Characthers: Relena, DorothyLocation: Around northern ItalyWhen: around 30 April 198Rating: PGDorothy stood outside, waiting for her friend. Luckily, the weather was nice. She tried to be outside as much as she could lately. When she had to stay inside, her "baby blues" still returned. However, with Relena visiting, they were the furthest thing from her mind. As she waited, she watched Daniel and smiled. He was lying in a baby carriage, shielded from the sun, and threatened to fall asleep. She looked up and saw a car approaching the villa.Relena put down her book as they pulled up to the house. It was nice to be reading something other than paperwork for a change, but it would be even better to finally see her friend and the baby. She could hardly even wait until the car came to a full stop before jumping out."Hello, Dorothy!" she called, leaving the driver to get her bags."Miss Relena!" Dorothy greeted, smiling. She took a few steps to meet her friend with opened arms. "It's wonderful to see you again. It's been much too long."Relena gave her a brief but fierce hug. "Yes, it has. And the last time I saw you I couldn't do that."Dorothy returned the hug. "You didn't visit me in the hospital like I asked," she teased. "I suspect work?" She turned and walked back to the baby carriage. She picked up Daniel and presented him very proudly. "Here he is: Daniel Kyle Catalonia." She smiled bigger than she had in a long time.Relena smiled at her friend's obvious joy and ignored the quip about her work; Dorothy knew very well that she had been working. Instead she reached for the squirming baby boy and cradled him in her arms. "Oh, Dorothy, he's beautiful.""Yes he is," Dorothy was quick to agree. "Quatre insists he's a charmer." She rolled her eyes a little at the thought. "I don't know how charming he can be at this age, and I suspect Quatre's merely being nice, but it wouldn't surprise me if he turns out to be one." She watched Relena with Danny. She trusted the young woman with a baby, but she couldn't ignore her maternal instincts and tried not to let it show.Relena had already been charmed by the boy. "Oh, I agree with Quatre. This little man's going to be a heartbreaker." She continued to hold and rock the boy, showing no signs of handing him back to his mother."Are you going to invite me in?"Dorothy looked to the sky. There were no signs of rain, but she was sure it was time to take Danny inside anyway. "Yes, of course I am. Where are my manners? Right this way, Miss Relena. It's my aunt's house, but she and the nanny went into town, so it's just us—and a few servants who'll stay away." She pushed the carriage to the door and opened it for her guest.Relena followed, still cooing at the baby, and was followed by her driver/assistant carrying her bags. "So, you finally found a nanny you like? I think last I heard you were still having trouble with that.""It took some time, especially with my other aunt, Marla. She seems to think Daniel is Romefeller's new heir, and that, of course, means that no woman is good enough to be his nanny," Dorothy explained, leaving the carriage by the door as she entered. "However, once I got back to myself, I found Calista, and she's working out very well. People sometimes mistake her for the mother and me for the nanny when we walk in the park."Relena laughed at the thought. Then realized all of what Dorothy had said. "Is Daniel not the Romefeller heir?""I suppose he technically is. However, there's not much left to inherit, especially with the new government and ban on most weapons." Dorothy shrugged and took them to one of the living rooms, indicating a sofa. She sat on one end of the couch, positioned so that she would face Relena. "We've done an awful lot of talking about me and Daniel. Though as happily as I would be to continue speaking about him, I believe we should be speaking about your life.""About my life? There's really not much to tell. We just finished working a deal, and now I'm on my way back to Sanq. I can't wait to get there, though; I miss the gardens at the estate."Dorothy nodded. Missing her own gardens back in Spain, she could sympathize. "You're not overworking, are you? Milliardo's very worried that you might be." She turned as a maid walked by in the hall and requested tea and cookies. "How long will you be in Sanq? It's about time you took a vacation."Relena sat Daniel on her knee and bounced him gently. "Oh, no, this is my vacation. I still work from the Sanq estate, just not as much, thankfully. Too bad I can only stay here for a week.""Have you been talking to Milliardo?""On and off," Dorothy said. "How long is the vacation then?""A week.""Just a week? You can surely take off more than that." Dorothy's eyes rested on Daniel for a few minutes. "Have you had any late night trysts since we last saw each other?" She took a teacup as the maid arrived with their refreshments. "I can take Daniel if you need."Relena finally handed the baby over to his mother. "Oh yeah," she said, rolling her eyes and answering the second question. "I've just been jumping from one lover to the next. But that last one got so pissed off when I tried to do paperwork in the middle of it."Dorothy took the babe and set him down in a bassinet. He had eaten before Relena's arrival and was now ready for a nap. "Sarcastic, Miss Relena? People will say I'm a bad influence."Relena smiled sweetly. "Which is why I only show this side to you. As much as I love my job, it does get tedious being so careful around everyone all the time.""A reason I've never particularly liked politicians." Dorothy sat back down and picked her teacup again, sipping. "They're too busy making sure they don't upset anyone 'important.' I suppose some things never change.""And it doesn't look like they will any time soon." Relena reached for her cup of tea. "So, what about you? What's going on with this Jack fellow?"Dorothy made a face in spite of herself. "He's everything my grandfather warned me about on Americans. I can't see why my grandfather would ever have promised me to him. It doesn't appear like he got any monetary or military gain from the betrothment like he did with all the others. He's a bastard, but he's good with Daniel....""When you say 'bastard'..."Dorothy took a moment to breathe through her nose, calming herself. "I knew he thought I was a snob. He thinks all European aristocratic women are—minus yourself. He's quite taken with you, in fact. However, he