Author: KatiKat
see prologue for warnings, disclaimers

Hidden Treasure + Part 4

"Looks like your bride has fire in her blood, my son," Odin Lowe Sr said with delight.

Wufei started to laugh again. He bent down, hitting his thigh with his fist as he wailed in laughter.

Odin Lowe looked at him confused. "Is your friend all right, Odin?"

Heero, who finally managed to get up from the floor where he had landed after Duo punched him, dusted his clothes off as he moved closer to Wufei.

"I don't know, father. I think he may be sick," he said in a matter of fact voice.

"Really? I hope it's not contagious."

"I'm sure it's not," Heero said calmly while he covertly kicked Wufei hard in his shin.

Wufei yelped in pain and, massaging his aching bone, glared at Heero, who was looking suddenly all innocent. "That was unnecessary," he hissed through tightly clenched teeth.

When Wufei's laughter came to a sudden stop it finally registered with Duo that he should be playing a "bride". He remembered the advices his sister gave him while they attacked their mother's wardrobe:

"As a woman, you have to bow in front of everybody. The higher his position is, the lower you have to bow. And you have to stay in that position until the person you are greeting tells you can get up."

Duo didn't like it. He didn't like it at all. He wasn't sure if Hilde hadn't been making fun of him back then. But he had to admit that she was the woman and she had been taught how to behave - that she never followed the rules she had been taught was another thing.

So spreading his skirt with his hands he bent his knees and bowed deep. He waited in that posture for what seemed like eternity before Odin Lowe came closer to him to offer Duo his hand and help him get up. Duo thanked every deity that was watching over him - a couple of seconds longer and his legs would have given up. How do women do that?

Duo stood up but even when he straightened to the fullest he still didn't even reach Odin Lowe's chin. He really hated being small!

"Beautiful. You really know how to choose your future brides, son," he praised Heero. "And she has temperament!"

Duo blushed.

Heero raised his eyebrows. "Uhm, father, didn't you want me to marry Relena? And you can't say she has temperament. She is as bland as a soup without salt!"

Odin waved his hand. "Forget about Relena. You obviously had better luck than I."

Odin was staring at Duo and the "bride" was starting to feel more and more uncomfortable. Why was he looking at him like that?

Heero definitely felt uncomfortable. His father was ogling his "bride" and he was almost salivating. Yeah, Duo was beautiful, but Heero's father should realize he was too old to even think about a girl... uhm, boy... whatever, like Duo. C'mon - he was 36! A grandpa!

Heero moved closer to his one and only, and took her... his... whatever, hand out of his father's. "Would you mind?" he asked frowning at Odin.

It seemed as if that broke the spell that was holding Odin frozen to the spot. He coughed a little to hide his embarrassment and clasped his hands together behind his back.

"So, would you mind introducing us, son?"

"Father this is Duette Maxwell, my fiancée," Heero said and glared at Wufei who started to snicker again.

Taking a hold of Duo's hand again - rather eagerly as Heero noticed - he kissed it. "It's my honour and pleasure to meet you, milady."

Duo blushed again. Oh god, he really hated his fair skin. "And it's my honour and pleasure to finally meet the father of my fiancé," he answered.

Odin seemed to be mesmerized by Duo's voice and was staring at the braided boy holding his hand in his - again! Heero took hold of Duo's hand and pulled it out of his father's grasp - again! This was getting old.

Odin coughed again and moved a step away from the couple, obviously realizing he was embarrassing himself. Then something caught up with him. "Maxwell?" he asked. "Like the Arch Bishop Maxwell? The head of the Church of Sanq?"

Duo froze hearing his father's name and title. Please, don't tell me my father is here, he begged in his mind. "Yes, he is an uncle of mine," he explained quickly. Oh god, he was getting deeper and deeper in trouble.

Odin moved to Heero, suddenly full of new energy and clapped his son on his back. "That's fantastic, son. I always wanted to tie our families together. You will win great prestige in the Kingdom when you marry into the Arch Bishop's family! I'm so proud of you, boy!"

Oh god, Duo moaned, deeper and deeper. He looked at Heero as his hand tightened around Duo's. Heero had this "everything will be okay" look, but he didn't look as sure of himself as he did just a couple of minutes ago. Heero, I will strangle you with my own braid, Duo thought as he gripped Heero's hand so tightly that his knuckles went white. Heero's only reaction was a little wince.

"I'm sure the Arch Bishop will even be willing to wed you himself!"

"What?" both Heero and Duo exclaimed in shock.

Odin didn't seem to be fazed by their surprise. "I thought it would be fantastic if you would marry here in the Capital city under the patronage of the King himself!"

Duo felt suddenly ill. Nonononono, this isn't happening.

"Oh, speaking about the King-" he took out his pocket watch, "-we should hurry. The party is starting in just a couple of hours and we have to refresh and dress ourselves properly."

"Party? What party?" was the only thing Heero was able to get out of him. This wasn't going the way he had hoped it would.

Odin laughed obviously very satisfied with himself. "I told the King that you were bringing your future wife with you and he was eager to meet her, so he decided to throw a party for you. Isn't that very generous of him?" He headed to the stairway on the left, without noticing that Duo's legs gave up on him and the only thing that held him upright was Heero's arms around his shoulders. "Howard prepared the Golden room for our guest. You can send for a maid to help your bride. I will see you in a couple of hours, children." With that he disappeared in one of the dark corridors.

When Duo was able to stand on his own, Heero let him go and stepped away from him fearing that another punch would land on his already tender face. The others were standing a couple of steps away from them watching them silently, expectance in the air.

When Duo didn't move or speak for a long moment and was just blankly staring at the black and white tiles on the floor Heero opened his mouth to tell something.

"Not. A. Word." Duo hissed still not moving.

Heero coughed self-consciously. "Duo, I promise you..."

He was again interrupted by Duo. "Don't. Say. ThatI! Don't. Want. To. Hear. That!"

"Duo..." Heero tried to object.

This time Duo spun around. "You and your ideas, Lowe!" He was poking Heero in his chest. "Even I don't have such dumb plans as you!" Wufei snickered but froze when Duo looked at him furiously. "You should really REALLY think out SOMETHING because I have no intention of actually marrying you! My father, Heero! My father will see me like this! He will disinherit me!"

Heero swallowed nervously. Okay, it really hadn't gone the way he had wanted it. "I will figure something out, I promise!"

Duo didn't answer. He just bent down, tucked up his long skirt and headed to the stairway where Odin had disappeared just a couple of minutes ago. "Show me my room before I do something very un-lady like!" he warned.

Heero sighed. This really REALLY hadn't gone well. Instead of trying to argue with Duo, he followed him up the stairs.

Quatre moved closer to Trowa. "I wonder if this house will survive this engagement," he said quietly and Trowa nodded in agreement.

Wufei started to laugh again. He was having the time of his life!

[part 3] [part 5] [back to the Singles page]