Mr. Tangerine Speedo
Chapter Five: The Jealous Guard Dog Routine Is Purely Platonic
Quatre disappeared into one of the many parlors with Relena and the evil twins, Duo and Dorothy. He said they were going to chat. Ha. Plot his downfall, a downfall he couldn't see coming. And he didn't want me there.
There was really only one thing left to do. I slipped off to Relena's room to make a quiet, private phone call. Sure, Mr. Quatre "I'm not a little boy" Winner would be angry with me for it, but what else could I do? He was too trusting. He was too innocent. He still believed in human decency. He probably had no idea that, that Nicholas pervert only wanted to play What's In Daddy's Pants? games.
Not on my watch. No. Fucking. Way.
Sure, maybe he'd been taking a few lessons in hand-to-hand from Wufei, but that didn't mean he couldn't be blindsided by an oversized slimy weasel with an ulterior perverted motive. He wouldn't be able to defend against that sort of thing because he'd never see it coming. I parked myself in a wingback near the foyer, just in case backup did not arrive in time to properly chaperone this little...date...that Nicholas pervert managed to engineer.
Later, Heero planted himself in front of me, arms folded across his chest, and his head cocked to the side like that yapping dust mop of his did when he was amused at someone else's expense. "Quatre and his date left through the West entrance over two hours ago."
Well fucking Christ. I shrugged.
"Do you remember when you took care of me after Wing self-destructed?"
His braided Cocker Spaniel must have addled his brains more than I'd previously thought.
"And I told you to follow your emotions?"
I couldn't let that by without a good glare. "What?"
"It only works when you're honest about your emotions."
"You want me to be honest about my emotions."
"You, the man who uses a closet dominatrix with a slight megalomania problem for couples counseling, are telling me to be honest about my emotions."
His eyebrows drew down and he puffed up a little. "I am honest about my emotions."
Sometimes, I just wanted to smack some sense into him. Honestly. "So tell me, Mr. Honesty, why are you always telling Master Duo what to do?"
His glower curdled. "I do not tell Master what to do. Don't change the subject. I'm not the one trying to convince himself that he's not gay."
I gave him a bored smirk, just because it would irritate the hell out of him. "I'm not gay."
The rat bastard snorted. "So your jealous guard dog routine is purely platonic."
"I'm not jealous."
Heero grinned. "Of course not. And that wasn't you trying to strangle me because I've seen him naked."
"I was strangling you because you're a jerk."
He snorted again.
"Besides, caring about Quatre doesn't mean that I'm going to defile him. He doesn't deserve that."
Heero choked on his next breath. "Defi--"
"Trowa Barton!" Quatre shoved Heero aside before the front door managed to slam shut. "How dare you!"
Heero landed on his ass. I approved.
Duo bounced in and helped Heero to his feet. Well, he copped a few feels while Heero stood up. "Quit abusing my man, Quatre. What's up? You're back kinda early. How'd your date go?"
Quatre didn't take his narrowed eyes off of me. "As if you don't know, Trowa Barton."
"Oooh, the full name treatment. Too bad you don't have a middle one. It always works better with three names. What'd you do anyway, bang boy? Call Rashid or something?" Duo bounced in place, grinning.
"Of course not." I blinked at him innocently.
"You did!" Duo hooted, arms flailing just enough to get in a few grabs on Heero's butt.
"I'm not stupid, Trowa." Quatre crossed his arms over his chest. "Of all the people that knew I had a date with Nicholas, you're the only one who objected. You're the only person here that seems to think I need a nanny. Or should I say were. You took care of that, didn't you? Oh, you had to call Rashid. Not only did you see fit call him, you had to tell him that my virginity was in mortal peril at the hands of an oversized, corrupt pervert!"
Well, it was the truth. Quatre was beautiful. He deserved someone who would cherish him, not some freak of nature. I frowned and wisely kept my mouth shut.
"My first date was a complete disaster and it's all your fault!"
"Don't you dare now Quatre me! Nicholas canceled lunch on Wednesday! Worse, he canceled our date next Friday! I've dated for exactly one hour and thirty-eight minutes and I've already been dumped!"
I thought Rashid had clearly understood the fact that Quatre was not to be hurt by something so callous as dumping.
"Oh, Nicholas fed me that idiotic line about having herpes that you forced that roustabout into telling Cathy a few months ago. I can't believe you, Trowa. Aside from your sterling recommendation that Nicholas is an oversized, corrupt pervert, he failed the MQSP because he was late paying his taxes in 195. Why? Because his house didn't survive a gundam attack and he had to get an extension. Guess whose gundam that was. Heavyarms! If that's not malice aforethought, I don't know what is!"
"MQSP?" Dorothy seated herself on a divan with all of the royal dignity of a queen cricket.
Quatre gritted his teeth. "The Master Quatre Suitor Protocol."
"I see. Your date didn't go well?"
"Abdul was the maitre d. Auda was the waiter."
"Well, at least they tried to keep it undercover," Duo soothed.
"We went to the fair, not a restaurant! We split a pretzel on the midway! They tried to serve us with the house special, a chastity belt. The chastity belt they had outfitted for Nicholas was covered in spikes! When I tried to win him a stuffed animal at the laser rifle game, Hasim kept firing at Nicholas' head while Fariq critiqued his shots!" Quatre sucked in a deep breath. "The worst, oh, the absolute worst was the carousel. After explaining a few of the preferred methods for making a man into a eunuch, Rashid started telling Mahir why the French made the best eunuchs. Nicholas is a Chevalier!"
Duo shuddered. "Oookay, can we not talk about this anymore? My little guy is trying to make friends with my spleen now."
Heero petted his furball's braid. "Don't worry Master. I won't let the Maganacs castrate you."
Quatre covered his face with his hands. "I'll never have sex!"
And that would be a bad thing why?
Quatre peeked at me between his fingers. "Just tell me why you could do something like this to me, Trowa. I thought we were friends."
He shouldn't be dating. Or thinking about sex. With that Nicholas creature least of all. It would probably be smarter not to tell him that. "I don't want you hurt."
"You hurt me, Trowa. Not Nicholas. You."
In the sudden silence, everyone stared at me with varying degrees of "child abuser" on their face. Except Dorothy. She lifted an eyebrow and smirked.
"Quatre, darling." Dorothy's lips slithered into a lecherous smile. "I'll introduce you to Alessandro and Antonio. They're the most gorgeous twins and they do everything together. I mean everything. And they do it so well."
Twins? Twins? Defiling my Quatre? Not on my watch, sister. I pushed Quatre behind me. "You'll keep your twins to yourself, Catalonia."
Heero grunted and shook his head. "Not gay."
"Shut up, Yuy. If you kept your fuzzy rat terrier on a leash like you should have, Quatre wouldn't be out there trying to get himself ravished by a bunch of oversized, oversexed perverts!"
I turned on the furball. "You keep away from Quatre. He doesn't need your help! He definitely doesn't need to be out there dating! And this nonsense about having," I paused to shudder, "sex with that Nicholas. This is all your fault!"
I barely registered the feel of something stinging the back of my knee and a light pressure on my back. I was too busy registering the feel of the floor rushing up to hit me on the head. I bounced off of the ottoman, flipped a horizontal 180 and landed flat on my back. Quatre's not so smiling face blinked at me, upside down.
"Trowa, I think it's time we had a little talk." He glowered at the rapt audience around us. An audience, I might add, that I planned on humiliating as publicly as possible some time in the future. "Alone."
No one moved.
The glower deepened. "Alone, as in Trowa and I, not alone as in the whole group."
I pulled myself to my feet. No else one moved. "Get out!"
"Fine, Quat, I see how you are. No consideration for your friends whatsoever." The hairball actually sounded miffed.
