"Quatre Raberba Winner! Would you just look at your grades!" Iria shouted, waving her brother's report card frantically. "Do you know how atrocious they are?"

Quatre just cringed.

"It's not my fault - the tests were too hard and covered topics we haven't even learnt yet..," said Quatre weakly. He knew it was a lame excuse but he didn't know any other excuse.

"That's what you say every time!" Iria said exasperatedly. "Honestly, do you like flunking classes so much? You are so damn, rebellious, Quatre. You'd better do something about your attitude - you made five private tutors quit because of that in only one semester!"

The blonde boy put on a deaf ear as his sister nagged him on the importance of getting good grades so he could go to a good university and get a good job and how it didn't matter that he was the heir to the family's fortune and business - he still had to be a good student anyway.

Later on before Quatre went to sleep, he thought about what his sister said. His stomache felt queasy and he felt a flicker of guilt stir deep within his heart.

Well, sure he didn't want to end up getting bad grades all the time. I mean, who does? It's not only degrading, it made him feel downright stupid. Naturally, he was a good student - didn't chew gum in class or pick fights with the other kids - only he didn't bother to do well in class.

Maybe he was feeling rebellious and thought that tests were nothing but a waste of time like most teens. Or maybe he was just doing that to make his oldeer sisters mad. Maybe he wanted to show them that he was his own person and there was no way they could stick him into the 'perfect' mold they created. OK. So he was just being a rebellious brat.

"Still, whether my grades are bad or good, I'll still get stuck with some crummy, balding tutor," Quatre grumbled to himself. "So I'll hafta do really badly and act like a mosnter to scare them away. I mean, why can't I study on my own anyway? It's like, they want me to be some geeky, straight A student or something."

Quatre shuddered as he imagined himself in too short pants, a checkered shirt with pockets filled with a zillion pens, pocket protectors and a calculator, a too big and too thick specs that kept sliding down his nose and a mouth full of shiny braces. Definately not a good thing.

"I'd probably get arrested by the fashion police for making such a bad fashion statement," he mused. "Oh well, I hope Iria won't get me a mda professor for a tutor this time."

That was his last thought before he drifted off to sleep.

~*~*~*~*~*

The next afternoon when Quatre was back from school, Iria told her brother about his new tutor.

"He's somebody my friend at work recommended," Iria said. "You remember Janice?Her younger sister goes to this university and she takes lessons from this person. He seems to be a good tutor because almost everybody at the university wants him to be their tutor!"

"Is he some weird, balding, eighty-year old professor?" Quatre asked. Iria just gave him a weird look.

"No. He's a student from that place, too. One of the very best students they have, in fact."

Quatre envisioned a geeky nerd with stringy red hair and an abundance of freckles splattered over a pasty face and teeth that jutted out much worse than Bugs Bunny's tutoring him.

"Oh, I have to go now! I have an appointment with a patient," exclaimed Iria as she grabbed hre handbag and headed for the front door. "By the way, Quatre! Your tutor will be here at around five!"

"Five! Great. Just great," muttered Quatre to himself as he trudged up the stairs towards his room, dragging along his backpack. "And right after my violin lessons, too!"

~*~*~*~*~*

It was five o'clock sharp and Trowa Barton was right at the doorstep of his new student's house. Trowa Barton was always punctual and was never alte - even a second late - in his whole life.

"Quite a big place they've got," he thought to himself, viewing the large and lush garden that was practically as big as the town's public park. "But that's no surprise seeing that this place belongs to the Winners. They're the richest family in town and probably in the whole state!"

Trowa ran his fingers through his hair and inspected his clothes to make sure there were no traces of dirt or lint. For a second, he felt self conscious in his black turtleneck, blue jeans and boots but puched that nagging feeling away. He was just a student that was here to tutor some high school kid after all. It wasn't necessary for him to dress up like some old professor.

Finally being satisfied with his appearance, he pressed the doorbell that was right beside the big door. Almost instantly, the door opened and there stood a big, burly mand with a beard and weird hair and seemed to be at least twelve feet high.

Trowa wondered if somehow he had went to the wrong house.

"Are you the tutor?" the hulking man asked in a booming voice. Trowa nodded. "Master Quatre' expecting you. Please, come in."

Trowa stepped in almost cautiously and he followed the big man up a flight of marble steps.

"This guy must be the butler," Trowa thought. "After all, he said 'Master Quatre'. Or maybe he's the bodyguard. Seems more likely."

The house, no, mansion was very huge and elegantly furnished with antique furniture, expensive paintings framed in gold and there were large exotic vases from the Ming dinasty filled with fresh flowers in almost every corner. Trowa could only stare at all these richly wonders. There was a crystal chandelier and glass cabinets that held expensive China, pretty crystal figurines and even Faberge jewel eggs.

After what seemed like eternity, they soon stopped in front of a room.

"This is the study room," announced the butler or the bodyguard. "Master Quatre is waiting for you inside."

Trowa just nodded wordlessly and the big man walked away. Taking a deep breath, Trowa knocked on the door and upon hearing no answer, he walked in.

He spotted a boy sitting on one of the leather armchairs at a big, oak table. The boy's feet were on the table and he didn't seem to notice Trowa's presence as he sat there reading a Dragon Ball comic and munched on chocolate chip cookies.

"Aren't all Arabs supposed to be Muslims?" Trowa wondered in confusion, seeing the boy's outfit which happened to be something priests would wear. "And judging by his long hair, he must be a very rebellious preson like his sister said. It's no wonder that so many tutors quit on him in such a short amount of time."

"Uh, excuse me? Mr. Winner?" asked Trowa hesitantly. "I'm your tutor, Trowa Barton."

The boy with the braid jerked in his seat and nearly toppled to the floor. He quickly scrambled to his feet and brushed the cookie crumbs off his clothes.

"Oh, hey. I'm Duo Maxwell, Quatre's friend," the boys said cheerfully with a grin. "Why don't you have a seat? Quatre went to the bathroom for a sec and he'll be back soon."

Trowa walked to the table and laid his backpack on it. Upon sitting down, he rummaged in his bag for his pencil case and some exercise books. Suddenly, he noticed that Duo was looking at him closely.

"Is there something you need?" he asked.

"Nah. I'm just being curious, that's all." Duo shrugged. "Not to be rude but actually I came here to see what the new tutor looked like and you look very different fomr all the others Quatre had."

"Oh, and what do they look like?" he inquired.

"Old, wrinlyed and bery bald."

Suddenly the door to the study room burst open and in walked a petite boy with fair hair and blue eyes. He had a serene expression and didn't fit in the image which Trowa had imagined him to be: gangster-like and wild.

"Could this boy possibly be Quatre Winner? The terror his sister was speaking about?" thought Trowa with disbelief.

"Hello," said the boy, extending his hand towards Trowa for a handshake. "Sorry I'm late. By the way, let me introduce myself. I'm Quatre Raberba Winner."

~*~*~*~*~*

The next fifteen minuts were going along quite smoothly or so it seemed to Trowa. Duo was sitting by himself in a corner, reading a stack of comics while munching on cookies. And so far, Qatre hadn't done anything yet. No pranks, no rude comments, no anything which his sister had told hims to watch out for. In fact, Quatre seemed to be behaving quite well.

"So, um, Mr. Barton? How do I solve this question here?" asked Quatre. "My trigonometry isn't that great, actually."

"Please call me Trowa," Trowa said with a small smile. "I think it's very weird to hear somebody my own age calling me 'Mr. Barton'."

"What! Are you really sixteen like me and Quatre?" asked Duo in surprise from his corner.

"But your'e a university student!" exclaimed Quatre. "And you really do look older and act older."

"My sister always tells me that I'm too serious and don't act my age," Trowa said wryly. "But I really am sixteen."

"Waitaminute. If you're sixteen, how come your'e a university student?" Duo asked suspicoiously.

"I'm taking advanced clsases," Trowa said simply.

"Wow! So you must be some sort of super genius, huh?" Quatre said in awe.

"I wouldn't exactly say that.." trailed off Trowa, running a hand through his brown hair nervously. He was begining to feel uncomfortable.

It was always like this. When people found out about his taking advanced classes and especially about his IQ, they would always gape at him as if he were the world's most amazing thing. The truth was, he never like to reveal that piece of imformation because once people find out, they would try to get close to him to get him to tutor them or their little siblings or well, they were trying to use him for their own advantages.

Things were that at the university were he attended. During groups projects, the students would be fighting to get him into their group so they would easily get A's and so that he would be the one to be burdened with all the work since he was the youngest and all the stuff they learn come easily to him. He didn't like it one bit. In fact, it really strained his nerves. That was probably why he didn't have many 'true' friends whom he could trust not to use him just for their own sake.

He also hated being tutor to practically evreybody at his university but he tutore some weak students anyway. The reasons were because the professors asked him to help them, his sister forced him to because she said it was selfish for somebody as smart as he was to not share his knowledge with others and lastly was because he had a lot of free time. Trowa didn't take part in sports or watch TV and waste his time doing frivolous stuff plus he didn't take much time on his assignments being the genius that he was.

"Anyway, just call me Trowa," Trowa said with a forced smile. "Now to slove this problem, Mr. Winner is by - "

"Quatre," cut in the blonde. "Call me Quatre. I'm not one for formalties either. Anyway, even if you are my tutor but since we're both the same age, can we just pretend that you're just a friend who's coaching me with my studies? Wait, scratch that. It's just a stupid - "

"No, it's OK. I like your idea," said Trowa, a real smile forming on his lips. For the first time in such a long time, Trowa felt hopeful. Maybe, just maybe, he could find a true friend in Quate?

"Really?" asked Quatre, a smile on his face.

"Really."

Triwa truly hoped so.

"Hey, I'm bored!" complained Duo loudly. "You got any new comics, Quatre?"


Huh. Decided to write something that isn't about the G-boys being G-pilots like always. I noticed that somehow my 'style' of writing fics have sorta changed in these past few months. Do minna-san notice it also and do minna-san like it? I hope so cos if not, I'll just stick to writing demented fics like the Cinderella one. Tell me what you think at blue_violet@gundamwing.org. Jaa, mata ne!!


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