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[personal profile] calic0cat

Hopefully, I don't re-read this later and decide that it sucks, since I'm posting more-or-less "hot off the press" (only one pass on the self-beta this time). But it's late, and I'm tired, and I kind of promised you all a little GW or TS by today, so here goes nothing:


Much as it chafed, Quatre performed his duty as host impeccably, dividing his time amongst his guests rather than concentrating solely on Trowa. He knew that there would be more appropriate opportunities for the two of them to converse, but it was difficult to be patient now that they were finally together again, this time with no disapproving parent to interfere. There were so many things that he wanted to ask Trowa, so many things that he wanted to tell him. He wanted to know about the 'actions at Waterloo' that had earned Trowa his title, wanted to know what Trowa had been doing during the months since the war had ended. Wanted to tell Trowa about the shock of his father's unexpected death mere weeks after their parting, and about how tremendously difficult it had been to step up and take on his duties as Earl, years earlier than he'd ever anticipated.

And, of course, he wanted to know all about Trowa's friend, Lord Yuy. He wanted to know whether Lady Relena had any real grounds for her expectations, whether Yuy's intentions towards Duo were likely to be serious, whether Yuy had family and money or naught but a title and a mouldering old country pile to his name. Not that money itself was significant - Duo had a comfortable portion, and Quatre would happily provide a generous marriage settlement of both land and funds if need be - but the most desperate of fortune hunters tended to be those with both title and estate yet no funds to support them. Yuy did not strike him as being of that ilk, but Duo's future happiness was too important to rely on his first impression alone.

And the very length of time that the two men had been absent from the gathering was enough to tell Quatre that Yuy's suitability was going to be a fairly immediate concern. The rules of propriety were far less strict for male couples than for those of opposite gender, and Duo was sufficiently aware of them to ensure that he and Yuy were not unchaperoned for an extended period of time, but a two hour absence would not go unremarked. Particularly if dinner was announced prior to their return.

Even as the potential problem occurred to Quatre, his sister's voice rose above the chatter, announcing that dinner was ready to be served. Quatre suppressed a sigh of relief as he spotted Duo and Lord Yuy slipping quietly into the drawing room through the hall doorway while everyone's attention was on Lady Iria, standing in front of the newly-opened dining room doors. He made his way to Iria's side as she requested, "Lady Relena, if you would please lead us in to dinner?"

Graciously accepting her duty as the highest ranking female guest, Relena smiled prettily. "Of course, Lady Iria." Stepping out from the group, she rested her hand lightly on Quatre's extended arm.

"Lady Relena," Quatre acknowledged with a polite nod before leading her through the entryway and towards her seat at the table. The other guests followed them in; Iria, as acting hostess, brought up the rear.

Quatre caught Relena's brief moue of displeasure as she noted Lord Yuy taking a seat too far away for polite conversation. He smothered a smile as Duo seated himself beside Yuy. Evidently their sister had also noted that developing interest, and had arranged the seating accordingly. Tonight's meal would not last the full three or four hours averaged by a more formal Town dinner but, even with the inevitable restriction to appropriate topics and the need for polite discourse with other adjacent guests, two hours should provide adequate conversational opportunities.

Turning his attention to his own preferred conversational partner, Quatre smiled. He certainly intended to take full advantage of his own chance to converse with Trowa.


The removal of the tablecloth and placement of wine decanters was a clear signal that dinner was over. Heero was slightly startled by the realization; he had been so caught up in conversation that he hadn't paid much attention to the courses placed in front of him. Seated between Duo and Lady Iria, with Alia, Lady Walkerton, another of Duo's sisters, across the table from him, it had quickly become clear that his interest had been noted. And, seeing their obvious fondness for their brother, Heero had volunteered personal details that even the cagiest of chits and their matchmaking mamas had been unable to wheedle out of him. Duo was entitled to the information, unlike those women, and as for Duo's sisters... Well, Heero wanted to change that 'interest noted' to 'interest noted and approved'.

An afternoon of intelligent conversation that had, by turns, been both serious and witty had confirmed that he found Duo's personality and mind just as attractive as his lean, well-muscled frame and unfashionably long hair. There were enough differences between them to keep life interesting, but enough common background to ensure that Duo could fulfill the social and societal duties of an Earl's spouse.

