Disclaimer: Gundam Wing belongs to Bandai and Sunrise and others and not to us. Original characters belong to the authors. No money was made from this, and this was done totally for fun and the joy of writing.

Archiving: Permission to archive in list archives, all others please just ask first. This and the rest of the Life Rules stories can be found at: http://home.earthlink.net/~beaglepack/vault and new pieces at Calic0cat's WIP Contest and archive: http://calic0cat.freeservers.com/gw_wip_contest_fics.html

Feedback: Any and all comments are welcome.
Pairings: 1+2/2+1, 3+4/4+3, 5+OFC/OFC+5, 6+9/9+6

Notes: It is not necessary to have read the other stories in the series to understand this, but it wouldn't hurt either. Special thanks to Nin for starting the Life Rules and letting us play with it. Much thanks to the beta readers for each piece: Nin, Miracle, Heidi, and comet.

Note 2: I previously posted a story for Heidi called Welcome Home, it too was part of the Life Rules series. Sorry about that.

timestamp: few months or so after First Meetings

Life Rules: Discovering Something New
by comet (cometsmind@earthlink.net) and Heidi (beaglepack@earthlink.net)


Ronnie had gotten the summons from Quatre two days ago. 'Okay,' she thought, 'he asked me to join him for lunch; but he's still up to something.' She just knew it. She was still getting to know her neighbors and new friends. But one thing she'd quickly learned was that the angelic-looking blonde was not nearly angelic as he appeared.

"Ronnie," the blonde said cheerfully, poking his head around his office door, "come on in."

Ronnie watched the small blonde go back into his office. His secretary offered a small smile before Ronnie got up to follow Quatre inside. "Okay, now I know he's up to something," she muttered as she crossed the threshold into Quatre's office.

She spotted Trowa standing by the office window and would have asked him what this was all really about; after all, she and Trowa had seemed to become "old friends" fast. But, Quatre had other ideas. Clearing his throat he gestured that they she should sit in one of the chairs across from the desk. "This won't take long," he said, his voice more business-like than Ronnie had ever heard. "We'll go to lunch in a minute," paused, "but first there are a few things we need to discuss."

Ronnie looked from Quatre to Trowa, who had taken the other chair, and then back to Quatre. "Um... sure, like what?"

Quatre's demeanor changed again. It was like he forgot he was sitting behind his big desk in his office; as if the businessman had stepped out for a moment. "Last night Cecilia called me."

Trowa interrupted. "That's another one of his many sisters," he clarified.

Quatre nodded and continued. "Seems that Iria," the only sister Ronnie had met, "and Cecilia were talking..."

Trowa interrupted again. "Short version, love. She does eventually need to go back to work."

"Oh, right," Quatre, blushed slightly. "It seems that Cecilia bought an award winning, limited edition photograph at a charity auction. Iria's convinced you're the photographer." Trowa handed Ronnie a small print out of the photograph in question.

Ronnie looked at the print out and smiled. The photo showed a man kneeling in the shadows beside a large floor to ceiling window that clearly showed space--stars and ships frozen in the frame. But, the true object of the photo was the small toddler slowly walking towards the man's outstretched arms. "I did take it," she said, still smiling and pointing to the lower left hand corner where the letters "V" and "M" were. "Take a closer look at the man in the shadows. He should look familiar, guns were drawn." She laughed.

Trowa took a look at the picture again. Then squinted and looked again. "I'll be," he said, still looking more closely at the picture, "that's your brother, Noah, right?"

"And his son, Rory. He was about two when that was taken."

"And he's how old now?" Trowa asked, tossing the print out on Quatre's desk.

"Just turned three," she answered.

Quatre stopped anymore talk about the people in the photograph with an exasperated, "You didn't tell us you'd won awards."

Ronnie shook her head and shrugged. "You never asked."

"True." Quatre then looked like he wanted to ask something but wasn't sure how to do it without offending her. Trowa asked instead. "Why didn't you sign it?" he asked.

"I did," she answered. "My initials are there." She pointed to the left corner of the photograph. "It's signed in silver." She smiled. The pen had been a gift from her other brother, Aidan, and wrote in flowing silver lines.

"That's not a signature," Trowa commented, moving from his chair to sit on the end of Quatre's desk. "Though, I've never really seen you sign anything with more than your initials, Ronnie."

Ronnie blushed. Trowa was right. She rarely signed anything with her full name. And most of her reports were initialed "RM.""

Quatre cleared his throat. "Cecilia really likes the picture," Quatre said, standing. "So did Iria. She even wanted to know if there were others in this series." Quatre waited for Ronnie to answer. When she nodded, he continued. "Then you'll probably be hearing from her.

Quatre moved towards the door. "Now we can go to lunch," he said, "but, we," at Trowa's snort, he corrected, "alright, I have another question for you. How many awards do you have?"

"For photography," she said. "Three, but the photo that Quatre's sister bought is limited print. There are five copies--the one I donated to the auction, the one I kept, the other three were distributed to family."

"What about the others?" Trowa asked, his curiosity piqued more now. "What was the subject in those photos?"

Ronnie sighed, lunch was going to be long. "Um, the one that's in storage some place..."

"In storage?!" Quatre interrupted. He couldn't believe she'd actually leave an award winning photo in storage but then this was Ronnie and she didn't always do things like one would expect. "Maybe we could hang it in my office," he suggested as the elevators door closed.

- end -

Author contact info:
comet cometsmind{at}earthlink.net and Heidi beaglepack{at}earthlink.net

Life Rules (GW), New Alliances (GW/Anita Blake), and Misc Stories: