Ten Years Later...
I twitch. I fidget with the sleeve hem of this ridiculous uniform. Oh, I'm not being conceited when I say that I look better in it than most. The brown and beige of the Preventer's dress uniform compliments my fair skin, light amber eyes, and soft, pale honey hair whereas it just washed most people out. And I really am proud to wear it.
It's just that it's really scratchy and damned hot. Very uncomfortable. Just like being on this stage in front of an entire room full of Preventers. Co-workers and family in the same place always made me twitchy. Putting me on a stage in front of them... that was just cruel and inhumane punishment.
A very small part of me wished that I'd never taken that stupid mission in the first place. A very, very small part of me. But Preventers is in my blood, so to speak. One of my fathers used to be the best agent ever. My uncle was one. Even my mother- my blood mother- had been an agent. I suppose it was inevitable that I join eventually... even if I hate this uniform and hate these stupid social events. I let my eyes wander the crowd even as I search mentally for them. Ah, there.
That's why I'm here. For them.
For that barely concealed smugness from Daddy, written across his face. He looks so proud and smart, sitting there in his all black outfit. He was fairly bursting with the pride that emanated from him. I can easily picture him grinning at someone and saying 'That's my baby girl'.
Sitting next to Daddy, Papa glows. He hides it alot better than Daddy, but he's just as proud. It shows in his onyx eyes, and he's letting the emotions roll off instead of blocking them like he usually tries to. And knowing my parents as well as I do, I can easily picture Papa yanking Daddy's braid and correcting him with '*Our* baby girl'.
That image makes me smile. I guess I should be smiling anyway... but I really hate this stupid uniform. As Commander Une drones on in the background, I let my eyes stray away from my parents. Past Uncle Quat, with that knowing smile on his face, as if he'd seen that image flit through my mind. Oh, wait. He probably did; I'm probably broadcasting like a beacon right now. Beside him, Uncle Ro sits, their fingers lightly interlaced. Heero's really good for Uncle Quatre. He's easy to be around, his mind is so nice and orderly and his emotions always perfectly controlled. That's a bonus when you spend alot of time in the company of two fairly strong empaths.
I guess that's why Thayet, setting beside them, is so calm. She's my absolute best friend, Quatre's niece is. When Quatre's sister Yasmine died, Quatre became her guardian. About four years older than me, Thayet Winner is my closest friend in the world. My first friend close to my own age- and one of my very, very few.
Aunt Sally and Aunt Hilde are at the same table, with Aunt Sally's boyfriend and Aunt Hilde's husband. Hilde says she's not... but we all know why she kept throwing up this morning. I think I may have another cousin on the way. Kalyne, Hilde's ten year old daughter, sits pretty in a pink dress. Kay's a sweet girl, and I like her alot. Merryn, Kay's six year old sister, is somewhere around here... one never knows just where that girl is, or what she's up to.
Aunt Belle sits with Eric at the table beside Uncle Quatre. Her son is with one of his cousins on some play date right now, but Belle's still here to support me.
At the next table over, Trowa sits with Miss Ariana. She's fairly rounded now, but it means alot that she risked the shuttle ride to Sanq for this ceremony. Shuttles aren't the best things when you're six months pregnant. And she should know- she'd been pregnant twice before this. I breifly wonder who she got to babysit Triton and Katie. Those two were terrors- even if Triton was seven years younger than me. Cathy and Trey were probably tagged with baby-sitting duty. They often were.
Trowa's not as much my family as Uncle Ro and Uncle Quat. He's a bit more distant than anyone I know, but Triton, Katie, and Miss Ariana have no problems with him. When I was little, I'd hoped that maybe he could be my family. I didn't have any biological family left, so I 'adopted' as many people as I could. Daddy, Papa, Heero, Quatre, Sally Po- Thayet and I call each other 'sister'. Trowa's close to us, but I still hesitate to call him 'family'. Maybe one day. I hold onto hope.
My eyes drift even further, and there. At that front table. His green eyes meet mine, and it's all I can do not to blush. Sexual tension is something that at the age of seventeen, I still haven't quite grasped. When you can feel every facet of someone's feelings and personality- and occasionally their past and future, too- with just a look, you rather become immune to most of the things I guess ordinary girls take for granted. And living with two men certainly hasn't help that much. But that changed two weeks ago.
