Act Four: Doubt, Despair, and Dorothy’s Suspicions
I dreamt of blood last night.
I dreamt of death last night.
I dreamt that I fell by your side,
fatally wounded, last night.
You didn't notice that I fell.
Your face did serious stay.
Your steady hand then held my shield,
and you kept onward, on your way.
and you kept onward, on your way.
They were standing upon a bastion side by side, the cloudy next day. Zechs looked weary, in stark contrast to Treize, who coldly made the next move with these words:
“Just a shot in the dark, but have you seen her lately with a lace-lined handkerchief?”
The commanding officer hadn’t seen her showing that first gift of his for a day, and he sincerely declared that so it had been. However, he was shocked, as if struck by lightning, by his second-in-command’s further statement:
“I saw Quatre Winner wipe his forehead with that kerchief”.
“Really?” Zechs burst out and grabbed Treize by the collar for a second time, but the appearance of Quatre himself (speak of the devil!) interrupted their argument.
“Now let’s ask that Quatre Loser about his fiancée”, Treize thought to himself. Zechs listened eagerly to their conversation, but he misinterpreted what he could hear.
“So you’re going to marry her?”
The younger officer laughed heartily. “Why should I?”, asked he taking out the kerchief from his breast pocket and waving it in the air.
“So that’s how things are”, thought Zechs, consternated, as he turned pale with Quatre’s statements of his feelings towards Dorothy, thinking that it was his own beloved Noin the stripling was referring to. Then, a few tears trickled down his cheeks and everything faded to black before his sparkling eyes: he collapsed on the floor, letting forth white froth onto the cobblestone pavement.
Then, surprised, Quatre approached his commanding officer, only to be reproached by Treize:
“It seems that His Lordship is suffering from a seizure. Now don’t move until he comes to”.
And Zechs came to half an hour later, only to behold his wife’s presumed lover and laugh coldly into his face, which made Quatre turn his back, worried about the commanding officer’s health and that crazy stare that he had given him as soon as he had come round.
Quatre encountered Dorothy in the courtyard, but his fair-haired fiancée was not in the mood for conversation: she had also seen Quatre with that lace-trimmed handkerchief of Noin’s. Therefore, restraining her true feelings, she turned her back on the young blond and replying to his “Why are you so cold today?” with a piercing stare. This made him think that it was a day out of the ordinary, when not many usual and expected things happen at once.
That evening, Zechs couldn’t sleep either. Neither could his wife find her lost handkerchief. She also wondered at his state of health, evident in the way he acted: no longer cool and calm, but stirred and restless, betraying intense internal agitation. So she gently and sincerely asked him about his feelings. This was, for Zechs, the spark that burst the powder keg:
“Shouldn’t you know it better yourself, you poisonous wildflower?”, he scolded her at the top of his lungs, holding back his tears and punching her in the middle of the chest. Then on he went with his false accusation, that surprised Noin and made her wonder about why it should be so.
Soon, a consternated Zechs spent all night long wide awake, disturbed by her steady pulse and equally steady breathing; as she had equally thrust her head upon his throbbing heart, that lulled her into innocently spending the night in her own dreams.
Next day, the clouds had flocked even more, as if to eclipse the sun. The weary commander had called for his right hand, and he was impatiently waiting for Treize to arrive. Finally, so it happened.
“And prithee, why did you send for me?”
“It is concerning the execution of those who keep my thoughts in check. I thought myself that I would rather be in charge of that lovable succubus”. Zechs seemed cooler than the previous day, but it was merely because he hadn’t slept for two nights.
“As for Quatre, let me be his undertaker”, replied Treize, in an equally cool tone that didn’t betray any sinister intentions.
The hours passed on, and that evening Quatre was charged again with guard duty. Looking up the brown-haired waiter and reminding him of Catherine’s injury wasn’t that complicated, and soon Trowa was persuaded that such an affront should be paid with the blood of the officer whose steel had pierced her flesh. Thus, he followed Treize, gun in hand, to the corner of a bastion, where Quatre was going to pass at any moment.
The brown-haired lad aimed for the blond officer’s left breast, squeezed the trigger and saw his victim collapse, unconscious, before his very eyes, only to feel the older officer place his gun’s muzzle in his very quiff.
“Anyway, you’re fully expendable”, Treize coldly said as he pulled the trigger and Trowa pleaded for mercy in a desperate, sincere tone:
“I didn’t know you wanted him killed! I did it for Cath...” then, a gunshot interrupted his last words.
From his office, Zechs heard the gunshots. “Treize has kept his word, and now I shall keep mine”, he thought upon leaving for his own bedchamber. But there was something within that made his resolution falter, and his steps turn less steady.
Noin also heard a firearm being discharged in the distance, and Lady Une reassured her she shouldn’t worry. The dark-haired young woman had stepped into her nightgown and was soon given a good-night kiss by her handmaid, who observed her hug her pillow and shut her eyes as she quietly shut the door.Then, she encountered the commanding officer, who violently shoved her aside.