Somewhere + Part 10He wasn't going to deny the confusion that had captured his thoughts. One could gather that jumping from one body to another would understandably do that.
At least that was Wufei's logic as his befuddled mind tried to right itself.
There was that itching sense of foreignness that plagued him, though not as bad as the underlying pang of regret.
'There's a word I could write a book on' he painfully thought. 'But on the upside it means that I did the honourable thing of righting my wrong.'
He held that contentment for exactly three seconds.
'Fuck the honourable thing to do' he hissed and turned over in his thoughts. Wufei knew he was regretting his decision to do let go of his life with Mariemaia and Millardo.
'Like it or not, I grew used to them being there. For better or worse, they became the first real family I have had in a very long time.
'If my first ever.'
But the empty sadness he had expected, the all consuming grief for his loss just did not seem to be there.
'Maybe it's because I am no longer tied to that world?' he contemplated. 'After all, it isn't as if I have customary emotions like that in my own world.'
It was then that it struck him in contemplation.
He didn't have anything.
No Friday night beer romps.
No true friend like Miri or Sally to turn to.
No Duo to give him romantic advice.
No Heero or Trowa to joke with.
No child to look adoringly at him.
No one true companion that lived with him, his antics, his personality, his stupidity to scold, cajole, or tease him.
Dropping away from the deeper levels of sleep, Wufei knew sooner or later he would have to wake up.
Would anyone be there to greet him?
No. He knew of no one who would miss him had he died.
Swallowing the last of his pride, he knew what awaited him when he woke.
'Maybe... Maybe it is time for me to use what Miri and Marie and the others taught me and begin over here.'
It would take a lot to show he changed, but even if he personally didn't do it, Fei obviously had, and maybe it was the first step to remaking this life into something resembling the one he stole.
Pale blue eyes watched the Chinese man's sleeping form with mixed emotions of trepidation and hope. Part of him tried so desperately to repress the rising inkling of possibility that it could be his Fei that was curled against him not Wufei.
He couldn't help wondering if it had actually worked.
And trying not to wish too hard that it maybe did.
Millardo began to run his fingers through those black strands of the still sleeping man. Musing, he began to wonder about the possibilities of his Fei returning to him. There was the question on how Fei would adjust, after all he had been gone a year.
Then he had the smallest bit of doubt that lingered and itched at the back of his mind.
Relena's words seemed to pick an inopportune time to come back and haunt him. All about their conversations on how Fei was so dependent and finally seemed to find himself. How singularly well Wufei and her got along. How independent Wufei was.
Millardo dwelled on that momentarily. 'Fei was dependent. I guess I never paid attention to that. But in contrast to Wufei who is exceedingly more independent, Fei did seem to loose himself at some point. And in all of Wufei's differences from Fei, myself and the others have had our friendships with him change.'
Shaking his head, Miri dismissed himself from that train of thought. 'After all, my husband might be back. That's all that matters. It's the only thing that matters.'
Scooting down, he pulled Fei closer, lightly pressing his lips to the sleeping man's.
The Chinese man sleepily responded.
Deep in the recesses of his sleep something ignited the younger man's soul. Wufei pressed upwards, leaning into that brief touch.
'It's a dream' he reminded himself. 'A dream doesn't mean that I really like Miri. I am just exploring. It's not like Miri and I would ever, could ever be intimate. Not when I am no longer there.
'A dream isn't reality.'
Pressing harder, he brought the kiss to a plunging, deeper level.
Millardo responded, bringing the smaller man closer to him. 'He's responding!' he trumpeted silently, deeply and privately elated. 'Wufei wouldn't respond! It must be Fei!'
Reaching with his fingers, the blonde traced the contours of the slim body on top of him.
Wufei moaned, leaning into that touch.
Taking his time, Millardo glided the man above him to below him. Leaning over the Chinese man, Miri moved into a straddling position.
Tan fingers latched into that pure platinum mane, dragging those lips back down again.
Lifting those muscular thighs over his shoulders, Miri whispered huskily, 'Fei...'
Those black eyes opened slowly, recognition coming gradually. Realization dawned upon the young man as what was happening with his body who and what was happening. Slightly sore muscles started reacting and the Chinese man shouted out as recognition hit him. "Miri!"
Miri paused at the sheer shock and horror that mixed in that one word.
Dread seized him, tumbling up his spine, a raw sensation of freezing in his nerves.
Those familiar yet foreign black eyes were now wrenched open in lust and horror.
Wufei could not move, caught in the pain of those icy orbs. Finding the strength to swallow, he began to speak. "I'm... sorry."
If it could have been audible, one would have heard a spirit crack. Hope fled the older man as quickly as it had swarmed in a mere few minutes ago.
Silently, Millardo left the bed and crossed the room. Then there was the slamming of the bathroom door.
Wufei followed with his senses, but could not move from his half aroused state on the bed and just stared at the white ceiling with dread.
Tears silently trailed from the corner of his eyes.
His voice sounded strangely loud suddenly as he repeated, "I'm so sorry."
Millardo collapsed harshly again the white tiles on the bathroom floor. His ears burned with the other man's words.