He is Brandon Carter, Eric's third cousin and the son of a well-known family and an astonishing mathematician and scientist. Verdant green eyes the color of aventurine, black hair a few shades lighter than Papa's. A small but well-built frame. And the mind behind those eyes? Glorious. Brandon's another 'new-type'. Like me, like Uncle Quat. His ability lies in telling truth from lie. A rather useful talent. Except when you're faced with people like me and Daddy. And people like the one's who decided to kidnap the brilliant young scientist.
People who can twist the truth around so that it's not a lie, but it's still not the truth.
And he's the reason I'm here. My last mission. My most dangerous one. The one that almost killed me. I'm here... and alive... because of him. He's here... and alive... because of me. I think that's a kind of bond that transcends your usual crush.
With his eyes on mine, I finally gain enough sense to tune back into Commander Une's speech.
"... And so, for extreme bravery under harsh conditions..." Harsh? I think. What do they know about the abandoned colony hub they'd stashed Brandon at? Crawling around in collapsing air ducts isn't exactly harsh for me... but then again... I'm not exactly normal. "... and for ingenuity and resourcefulness in the face of insurmountable odds and great stress..." I resist the urge to snort at that. She wasn't there. She had no idea exactly what went on there. The worse stress I'd been under was Brandon and his talkative nature. Well... that that the gaping wound in my side that simply *wouldn't* stop bleeding. "On behalf of the Earth Sphere United Nation, I present this award to Preventer's Level One Agent Trinity Maxwell-Chang."
I take my que, and bow, eye contact with Brandon breaking. I bend my head as she slips the golden medal around my neck, letting the ribbon rest against the base of my braid. And yes, when in uniform or on a mission, I pull my hair back into a single braid that reaches my waist. Like Father like Daughter, as the saying goes. And plus... with so much curl to my hair, it's impossible to do much else with.
I bow to the crowd as the entire room erupts into cheers and applause. Looking back out, my eyes meet with indigo. Daddy's smiling brightly at me, and I smile back.
Yeah. Life looks pretty good.
As the crowd dispersed a little and people began mingling, Duo and Wufei watched as their daughter nearly ran from the stage. Brandon Carter- the young man she'd saved on this mission- ran up to greet her. He gripped her waist and twirled her up and around in the air, the same way Duo had done when she was still little. She was grinning when he sat her down, but her arms never left his shoulders, and his hands never left her waist. She was talking, and she blushed just a bit when he leaned down to kiss her cheek.
Duo frowned a little.
"They look quite happy together," he said, non-commentaly.
"Hmm. He's from a quite wealthy family... a nice family, Agent Wraith's cousin from what I hear." Wufei added.
"A fairly talented new-type. Strong minded. Intelligent, strong. Brave. He has a good heart," Duo replied. "He's a good man."
"Yes. Quite a good man."
Duo and Wufei looked at each other, then back at Brandon Carter with his arms around their daughter.
"But she's still our baby girl," Duo said decisively.
"Agreed." Wufei dragged his eyes from the scene back to Duo. There was a decidedly feral gleam in his onyx eyes. He tilted his head, indicating the two young people.
"So... should you get the shotgun or should I?"
AN: That's the end of Apathy. So tell me... what did you think of my first shot at a 2x5? What did you think of Trinity?
Oh, and just a footnote for the ending. This is kind of an inside joke, sort of. In many parts of the world- especially the south USA, where I'm from- it's kind of standard for father's to intimidate their daughter's courtiers. In most cases... they use barely concealed threats and often sport a shotgun (at least 'round here). Many country songs mention this, and if you watch the movie 'Twilight', you'll see sort of what I'm talking about. Also, Bill Engval has made a few jokes about this, as in the one where he tells his daughter's boyfriend... "If you think of mistreating her... remember...I have no problem with going *back* to prison." It's cliche' and overused and over dramatized, but it is true in it's basis.
I have several more instalments in this series, including two Trinity centric fics, and a lemon for Duo/Wufei... as well as the already planned Sympathy and Empathy. So please, keep watching. There's much more coming in this trilogy gone out of control.