Welcome to the first episode of our new wildlife documentary, profiling the lives, habitat, and behaviour of that most elusive of species... The Bishounen.
The lens of the tiny video camera steadied on the door to the study, and Duo's voice continued its quiet narration, mimicking the breathy English accent of the quieter of the three presenters he'd seen on Sunday. This was supposed to be a secret project, after all, and David Bellamy's style was far more loud and vigorous, better suited to describing bits of the plant kingdom that wouldn't run away if startled. As for Steve Irwin... no. Definitely not.
Here we see the normal habitat of one of the gentler varieties, the golden-plumaged Quatre Raberba Winner. Shy and retiring by nature, the Quatre spends much of its time closeted away in small, wood-panelled dens, building itself a nest out of various pieces of paper, stuck together with red tape. When engaged in this strange activity, the Quatre shuns company, admitting only its mate, and occasionally other pack members who bring with them gifts of food-- and here comes one now!
The picture swung wildly for a moment, slipping in and out of focus as the camera's simple electronic brain tried to focus on the floor, a wall, and Duo's knee. Everything went black, then the camera adjusted itself for a different light level, showing a crack of light at the edge of a nearly closed door. The gap widened slightly, and the camera was aimed at it as footsteps approached down the corridor.
The various subspecies of Bishounen live together, warning each other of danger and hunting cooperatively, so when attempting to observe one specimen, it is necessary to hide from them all. I believe this particular specimen is known as a Chang Wufei... Note the distinctive black plumage and stalking motion, unique to this variety. A splendid specimen, truly splendid.
Balancing a cup on top of the plate in his left hand, Wufei knocked and opened the study door. "Lunch."
"I'm not finished yet... oh, thank you," Quatre's voice said gratefully, and Wufei grinned and entered.
"I know you're not finished; that's why I made sandwiches instead of trying to coax you out of here..."
The Wufei has left the entrance to the Quatre's den momentarily unguarded, Duo's voice whispered, and the camera had to adjust its light levels again as the closet door he'd been hiding behind swung open. This could be our only opportunity to film that most rare sight, an occupied nest being rebuilt by its inhabitant. Let's go inside!
The camera bounced across to the study door, staying low, then slowly inched around the doorjamb. Wufei was standing in front of the huge desk with his back to the door, trying to find a clear spot to put Quatre's lunch down on, and Quatre was shielded from view, partly by him and partly by a large, heavy chair. The image bounced again as Duo scuttled silently into the room, then did a full 360-degree spin as he rolled behind the chair. Then there was a series of fascinating closeup shots of bits of carpet as he crawled behind a large leather couch.
"I still think you should take a real break," Wufei was saying, "go for a walk with Trowa, or something... but I'll settle for getting you to at least put your pen down for twenty minutes or so."
"The end-of-year statements are due next week--"
"And they will be ready!" Poked out from under the couch, the camera caught Wufei reaching out to pluck Quatre's pen from his fingers and set it aside. "You know perfectly well that you can finish this with about twenty hours of work; your problem is that you want to do it all in one marathon session. Take some time off, and get Heero or Trowa to help."
"I notice you aren't volunteering to help, yourself," Quatre said dryly, picking up his coffee cup.
"I would rather be sent on a six-week mission to map the sewers under New York," Wufei said seriously. "Mythical alligators and all. Running the paperwork for the Preventers is tougher than running a mission!"
Having fed and encouraged his packmate, the Wufei now departs, leaving the Quatre in his preferred seclusion. The camera panned after the Chinese Preventer as he walked out, pausing to flick on the stereo as he left; then it returned to Quatre, just in time to see him pick up a sandwich in his left hand and the pen in his right, returning to work. One of the quietest and gentlest of bishounen, the Quatre is nevertheless capable of impressive violence when those he wishes to protect are threatened... in other words, touch Trowa and you're toast. There was a faint snicker after the very un-Attenborough words, before the narration continued.
A Quatre's usual nesting behaviour involves moving pieces of paper from one stack to another, while making cryptic marks on them and muttering quietly to himself. Observers are at a loss to explain his fascination with this apparently unrewarding pursuit; the Quatre certainly doesn't seem to derive any personal benefit or pleasure from the activity and his packmates occasionally attempt to sabotage his nest by carrying away one or two piles of paper, just as the Quatre finally seems satisfied with them. Observers have, however, recorded occasional vocal outbursts that may provide a clue.
"I swear, if Une doesn't court-martial this idiot I'll shoot him myself," Quatre grumbled, putting his sandwich down to make a vigorous note in red pen. "If he doesn't know how to make proper financial reports, he should get somebody who knows something about accounting to do them, not make it all up himself!"
The quiet classical music playing on the stereo did a good job of camouflaging Duo's snicker, just as it had been hiding his quiet narration.
Ah, yes... that sheaf of paper is somehow unsatisfactory and has been rejected.
A financial report skimmed through the air and bounced off the back of a chair, landing neatly on top of the briefcase sitting next to it. Unfortunately for the Quatre, he now has to track down a replacement set of papers to take its place. Quatres have been observed rejecting ten or more documents in a row before finding one that meets their exacting standards, a process that causes great frustration to the Quatre... and eventually a state of terror in whoever produced the unsatisfactory papers, once the Quatre catches up to them and makes his displeasure known.
Grumbling under his breath, Quatre picked up the next sheaf of documents and settled down, lunch forgotten.
Dedicated to building its nest, it's entirely possible that the Quatre will work on until he is finished, ignoring food and water until the last document has been properly annotated and stuck down with red tape. This sort of driven behaviour wouldn't be so bad if the Quatre only built one nest a year, but this variety of bishounen seems to find a reason to completely rebuild its nest two or three times a month, a pattern of behaviour that cannot logically be explained and seems to mystify its packmates.
The door opened without a knock and Trowa strolled in, hands in the pockets of his white slacks.
The Quatre's mate, a beautiful specimen of a Trowa Barton in his prime. Note the distinctive crest.
"That's enough for today," Trowa said flatly, and Quatre lost his pen for the second time in ten minutes. "I told Wufei you'd never take a break if he left you in the same room as the paperwork."
Undoubtably concerned by his mate's continued absence, the Trowa will now attempt to coax the Quatre out of his den...
"I can't just leave it like this, Trowa. Some of these reports are going to have to be completely--"
"I'm not asking you to leave it," Trowa interrupted, walking around the desk.
...or perhaps not.
"Not yet, anyway."
Who knows what he intends? Not me!
"Even if I get you out of here, you're so dedicated to your work that you'll be thinking about it all day," Trowa said, swinging Quatre's chair firmly away from the desk and bending down to kiss him. "So I'll have to provide a serious distraction and get your mind off the financial reports first."
The camera stayed focussed on Trowa and Quatre for a few seconds longer, as Trowa slowly kissed his way down Quatre's bared throat; then it pulled backwards, and its line of sight was cut off by the underside of the couch.
The pre-mating rituals of any pair of bishounen are a beautiful sight, Duo's voice whispered as the camera wriggled backwards towards the door, rarely seen by scientists and even more rarely filmed. However, a moment of quiet togetherness for those magnificent creatures should not be spoiled. We'll leave them in peace. Come back tomorrow, when we hope to be able to film the daily activities of an even more elusive bishounen subspecies... the Trowa.
On to Episode 2
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