Without being made utterly miserable in the attempt, as the mother that Heero barely remembered had been. Recalled home to England after the death of the heir, his elder brother, Odin Lowe had presented wife and infant son to the old Earl as a fait accompli. Cho's dainty, exotic beauty, demure behaviour, and hesitant English had done nothing to earn her acceptance amongst the Ton, especially in the face of the old Earl's obvious disapproval. In Heero's memories, his mother was a sad, silent shadow, not the pretty, vivacious butterfly that was her namesake. She had possessed neither the necessary skills nor the strength of spirit for life in the Ton, let alone in the old Earl's household.

Duo had both, along with a warmth and generosity of spirit that drew Heero like the warm light of an ally's campfire on a cold, dark night.

As the ladies finally rose and departed for the drawing room, leaving the men to drink and converse, Heero turned in response to a light touch on his arm.

"My apologies," Duo offered, embarrassed by the way his sisters had questioned Heero during dinner. "They aren't usually quite so..."

"Talkative?" Heero suggested, quirking an eyebrow in amused tolerance.

Relieved that Heero didn't seem to have been too badly put off, Duo managed a weak smile. "You're too kind, my lord. I really don't know what possessed them."

Heero sobered at the realization that Duo was genuinely worried about his reaction to the veritable inquisition. "Concern for their brother's future, perhaps?" He placed his own hand over the one still resting warmly on his arm. "Your family is very close, Duo; I find that admirable, not something at which to take offense."

Face heating at the implication that his family had both reason and right to question Heero, Duo met his eyes squarely and smiled sincerely, despite the colour that was undoubtedly flooding his face. "Thank you, Heero." Both for the tolerance and acceptance of his family, and for the unspoken confirmation that Heero's intentions were serious.

As he squeezed Duo's hand lightly before - reluctantly - releasing it, Heero acknowledged to himself that, unless something went very drastically awry over the next few days, it was less a matter of deciding whether to make an offer and more a matter of deciding when. Duo's warm, vibrant presence was already something that he would be very reluctant to give up.


Y'know, this is really ending up a lot longer than originally expected. *sweatdrops*

Will try to work on catching up on LJ and email responses during lunch today... *crosses fingers* Assuming nothing melts down at work, that is... *gives temperamental DNS server the evil eye*

Date: 2006-02-06 10:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Very nice, I love Heero's honorable intentions. I suspect Relena will shortly do something dishonorable.

Date: 2006-02-09 09:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*grins* Yep, Heero's intentions are definitely honorable. He doesn't waste a lot of time making decisions even in canon (despite fanon, he really tends to be Mr. Impulsive when it comes right down to it), so I don't think it's too soon for him to have reached that point in this AU.

As for Relena... well, she's a fairly typical Regency romance "scheming chit", so... *smirks* She definitely won't let the Earl of Yuy out of her clutches without trying a few strategems.

Date: 2006-02-06 11:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Woah this feels very "flow of consciousness."
I read it through once at my normal speed then just sat back and wondered where my thoughts ended and this fic began. I actually felt like a g-boy. It was really cool in a trippy sort of way! X3
Then I read it again and took the time to appreciate it.
I could really believe that was cannon Quatre thinking there!
::luvs on you::

Date: 2006-02-09 09:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I actually felt like a g-boy.
I could really believe that was cannon Quatre thinking there!

Yay! What lovely compliments. *grins*

Glad you enjoyed this!

Date: 2006-02-07 12:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
oooh! more regency fic! i'd say "more soon please?" but right now i'm loving everything you're working on so any update of any kind would be appreciated ^_^v

damn you and your mood icons *goes off to find and read sentinel fic even though she should be sleeping*

Date: 2006-02-09 09:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm hoping to have something ready by the end of the week. I'm just not sure what it will be at this point. I do have almost enough to post of another of the BtVS S/X plot bunnies, but I'd rather post more of an existing WIP.

Hmm, been a long time since the last "Mission: Nerima", guess maybe I should think about getting another part of that edited for posting...

Date: 2006-02-07 02:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I can't decide which relationship is cuter in this story. I love them both. ^_^

Date: 2006-02-09 09:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*grins* Thanks! I'm trying not to ignore the Trowa/Quatre relationship, but it's not quite getting equal time either, I'm afraid. I just don't find them quite as easy to write as Heero and Duo. But I'm working on it.

