough reason to put up with this nonsense.
The next morning, Quatre was quite surprised to see his "daughter" happily ensconced in a comfortable chair in the sunlit breakfast nook
chattering away with Duo over a million nothings. The simple fact that Duo had finally found someone who liked to talk as much as he
did, was no surprise, but the fact that they were both up at such an early hour, 7:30am, was astounding to him. He was very thankful his
headache had receded to manageable proportions and could tolerate the sun better again.
"Ohayo, Quatre-daddy!" Laurel sung out with a silly grin on her face that looked suspiciously like the same one Duo used to wear all the
"'Ohayo'? Laurel, when did you learn Japanese?" He leaned down for a hug before settling down next to the pair making sure he caught
Duo's eye with an inquisitive look. Duo grinned but shrugged to indicate it wasn't his doing.
"Ooooh! Is *that* what it is? Nifty!!" The girl would have jumped up and down if it weren't for the casts. "I have really super good
news, but I have to wait for Trowa-daddy, too." She beamed brighter than the morning sun, sending Duo off into a bit of a giggle fit for
reasons that would never be clear to Quatre. Obviously, Duo had found someone who thought the same way he did and they were both
deliriously happy with it.
Duo stopped giggling to gasp out, "Well, that's going to be a wait, Laurel-my-love! He *never* gets up this early!"
"'Who' never gets up this early?" a quiet voice asked, shocking even Quatre.
"Trowa? What are you doing up so early? Is something wrong?" Quatre was confused to see his night-owl lover up so early. Granted,
Quatre preferred to be dealing with business matters in his office by 8am whenever possible and didn't even see Trowa until around 10
most mornings, but this did seem a bit strange.
Laurel, however, seemed perfectly content to once again sing out, "Ohayo, Trowa-daddy!" Then she grinned again and waited for a
Trowa, ever the doting "daddy" did just that then took another look. "Duo?" he asked automatically suspicious.
"Hey? Why does everyone assume *I* did this? She said the same thing to me this morning! I assumed you'd taught it to her!" He
laughed thinking it was a convoluted joke.
Laurel dissolved into giggles once more, leaving the three men to stare at her in open wonderment. "Now that Trowa-daddy's here, I
can tell you my big news! I had a dream last night to say 'Ohayo' to each of you this morning and then we'd have waffles!"
"Um, a dream?" Duo looked at his friends for help, forgetting the child's gift which they had thought had been lost.
Quatre, however, was ecstatic! "Your dreams came back?! Oh, Sweetheart! That's wonderful news! I'm so happy for you, do you feel
better now, angel?"
"Yes, baby," Trowa added, concerned yet pleased. "Are you happy about this?"
"You bet I am! I was so scared I wouldn't ever have a special dream again and then I couldn't help people anymore and everything!"
She was totally delighted, her joy putting the freshly cut flowers on the table to shame as mere dull objects compared to her smile.
"Marvelous," a deep bass voice added. "And for the princess, a special breakfast surprise, waffles!" Rasid himself had walked into the
breakfast nook carrying an elegant setting for the girl who had quietly captured the hearts of virtually all of the Winner Estate staff.
"Goody!" She smiled. Then remembered her manners, "Thank you very much, Mr. Rasid for going to so much trouble for me!" The
large man smiled fondly at the child happily eating her waffles; who would have ever guessed he was such a powerful warrior with an
apron around his waist?
Suddenly, Quatre recalled the good news he'd received the night before from his lawyer and determined now was a good time to share
it. "Guess what, Duo?" He grinned.
"Wha'?" Duo mumbled around a mouthful of the sickeningly sweet cereal he loved to eat for breakfast. Granted, as gaunt as he was, the
extra calories would be well spent on him, but it still seemed a bit much to the others.
"You and I are going for a little trip today to see a friend."
"Huh? What trip? I thought I had to stay here 'doctor's orders' and all that bull---oops!" He glanced at Laurel happily eating her waffle.
Suddenly caught up in the "family" atmosphere and not wishing to offend the "fathers" he amended his language. "Um, I mean 'balogna'?"
"Well," Quatre tried to draw out the suspense a bit longer, but gave in. "We've gotten permission for you to visit Heero!"
For once, Duo Maxwell was actually speechless. "Would you, uh, repeat that, Q-man? I could have sworn you said something about
seeing Heero." Duo was very confused.
Quatre grinned at the reactions on Duo's and Trowa's faces, he'd forgotten to mention it to Trowa obviously. "Yes, Duo, I got my
lawyers to talk to the review board about at least getting some visitation rights since they've been so impossible about the bail issue. So,
we get to have one visitor every other day for a half-hour visit! Isn't that wonderful?"
"You mean Heero and I can be in the same room together?" Duo still didn't quite understand the enormity of the favor being granted
"Well, yes and no. Yes, you'll be in the same room, but you won't be able to touch him. He's in a maximum security prison, remember?"
Quatre knew Duo had been told this before, but obviously Duo had chosen to forget or ignore it. "They don't allow prisoners to have
direct physical contact with visitors, but this is far better than most people could hope for. A full half-hour is almost unheard of, but we
argued that he was simply waiting for a hearing and had not be convicted of anything, so they gave us more than most people get. Isn't it
"Yeah, great, I think." Fumbling nervously with his napkin, Duo looked like a lost child for a moment before regaining his composure.
"So, when do we leave? Do I have time for a shower? Oh, damn! I mean, 'darn'! I don't have anything nice to wear!"
Laurel giggled a little but didn't say anything until all three teens stared at her long enough. "What?" She asked innocently. "Did I say
"What, exactly, were you laughing about, Laurel?" Trowa was again trying to be a disciplinarian but it didn't seem to phase the child.
"Oh, sillies!" She smirked at all of them. "He has that pretty new outfit I picked out, remember? The one with the purple shirt like his
eyes and the black pants?" Then she looked accusingly at Trowa, "You *did* order it like I asked you to didn't you, Daddy?"
In a rush, Trowa explained, "Yes, I did order that, baby. Duo, she picked out a silk shirt and some black brushed denims for you before
you got here. She picked out some other stuff, too, but obviously she wants this outfit for today for some reason. She also ordered new
boots and a bunch of other stuff that I wondered about, but it gave her something to do."
Duo wasn't sure he liked the idea of his wardrobe being selected by a 7 year-old simply to give the girl "something to do". He frowned
but remarked, "Well, Laurel, I'll check out what you got, but don't get upset if any of it isn't quite right, okay? I am, after all, the 'original'
Shinigami and I've got a fashion statement to make!" He puffed up with pride.
"Sure, Uncle Duo!" Laurel snickered, knowing full well he'd love everything she'd picked out.
"'Uncle'?" Trowa asked surprised.
"Sure am, aren't I, Sugar-bug?" Duo tickled Laurel making her giggle. "Laurel 'adopted' me since we pilots were a family, in her mind
that made us other three 'Uncles', cool, huh?" Oddly enough, the young man relished the idea of having a 'niece', no matter how he had
been lucky enough to get her.
"You can look at everything else Laurel picked out for you later, Duo." Quatre spoke up glancing at his watch. "You will have to hurry
up if you really do want a shower first. We need to leave here in an hour to make the scheduled time."
"You got it!" He agreed happily, wolfing down his breakfast before heading for a shower and change.