Disclaimer: See all the others; status unchanged.

Pairing: 3+4+3
Rating: PG-13
840 words
Warnings: Shounen ai, some angst, some sap.

To Boldly Go
by kebzero

Quatre offered his hand, was accepted, exchanged quick words of welcome and courtesy to his guest and escort, ushered them to the reception hall and moved to meet the next arrival. It had been a long time since he'd last attended a gala held in the Winner mansion. It was the first time he'd ever held one. He'd been at a loss of who to invite, but upon asking, he'd received several pointers from Relena. She was already there, mingling with other distinguished guests.

There was one person Quatre found himself missing, though.

The hour printed on the invitations was fast approaching, and other than the few Quatre knew would attend fashionably late, most had arrived. He looked around, then glanced up the main staircase - and smiled. There, at the corner, he could see a hand and half a head peek carefully past the decorative drapes. At being detected, he ducked back out of sight, retreating to the hallway.

Quatre gave a weak sigh, made his way up the stairs, turned the corner, saw his friend, his lover. "Are you alright, Trowa?"

Hesitantly, Trowa nodded, then shook his head. "I... I don't feel too good about all of this."

For a moment, Quatre closed his eyes. "You were the one who suggested-"

"I know!" Trowa snapped back, instant regret showing on his face. He looked away. "I'm sorry, I - I think I'm just really nervous about all of this."

Quatre had to chuckle. "Trowa, not that long ago you were a mercenary, a soldier, even a spy - and now you're saying a crowd of mostly old men and women scare you? They can't hurt you, you know that." He reached out, a weak grip at Trowa's bicep. "I'd never let them, if they tried."

Trowa made a dim smile, put his palm over Quatre's hand. "I know..." Another sigh. "I won't fool anyone, you know that, right?"

Quatre tried not to smirk. "Were you planning to?"

Softly, Trowa shook his head.

"You were right, Trowa."

Tilt of head. "About what?"

"This," Quatre gestured, then reached for Trowa's hands. "We shouldn't hide who we are, we should be proud, not afraid. You convinced me."

Snort. "That didn't take much."

"I've always been weak when it comes to you."

Trowa tightened his grip of Quatre's fingers. "The gossip columns will have a field day."

Return squeeze. "Better they work based on the truth than that they're left to speculate and jump to their own conclusions." He waited until Trowa nodded his consent. "Please come downstairs, Trowa. This is important to me too. I love you - and I want to show that to the world. I don't want to hide you away somewhere."

Singular chuckle. "Normally, those kind of words would make me light-headed. Now... they only make me more nervous. Are you sure this is the best way to-"

"Positive," Quatre cut in. "We have to do this eventually, Trowa. Don't you want to live freely? The only way to do that is to live out in the open. Those who can, will accept us as we are. Those who can't... Well, we won't deal with them any more than we have to."

Careful nod. "It's still a big step."

Quatre smoothed his thumbs over Trowa's knuckles. "I'll be with you the whole time, Trowa. I promise you I won't let go, if you don't."

Trowa clenched Quatre's fingers, smiled in full. "Thank you, Quatre."

One step back towards the stairs, another, wait for Trowa to follow. "Ready to go?"

Trowa let himself be coerced to take a step forward, then two, even three. They reached the landing, looked down the stairs. Music was already playing from the reception hall, the clatter from the kitchen and banquet hall could barely be heard from beyond the closed doors, soon to be opened. Trowa took a deep breath, pulled at Quatre's hands, tilted his head and cupped Quatre's cheek, leaned in - and kissed him.

Quatre slowly opened his eyes again, eyes shimmering. He parted his lips as if to speak, but was pre-empted by Trowa picking up the handkerchief in his breast pocket, making a quick wipe at the corner of his mouth. Quatre snickered, took hold of Trowa's wrist. "Let's do that again, Trowa - down there, on the dance floor."

Tentatively, Trowa nodded. "I... I think I'd like that." He carefully folded the handkerchief and put it back in Quatre's pocket, then straightened up, made a spin for show. "How do I look, Quatre?"

There was only one answer. "Beautiful."

Trowa's answering smile warmed Quatre to the bone. In swift succession, Trowa adjusted the puffs at his upper arms and broad shoulders, smoothed the thick, flowing skirt of his ballroom dress, tapped his hard right heel twice to make sure the strap held firm. "Okay, I'm ready." He offered his white-gloved hand. "Lead the way, Quatre."

As Quatre accepted, Trowa dared a lopsided smirk.

"I always felt more comfortable in a disguise, anyway."


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