Sorry didn't begin to dam the rising hatred coursing through him.
'Fool!' he cursed, eyes filling with pained tears.
'Idiot! You weren't supposed to subscribe to that asinine theory. You were supposed to be rational and realize that Fei is gone! No half crazed, half cocked theory is or will bring him back!
'It was stupid to hope. It was foolish to hope. It was ludicrous to even believe for one God damn moment that it could have been Fei!
'It will never be Fei.
'It can never be him again. Face it. Fei's dead to the world. No matter how hard I want, wish, hope, rant, beg or curse I will never have him back!'
Nails scrapped harshly against the tiles, the scratching noise jarring to his senses.
It hurt. Hope hurt too much. It would eventually destroy him and he knew that.
'But how am I supposed to just let go?'
Was he to actually let the man he bonded with, fought and loved, nearly saw die on him once only to loose him when they had finally, finally started to truly enjoy life go?
All he wanted was to hurt that man out there with his husband's facsimile. Hurt him if only to make that thing feel his agony.
That man's face was the slap in the face to what Miri had truly lost.
Why had he agreed to Wufei's reckless plan? To remind himself of his own pain?
He wanted to hurt Wufei.
But he couldn't.
So he was just going to lie there in absolute anguish. He was going to ignore the other man's attempts to open that door between them.
Wufei was only knocking on a door to an empty soul now.
Nothing but ashes remained in his heart. The fire had gone out a year ago, but this was the first time he actually allowed himself to notice.
And this time he wasn't going to let it rise up from the ashes.
Wufei stood outside the bathroom door and knocked again. He couldn't just ignore the pained cries he could hear muffled through the bathroom door. Lifting his hand once again, he knocked a little harder this time.
'Honestly? What did you expect Chang?' he groused.
With a sigh he rested his head against the door and closed his eyes. Trailing his fingers down its wooden frame he whispered, "I'm sorry."
Slowly, as if it pained him to leave the other man like that, he moved away from the door and went to get dressed. After all, Marie would be dropped off soon and someone had to greet her.
That night was something neither one were looking forward to. Wufei had noted that Millardo had poignantly avoided him all day. And when they were forced to interact, it was terse. And that was when Wufei was being nice about describing the situation.
It didn't help that Marie kept on asking if everything was alright.
Twice, and Wufei felt guilty about that, he had snapped at her for asking.
Shaking his head, he glared at his reflection in the mirror. He hadn't meant for this to fall over onto the girl.
Exiting the bathroom he met with the new problem.
Was he or Miri ready to actually share the bed together? Albeit, the man did look better than he had for most of the earlier part of the day, Wufei had a feeling the man was more likely to stab him that willingly get into bed with him.
Millardo was not making any effort to conceal his thoughts about sharing a bed with the other man.
'Well' Wufei sighed, 'I might as well try to be diplomatic about this. Even if this might be the first time in my life I have ever tried to be so.'
"I can grab a blanket and sleep in my office if you would prefer" Wufei murmured, not actually looking at the man while he spoke.
Silence greeted him. Long enough where he figured that his best course of action was to gather up the blanket on the chair next to the older man and just leave the room.
Swallowing, Wufei steadily walked over to the blanket, making it a point not to look at the other man.
Which meant he missed Millardo moving towards him and grabbing his wrist? For a long moment Wufei merely stared at that hand grasped around his wrist. Tugging gently, Wufei pulled back at the man's firm grip.
Millardo didn't look at the man in his grip. He wasn't exactly sure what he exactly hoped to accomplish with his rash move either.
"What happens now?"
Wufei blinked at that. Miri's voice was raw and horse, most likely from that morning still. "I..." He wasn't sure how to answer that. If he could answer that.
Wufei swallowed. He bristled slightly at being commanded to answer something that he wasn't sure he knew how to convey in words the man could understand.
With a swift movement Wufei was not expecting, he found himself slammed onto the floor, slightly dazed and staring up at the older man glaring down at him. 'Maybe I should have elaborated' he mused, some stubbornness seeping into his own glaring eyes.
"Try." Once again he was demanding something Wufei didn't know how to explain.
'It is to be expected. Anger and misguided hate I can deal with. Those I am familiar with. When he gets silent and nice is when he confuses me.' Wufei realized that the blonde was finally reacting to his husband's death in a way that was recognizable to him.
Which was what Wufei had to call it, since it didn't seem that the eccentric theory had even worked, he was still there and Fei seemed not to be with him or anywhere else.
When had anything in his life been normal?
Closing his eyes, Wufei answered the only way he could. "I'm sorry."
If the hiss from the man above him was any indication of how he took that, it wasn't happy. "Sorry?" the other man repeated.
Wufei opened his eyes and looked up imploringly at the older man. It wasn't exactly comfortable being held down tightly by the arms with a taller and heavier man straddling one's self.
"I don't know what you want me to say!" Wufei exclaimed honestly.
Fury raged through the blonde European. He wanted to hurt the man beneath him so very much. "I hate you."
What happened next was astonishing to Wufei.