Quatre grinned. "If you want to be entertained by this kind of thing, watch a soap opera."
"Fine, okay, we're leaving, but you're telling me everything later, got it?"
"Uh uh. I want to know everything."
Quatre frowned. "I don't think so. This is private."
Duo grinned. "Then I'll just go and tell Wufei all about the little sleepover we had this week."
Quatre turned beet red. "That's blackmail."
"I prefer to think of it as an incentive."
"You tell Wufei a single word about that, then I'll be more than happy to let him know why the female impersonators at the Starlight Lounge seem to think he wants their help to get in touch with his feminine side, but he's just to shy to admit it."
It was Duo's turn to glower. "That's not fair."
Quatre snorted and crossed his arms over his chest.
"Fine. Keep your secrets. Ha. You and bang boy there are made for each other. Both a buncha secretive a--"
Heero snatched the anklebiter's braid and dragged him off. "Come on, Master. I have something I want to show you."
"I've already seen it three times today," Duo pouted. Wasn't that the bald-faced truth? I had been trying to sleep when the howling had started up the first time. I think it was the first time. Perhaps I should tell Heero that the best place to stick it at five in the morning is in the yapper's mouth.
Heero stopped and glared at his furball. "You've seen Godzilla Versus Monster Zero today? When?"
Quatre was staring them with a mixture of amusement and the kind of mushy longing Cathy has when she gets to the tear jerker part of her romance novels.
Duo's mouth fell open, then he shut it and swallowed. "G-G-Godzilla?" Heero suddenly had his arms full of Duo and his hair. The braided Schnauzer was crying. Over Godzilla.
Quatre smiled at the two psychopaths. "That's so sweet."
I've seen a Godzilla movie. Sweet is not the adjective I'd use. Stupid, yeah. Cheesy, definitely. More melodramatic than a Treize Khushrenada speech, beyond doubt. "It's a sweaty, short guy in a rubber suit. There's nothing sweet about that."
Quatre elbowed me in the gut. "Sssh."
"This just proves it's contagious. I'm going to have to talk to Sally about a Duo insanity vaccine."
Duo wiped a trail of snot on Heero's neck. "You remembered. I can't believe you remembered that. It was kind of dumb and you remembered!"
"Of course I remembered, idiot, I love you." You'd think Heero would be bothered by the slime trail, but no, the brainwashed pervert smiled a goofy smile, for Heero at any rate. "After the movie, you can see my Monster Zero again, Master."
Duo babbled against Heero's neck and Heero carried Duo with two hand firmly on his butt. I closed my eyes and counted to ten. Once the little parlor had been emptied out, Quatre turned on me, his expression set to concerned, yet firm and his mouth opening.
Time to beat him to the punch, before he wound himself up on whatever speech he was planning. It wouldn't do to let him get to the point where he wouldn't be receptive to common sense. "I think it's a good idea that we have this little talk, Quatre."
He shut his mouth and blinked.
Inwardly, I smirked. Everyone knows that getting your opponent off balance and keeping him that way will win the fight. Unless it's against Wufei, then all you need to do is ask him why he left Duo alone with a sword. "I know that I haven't been dealing with this Nicholas date thing as well as you'd like me to, but you are my best friend and I just can't help but be worried about you."
"Oh, Trowa..." His brows drew together and his eyes turned huge and dewy. Like one of those fuzzy rabbits in the cute and fuzzy critters calendar I got Cathy for Mother's Day. It certainly didn't hurt to push his guilt buttons, but only when strictly necessary. The half-guilt, half-pleasure, half-concern expression melted away as fast as it had come. "Trowa. What do you have against Nicholas?"
I knew Quatre better than anyone--including Sally Po who has, at least once but usually more often, stuck her fingers in bodily orifices she has no business sticking her fingers in--so I knew his strategy. Frontal attack. Guilt was one of the strongest weapons in my arsenal, but it didn't do much when he was arming himself against it. I went for the truth. "Dorothy Catalonia recommended him. He's probably an up and coming tyrant."
