Reverand Maynard
A dead fic. I will most likely not finish this. Thank you. Sorry.
13+6; AU; lots of stuff I never got to

There was no moment of premonition throughout the evening that told Treize Khushrenada that this night, at this gathering, with his cousin Quatre of all people, was going to change his world forever.

So it was with the utmost surprise, and no little anxiety, that Zechs Merquise sauntered into his life.

“You can’t be serious, cousin.” The little blonde boy was saying to him in that tiny voice that could be so misleading. Treize sat across an intimate table from his cousin, relaxing as much as a straight-backed General might at a ball held in his honor. In his left hand he held a half empty crystal wine glass, in his right, a butterknife. The latter of which was spinning madly in his fingers, the only outward sign of his true emotion: boredom.

Quatre was still talking, “Mobile dolls are the next obvious step in combat. It eliminates the destruction of human lives!” The boy was getting excited now, feeling as if he’d stumbled upon the greatest truth of their century. “Perhaps one day we can sit back and just let the machines fight it out. It’s the next step to peace, I’m telling you!”

Treize, for all he knew it was improper, was hardly listening to the young lad. Quatre’s head was full of whimsical ideas, not at all grounded like his own. It was a disease of youth, being naive to the true nature of humans. Yet still, Treize often found comfort in his cousin’s presence, partially, though not entirely, because of his own naivete: his ignorance of gossip.

Take for instance, the young woman gliding over to them now. Treize had absolutely no notion as to who the fetching madam was, nor did he rightly care. But seeing as how she seemed quite determined to approach him, he thought this a good time to interrupt Quatre’s speech.

“Who is this coming toward us Quatre? Friend or foe?” By that, of course, he meant: ‘Is she someone I should be seen with?’

Quatre, having been stopped mid-sentence, gave his cousin a minute glare before directing his attention to the lady in question. She was dressed for the occasion, a sweeping red gown delving just below the beginnings of a well defined cleavage and falling to the tops of satin pumps. Her hair was to mid-back and the color of well-creamed coffee. She was headed straight for them.

Quatre watched her for a moment, perplexed.

“Quatre,” Treize was whispering warily, the beginnings of a smile creeping to his lips to greet whomever this person was. Quatre knew how much he depended on him to know who was who and how they should be handled. How improper it would look to not know this woman’s name who obviously, if not from the sway of her hips than from the wicked gleam in her eye, knew Treize.

“Oh my . . .” Quatre breathed as they stood to meet the lady, only that second realizing who she was, and answered Treize’s question by speaking first.

“Lady Une! How ravishing you look!” He took the Lady’s hand and kissed the back gently. The Lady seemed to be pleased.

The ease with which Treize recovered from his shock astounded even himself as he cooly took the Lady’s hand next and mimicked Quatre’s gesture.

“The velvet sashes and glowing crystal pale in comparison. You are certainly the loveliest decoration in the hall, My Lady.” Treize said and relinquished the hand of the now blushing Une. Suddenly, he felt very uncomfortable.

They were all lies of course. She could have ridden in on an elephant and been crowned with three diamond tiaras and he’d have said the same had she been dressed as pauper. Though she did strike an infinitely different picture in a dress than in uniform, she was still Lady Une, with a purposeful emphasis on “lady”.

“Treize-sama,” she was beginning, voice light and airy and breathy, as if she’d been running a little, not at all the controlled and commanding woman of the battlefield, “it’s nice to see you out of the context of war relations. I-- I would hope that you are enjoying yourself.”

“Please, Lady, sit,” Treize offered her the seat between himself and Quatre and waited for her to be seated before continuing, “and yes, very much so.” More lies. “My cousin Quatre and I were just discussing the fallbacks and frailties of the mobile doll.”

“Dear cousin! How you do distort my words!” Quatre protested, turning his attentions to the Lady who was obviously loath to divert her own away from Treize. Formality however, Treize knew, dictated that she do so and he felt no little joy in his tiny defeat as Quatre started in on her, saving Treize from her entertainment. Whether nations or individuals, he always had a strategy.

And it was then, with Quatre chattering at the milder side of his Colonel, and with the realization that no one was really paying him any mind, that he slipped away from the table, and into the crowds that spilled onto the balconies and then swirled him back inside, a river of tunics and jackets and overflowing bosoms that eventually spilt him out onto a distant terrace. And there, he breathed.

It was unnatural, he knew for him to despise these gatherings as he did. After all, he was the guest of honor. He was the reason for all this formality and regality, and as much as he disliked it, he knew even more that it was a part of him. It was the rock upon which his life, his career was based, but even being bred and tailored for this sort of life didn’t mean he had to like it . . . all of the time.

The night air was cool and crisp, a stark contrast to the heavy air inside, and he enjoyed its sweetness, recognizing that particular trait as coming from a nearby grove of jasmine. He made a seat of one of the stone benches that flanked the wall of the house, leaned his head back, stretched his legs, closed his eyes, and moaned.

No . . . that’s not right . . . he hadn’t moaned. But someone had.

At first he did little more than crack open one eye, scanning his immediate vicinity for anything out of the ordinary. Of course, this was not his home, perhaps whimpers and moans and--was that a grunt?--were of the norm in this place. He doubted such.

He stood quietly, listening with his entire body (some parts more than others), trying to discern from which direction the sounds were coming. Behind him was the house, silent but for the muted sounds of a “dignified” party, ahead was a stone railing, a silent and dark lawn beyond, and to his right, a staircase. He moved in that direction.

He knew for certain what those sounds were. Even for all his inexperience in such matters-- intimacy for him was sitting hip to hip with some of the officers--he was not ignorant of those kinds of noises. They were not, he thought, idly remembering his most private of moments, unlike his own. Only where his was one, these were two . . . and both distinctly male.

