'We are gathered here today to mark the beginning of-' No. 'Here, today, we start building our common future. We-' No. 'Today is a grand occasion for the development of...' Quatre shook his head, tore the top sheet off his block, tossed it in a general direction towards the waste basket and touched the pen to the blank top line, giving the speech another false start, and another. He gave the last attempt a silent test-run, failed himself, and sighed.
"What are you waving that pen around for?"
Quatre blinked, took note of Trowa. It still unnerved him how easily the man could sneak up on him. "Oh." Quatre looked at his pen, put it down. "It helps me concentrate when I read my drafts back to myself."
Trowa leaned against the edge of the mahogany desk, palmed the block and turned it askew for a once-over. "Doesn't look like a long speech."
"It isn't - yet," Quatre answered tersely, pushing his chair back. "I just need the right sentence to start it off, but I can't think of anything. There's just... nothing that fits."
Trowa shrugged it off. "Why don't drop the visionary-speak and just state facts? 'Winner Enterprises has taken over the projects and will build new homes and offices here, starting today.' It doesn't sound that bad to me."
Quatre frowned. "It's not-" he bit at his lower lip, started anew. "There will be protesters there, and cameras. Not everyone are happy about this, Trowa."
"You can never make everybody happy, Quatre. To even try is madness."
"Or naivete, I know." he remarked with a dim, short-lived smile. "I'm going to tear down people's homes, Trowa."
"Most of the area is barely a step ahead of being condemned - and those who were still left were more than fairly compensated for their loss."
"The property, sure - but what about memories? I showed you some of the letters I got, didn't I? The stories? Kids on swings, backyard weddings?" Quatre glanced away. Pigeons. Pigeons at the window again. He should never have put that tray out when he moved into this office. A gentle touch at his chin shifted his focus.
Letting go, Trowa's lips curved faintly. "Your compassion will be the death of you... It makes you a good person, but a horrible businessman. There are times when I wonder how you could ever be a Gundam pilot."
The things we did... "I don't know either..." he all but mumbled, remembering. Explosions. Screams. It never seemed personal while he was inside Sandrock, just a job, a task. The times he'd been out of a suit but still on a mission... were different. Snapshot, head shot, point blank range. Blood, guts, no time to think before launching another slug, get out, get out. He closed his eyes, gritted his teeth.
A tug at his neck. Trowa reeled him in by his tie, inch by inch. "We'll all have to make new memories," he whispered softly, "better ones."
The notepad slid off the desk, the pen clattering to the floor, forgotten.