Quatre inspected his fingernails nonchalantly. "So you lied when you told Rashid that Nicholas was an oversized, corrupt pervert."
Okay, so it hadn't been the whole truth. There's nothing wrong with that. Gundam pilots withhold information all the time. It's tactical.
"Your objection to Alessandro and Antonio is only because of Dorothy's recommendation as well?"
"You have to admit that she didn't describe them in a very encouraging manner."
Quatre's eyes bored into my face and he arched an eyebrow. "Perhaps I should refresh your memory. A little over a minute ago you told Heero that it was Duo's fault that I was, ahem, trying to get myself ravished by oversized, oversexed perverts."
"And then you went on to yell that I don't need to be dating."
"What I can't figure out is if me having sex with Nicholas is nonsense or if it's simply me having sex."
"Considering that you seem to think of Alessandro and Antonio as some sort of threat to me, I'm inclined to think that you don't have anything against Nicholas. You have something against me having sex."
Damned straight. "Quatre, you're young--"
"I'm an adult."
I ignored that. "There's plenty of time for you to find the right person."
"A man-hating lesbian?"
A what? "What?"
"A man-hating lesbian. The one you think Agnes should arrange for me to be married to."
Perfect. I opened my mouth to say something that wasn't a lie, but not the truth either.
He glared, his hands going to his hips. "Don't you dare lie to me, Trowa. I want the truth and I want it right now. What is your problem with me having sex?"
"Don't you dare. You don't want to be my lover. You don't want me to have a lover. I'm not stupid, Trowa."
"It's not like that."
"If it's not like that, then you won't have any objections to the dinner date I was thinking of having Dorothy set up with Alessandro."
"No, you don't have objections, or no, you don't want me to date Alessandro."
I crossed my arms over my chest and glared at him.
He glared back. "Explain to me what it is like, then, Trowa."
Explain? How? "It's like... It's.... It's Quatre. You're Quatre. That's what it's like."
"In other words, you don't want me to have a lover." Quatre rubbed his hand through his hair. "That's not going to happen, Trowa. I'm going to find someone to love and be loved, even if that means dating and having sex with other people to do it."
I blinked. I tried to think of something to say, but only managed to open and then shut my mouth.
"It's my life and I have the right to choose how I live it. That's what we fought for. I don't expect you to like that I'm dating, but I do expect you to accept it."
Over my cold, dead body. "I don't have a problem with you finding someone to love. You deserve to be loved more than anyone else I know. It doesn't mean that you have to just give it away to find someone to love you. You're pure. Sweet. You're gentle and kind. I won't let some oversized pervert rip that away from you because he's oversexed and horny."
He was finally understanding how special he was. I nodded, satisfied.
"Sweet. Pure! There's nothing pure about me. I blew up a space colony!"
"Oh no you don't. I get it now. I understand. You have this stupid idea that my sisters have and Rashid has and my father had and those child molesters all seem to get. You think I'm some, some angel to be coddled and protected from life because of this, this purity idea that you picked up some place." He shoved his adorable, upturned nose against mine. "I may believe in Peace, kindness, friendship, and good will toward all people, but I am not a pacifist. If you want to find out just how much of a pacifist I am not, then you keep me on that angelic pedestal of yours."
"No! I'm angry, Trowa. I don't want to talk to you. I don't even want to see you." Giving me a final glare that tried to match Heero's worst but lacked the full omae o korosu punch, Quatre about faced and marched down the hallway.
It was difficult, but I managed to resist the urge to follow him. I didn't want him to do something that his gentle heart would later regret.
Pedestal. I shook my head and sat down. Of all the ridiculous things he could have come up with. I did not think of Quatre as some angel. He certainly didn't need to be protected from life; is was merely that he was innocent and sweetly naive and couldn't necessary see the danger that he faced. He was just upset because the Maganacs hadn't been very subtle today. He would get over it.