He hardened at the thought. It was no surprise to himself. He enjoyed looking at men more than women, enjoyed their company and their advice, and he hoped that one day he might even enjoy the feel of another man’s body, though that day had yet to come.

It was with these thoughts, of men and masturbation and the tightness in his groin, that he decided perhaps he should not continue his search. After all, the pair had obviously come this far to be away from prying eyes, and how dignified would it look to have the General peeping through the bushes. So it was decided, and he turned, poised to ascend the staircase, when he saw it.

At first it was only a flash of white, a pale form moving swiftly in the bushes. Then it fleshed itself out, in every sense of the word, and he saw in the dim light from the terrace, a pallid buttocks, flexing in and out of shadow. The hem of a jacket skimmed the top of it and its colors gave away the man’s loyalties. He was Romafeller.

The light was too poor to enable him to discern much else, other than the pale, yet strong looking legs that were wrapped around the man’s middle. That was Treize’s undoing. It was an erotic sight indeed, the mystery gentleman having his way with the darkness. A darkness with a deep and throaty voice that flowed like dark honey into the night air, a darkness that wore formal leather boots laced to mid-calf, a darkness that suddenly had arms that wrapped around the man’s shoulder, and a darkness, Treize realized just before he stepped away, realizing how he was tempting fate, with the face of a fallen angel.

It was only a piece of a second that Treize saw that face. He was up the stairs and into the house before he breathed again. But in that minute moment, when the creature had leaned forward and let the wan light spill over his features, time seemed to still. It was certainly those eyes that did it, he thought. Though the man’s mouth was open and panting, the ecstasy did not reach his eyes. It was a show, he realized and the man’s eyes, calmly assessing him beneath a fall of white hair, gave him away. Unfortunately, the first thing they told Treize was that he saw him. Confirmed by a wink and a grin that did not slow his moans, the man had known Treize was there and did not, in truth, seem to mind.

A beat later, and Treize was back on the terrace, hoping for all the world that he’d never see that man again lest he wish to embarrass him, and at the same time wishing it had been him in place of the Romafeller gentleman. And it helped matters no less when, a second from stepping back into the house, he heard the couple scream almost in unison. The sound pushed him inside the building and he found himself a moment later leaning against the glass door, a white-knuckled grip on the handle.

“Treize,” Quatre was saying to him after he’d arrived back at their table. Lady Une was gone, thankfully, and he’d said very little to either his cousins or their table mates.

Finally looking up he saw the concern in his young cousin’s eyes, “What is it Quatre”

“Treize,” Quatre said again, and then leaned forward to whisper the rest, “your hand.”

Treize looked down at the white-gloved hand that held his wine glass, and realized he was shaking. He looked at the offending limb with no little surprise, and then, recovering somewhat, let go of his glass and slipped his hand into his lap, rubbing it with the other.

Quatre continued to eye him warily, questioning with his eyes.

Never in the heat of battle had he shaken. Never had his nerves, his fear, controlled him--either physically or emotionally. Of course, he’d also never been in ==blah-blah-unfinished-blah==

After what he'd seen on the veranda, he'd walked briskly into the further depths of the house,
hoping to find a distant bathroom and lock the door and ease that certain type of tension that was
threatening to overtake him. No such luck however, as the first door he'd opened, testing it for it's obscured placement, had surprisingly opened him into a dimly lit room and what looked to be a meeting of Alliance officials.

The room was small and smoky, courtesy of the cigars several of the members were enjoying. There were at least eleven men in all reclining, standing or leaning on various chairs and couches about the room. Hardly a full meeting but a significant gathering nonetheless

"Treize, my boy. Can we help you with anything? Field Marshall Noventa, an older gentleman with kind eyes and an unshakeable resolve, asked him from a leather armchair near the window and Treize was impressed by his cool at being interrupted. The other members looked at him with apparent mistrust and distaste.

"No sir, I'm sorry, I seem to have gotten turned around in the halls. If you'll excuse me-"

"No, Treize, come in. Have a chat with us."

The room was openly silent as Treize stood half-in half out of the doorway. All eyes had immediately shifted from him to Noventa in a mixture of confused to suspicious glares.

"Sir, I don't-"

"Nonsense. If you have the time I'd like for you to join us. Please." And at that, the Marshall,
gestured to the empty sofa beside him, and Treize knew it was his duty to accept.

"Certainly, sir." He shut the door behind him and took his place near Noventa. The creak of the
leather sofa the only sound in the room.

"I think it's safe to say that you find it odd, an Alliance meeting at a ball in your honor. Please
don't think us rude my boy. It's simply that quite often it's difficult for the lot of us to assemble
without the press and such interfering."

"Entirely understandable, Marshall. I often wished for more informal meetings myself."

"So those you hold in secret are not?" It was Strinzden talking now, a younger more hot-headed
member of the Alliance and Treize turned his attentions to him. So they knew.

"I'm sorry, but I'm afraid I don't know what you're talking about."

Strinzden narrowed his eyes and stood from his seat across the room, "Don't patronize us Khushrenada! Do you think us fools?" He was leaning forward where he stood, a fist clenched at his side.

"Alfred, please." Noventa pleaded. "Let's not upset the General."

"Marshall, we have him here, why don't you ask him yourself. Why don't you question him?"

"Alfred." Noventa's voice was sterner this time and Strinzden seemed to bite back more words. He looked a Treize again and as if the sight of the General made him ill, he turned on a heel and
headed for the door.

"Alfred don't be-"

"Damn you, Noventa! You're the same as him if you don't stop it, I won't sit by and watch!" His declaration was punctuated by the slamming door.

Noventa sighed. "I'm afraid Alfred is a touch on the emotional side. Do accept my apologies."
Despite the situation, Treize believed him sincere.


+ unfin +