said he felt what I needed was a 'good man' to 'rein me in' and curb my whims!" She made fists in her lap. "He seems to think that I spend money too frivolously since I'm running a little low on funds and that I'm too loose around men since I had Daniel.""Oh, dear." Relena grabbed one of her friend's clenched hands in her own. "Anyone who thinks you need to be 'reined in' doesn't have an once of common sense. Don't listen to him." Erring on the side of caution, she didn't mention what she thought of Dorothy's spending habits."Oh I told him what he didn't have," Dorothy assured then took a moment to calm down. "Then we had a few choice words about each other. He's gone for now, thankfully."Relena looked around as if she half-expected to see the young man. "He's gone? Before I could give him a piece of my mind? What a shame.""Yes, he apparently had some family business. He'll be back, though." Dorothy grabbed a cookie and ate it. "He's been the most excitement around here, though, which is quite sad. I suppose you haven't been able to make it to any parties lately?""None that I've attended for fun. I was at a few fundraisers last week, and Silas Barkly arrived with yet another mistress.""How young is this one? What does she look like?"Relena gave a conspiratorial grin and put down her teacup. "Oh, she couldn't have been over 20. Less than half his age! But at least this one has some intelligence.""Oh? Does she know her entire alphabet?" teased Dorothy."Worse, this one. She's quite smart, bilingual, political sience major I think. She met him while interning, and you know how the competition is for those jobs. But she's so obviously a gold-digger it's alomst embarassing to watch them.""A political science major?" scoffed Dorothy. "I say it serves Silas right with the way he comes onto women."Relena giggled. "True. I've had to fend him off once or twice myself."Relena continued to smile benignly and her gaze slipped to the bassinet where Daniel was still napping. "He really is adorable. Does he look like his father?""His coloring comes from my family, but I can see a couple facial features on him from his father.""Yeah, I noticed that." She considered pushing the issue a bit further, try to get a name or even a hint, but decided to back off. "He's so big. I can hardly believe he's only a month old.""I know. I can't believe a month ago I was complaining about how big I was." Dorothy kept her eyes on the bassinet as well, reflecting a little."So, what will you two do from here? Any big plans?""Soon we'll head over to see a friend of my grandfather. Then, if it's okay with him, we'll spend a weekend or so with Quatre. We'll probably stop for a day or so with relatives along the way to my aunt Eleanor and uncle Tretton. We'll be staying with them in Germany for the summer." Dorothy supressed a sigh and pushed away her reservations on the final destination."My goodness, that's a lot of travel with such a small baby. I'm suprised you're not settling down, at least for now.""It's a lot of travel," Dorothy admitted. "However, he's doing fine so far. If Daniel gets upset from it, I'll just head straight to Germany and skip the others. I wouldn't have gone on this 'tour' except for my aunt." She picked her teacup and sipped some. "How about your family? See them often?""I talk to my Mom often enough, and I'll see her when I get back to Sanq. She comes to visit me at least once a week when I'm in town." She picked up her cup again and glanced sideways at Dorothy. "Haven't heard from Milliardo in ages though. But I hear you have?""I haven't seen him since right before Daniel was born, but...he has kept contact via those online journals.""Does he? I'm suprissed I haven't found him. Started one myself not too long ago.""I'm sure you'll find each other soon, but I can always give you his later." Dorothy waved her hand some. "He's in Tripoli now, I believe.""Tripoli? Well, he never was one to stay put for long. I've been tracking him for a while now, but he keeps slipping under my radar. It would be so much easier if he'd just call me once in a while." She lowered her eyes to the teacup he held in her lap. "I worry about him."Dorothy nodded. "I do, too. He's keeping something from me." She looked over at Relena."What do you think it is?" Relena looked up from her tea."I can't really say. I tried to get him to tell me, but I think he held off because he didn't want to get me upset so close to my due date."Relena grinned slightly. "Sure that's the only reason?"Dorothy felt a blush come to her face. "What other reason could there be?"The grin widened. "Oh, I can think of quite a few reasons a man might not want a pretty young woman to worry.""I don't believe your brother feels that way, Miss Relena. I think he sees me almost as a little sister." Dorothy looked at her lap then back up at her friend, smiling a little.Relena huffed a bit. "Well, I am his little sister, and he doesn't worry that much about me.""He does. You and Daniel are the source of much of our conversations," Dorothy assured. "He worried you overwork and don't get enough playtime in your life.""Well, it would be nice of him to express those concerns to me. Perhaps you can tell him that next time you to talk about me."She looked back at her tea, only slightly ashamed for letting her annoyance show."I'll tell him to get in contact with you. However, I refuse to be a messenger between you two as I told him." Dorothy looked at her friend and found what she thought to be fatigue. "Are you tired? Would you like me to show you to your room so you can nap?"Relena sighed and put her cup down on the table. "Sure. I am a bit tired from traveling."Dorothy stood. After a quick look on Daniel, she escorted the former princess upstairs and directed her to her room. "I think you'll enjoy the room. It overlooks the forest, and the sunlight comes streams in the room in the morning."Relena smiled, attempting to get back her good humor. "Well, there goes my plans to sleep in in the morning.""You never sleep in," Dorothy teased. She watched Relena as she surveyed the room.Relena liked the room very much, especially they very comfortable looking bed. She didn't even have to look to know that Jeremy had put her bags in the closet."I see you approve. Well, I'll let you get some rest, then. I'll have a maid wake you for dinner." Dorothy turned to leave."Thank you Dorothy. I'll see you at dinner."Dorothy shut the door and headed downstairs.