Date: 2006-02-07 02:56 am (UTC)
ext_42681: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
I really love this story. You can make it as long as you want to. *hugs*

Date: 2006-02-09 09:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks! I really had hoped to get it finished in time to do a Regency Valentine's story (sort of an AU of an AU, I guess! *lol*), though, and that just isn't going to happen, I'm afraid. *sighs* Oh well. Maybe next year.

Date: 2006-02-07 04:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Y'know, this is really ending up a lot longer than originally expected
*giggles and points* Doesn't everything? :P

So much fun, though! I love Duo's reaction when he figures out that Heero is really serious. And the sisters are a trip! Such a breath of fresh air to have a universe where the male pairings aren't frowned on. There's such a hopeful tone to this part, and you just KNOW something bad has to happen soon...

Date: 2006-02-09 09:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You know, I don't remember anything that's ever ended up shorter than expected... *sigh*

There's such a hopeful tone to this part, and you just KNOW something bad has to happen soon...

Well, I really don't have anything too bad planned for the guys. This is intended to be a fairly light piece, after all. But, on the other hand, it wouldn't be the first time that plans have changed halfway through a story... *sweatdrops*

Date: 2006-02-09 10:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I could live with 'not too bad', if that's where the muse wants to go! ^^;

Date: 2006-02-07 04:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, hooray! I was hoping that this would be the next story that called you to work on it!

Date: 2006-02-09 09:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I actually sat down to work on Kindergarten Heero, but this was what I ended up writing. Those fickle, fickle muses... *sigh* More soonish, I hope. *crosses fingers*

Date: 2006-02-07 10:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Y'know, I've never really been that interested in this era. And yet, now you've got me going, I can't wait for more.

"Y'know, this is really ending up a lot longer than originally expected. *sweatdrops*"

You say that like it's a bad thing. It's not! More is good.


Date: 2006-02-09 09:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm not a real big fan of the Victorian era (particularly the late Victorian era), but the Regency time period is actually pretty interesting. And I really have to watch my research, especially since this is set at Christmas time. A lot of what we think of as "traditional" for Christmas really only dates back to Victorian times. Christmas trees, for example. They would have been in Germany but didn't become popular in England until Victoria's reign.

Glad you enjoyed this, and hopefully I'll have more ready before too long.

Date: 2006-02-08 02:54 pm (UTC)
merula31: by Sami (Default)
From: [personal profile] merula31
Ohhh, I was hoping for more of this one! And I can't say I'm upset that it's turning out longer than expected. *grin* This was very cute- Duo being worried that Heero would be upset about his sisters poking for information- and a bit of Heero's history. Lovely!

Date: 2006-02-09 09:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The main problems with it turning out longer than expected is that: (a) it wasn't finished within a couple of weeks of the season it was written for, and (b) it's cutting into my time for getting something seasonal done in time for Valentine's Day. :P Oh well. *sigh*

As for Heero's history - yep, a little bit of it here (the stuff that wouldn't have been openly discussed) and the things that actually were discussed should show up in the next bit, if it goes as planned. Glad you liked it!

Date: 2006-02-10 08:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I love this story, please continue.

Date: 2006-02-12 08:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
There will definitely be more. Glad you're enjoying it!

Date: 2006-02-10 10:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yay! I was hoping you'd update this again soon. I'm loving the story, and I think my being in the middle of Pride and Prejudice just makes it that much more entertaining. I adore the setup, and always enjoy your characterizations. I totally agree with the Heero as intrinsically Mr. Impulsive, as you said, despite what fanon would have us think.

Date: 2006-02-12 08:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks! I'm glad you like it. I'm enjoying writing something so very, very AU. *grin*

I totally agree with the Heero as intrinsically Mr. Impulsive, as you said, despite what fanon would have us think.

I really have to wonder exactly where the idea that Heero was a totally anal, plan-everything-to-the-last-detail kind of guy came from. In the series and EW, his idea of a plan seems to be, "Okay, I'll do this, then... ah, what the heck, then I'll just wing it." Err, yeah. Sounds like someone who likes to plan out every detail to me.


Odin's advice to "live by your feelings" is a much closer match to his behaviour than "plan it all out" would be. So, yeah. Mr. Impulsive fits Heero pretty well.

June 2016


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