He swore he had heard Millardo claim he hated him. Then there was a swift movement and he found himself lip-locked with the older man.
Harshly the other man pressed his tongue into Wufei's mouth. A darkly passionate, rough kiss.
Pulling back to breath, Wufei panted slightly, cheeks flushed with a dark, lusty emotion.
Millardo felt better somehow. He had no idea why. The pain that he had truly lost Fei was not going to leave him. He knew that a year ago. Maybe he had needed to finally come to terms with it.
Wufei was struck with confusion and anger. 'He hates me then he hits on me. He wants me to leave and then embraces me.'
"What do you want me to do, Miri?" Wufei asked finally, looking up into those red stained crystal blue eyes.
The taller blonde pulled back, relieving the tension on the smaller man's wrists. Turning his head, he murmured softly, "Stay or go. Your choice."
Wufei paused and looked up from rubbing his numb wrists at that. 'Stay or go?'
It was then Wufei realized that the older man was leaving the decision in his hands. Staying meant gaining a family. Leaving meant loosing a daughter.
Staying meant learning to live with another man.
Leaving meant learning to live on his own.
It wasn't that hard of a choice for him to make. Not in the end really.
The blonde flinched in surprise when bronze fingers brushed back tangled strands of blonde from his face.
"I don't want to be left alone."
Wufei swallowed as Miri finally let go of his old life.
He held the older man close as the other's tearful sobs released the finally threads that hooked him to the time before Fei. He ran his fingers gently through the other man's hair.
Turning to the window, he watched a late summer rain wash through. Raindrops beat the window in a gentle sprinkle.
He laid his cheek atop of the man's head and closed his eyes. He was unsure what he had agreed to, but he really could not walk away.
For the first time in a very long time, probably the first time in his small existence, Wufei realized he couldn't walk away.
And for the first time, he was glad that there was something there to give him a purpose, a reason, a reason on why he wouldn't have to.
A warmth filled a small hollow that he had gouged out over the years deep in his soul.
For better or for worse, he knew where he now belonged.
And his ancestor's help any person who would try to take it away from him. It was his, and nothing was ever going to take that away from him.
Marie sighed and turned over in the darkness. Her clock blinked back with the ungodly hour of 4:36 AM. With a quiet groan she rolled onto her back if just to avoid the insomniac hour blinking at her.
She was worried again.
Really worried this time. More the she was before at least. Everything had been going well for a whole week then somehow it all blew up and she knew Fei and Miri were fighting again.
And they were fighting badly too.
So bad that Wufei and Miri had both snapped at her a few times over the last few weeks. Of course they always profusely apologized after snapping at her. But they never Ever answered her question of why they were fighting to begin with.
Stupid she was not.
Obviously they thought that dancing around the subject with her would somehow not make her worry or maybe even forget about it.
Try as they might, they had to have realized that it was becoming obvious. They were avoiding each other. They hardly ever talked to each other, unless they were in front of her. Even then, it was strained.
And now she was able to pinpoint that this was the same time as the year before that this fighting had started. What had caused it was something of a bother to her. She could think of no reason to explain the sudden change in their attitudes.
Once in a while over the past year it would stop and then as quickly it would start up again.
And always when they knew she wasn't around.
It was infuriating to her! It was driving her crazy.
To know someone so well, but yet somehow not. And again, asking had not lead her anywhere. Anne was oblivious to the fact they were even fighting.
"Everyone argues, Marie" she had replied.
Which meant Anne thought she was nuts.
"Lover's quarrels" Duo had grinned.
This meant they knew something and were not going to tell her since she was too young.
Or they all thought she was a teenager now and therefore prone to mood swings and so on.
'My hormones are not in question here!' she hissed fiercely. She knew a fight when she saw one. It had never been so bad before.
Now it had exploded and she was terrified that one day she would wake up and one of them would be gone.
This was why she was laying in her bed, staring at her ceiling at 4:30 in the damn morning. Like she had been almost every night. Fraught with worry that twisted her stomach into knots. That when she scrambled out of bed after a sleepless night yet again and carefully sulked down the hallway to peep into their room just to make sure both of them were there.
Marie sighed. She was going to get an ulcer at this rate.
But damned if she was going to be left in the dark about this!
Turning over again, she tried to close her eyes, but every tiny creak would wake her up with a surging dread that one of them were trying to sneak away. She was torn between dashing to the hall to check with every creak or lay perfectly still in her bed.
She stayed still because she was afraid one day she would see one of them leaving. And that would break her heart.
Because in the end everyone left her.
And she didn't want to be left alone. Not again.
Sniffling, she burrowed her head in her pillow and sobbed. The loneliness grappled with her, leaving an ache in her heart that grew everyday.
Strangely, Marie was utterly silent the entire ride over to the Winner mansion for the Halloween party. Usually, the Chinese man noted she would at least have been chatting with her friends or something.
But no. She seemed determined to analyze every movement he and Miri made from the back seat. He swore that her eyes had not left them since the moment they had left the house.
While he and Miri were not fighting badly anymore, he could sense that Mariemaia was more affected by the ordeal then they were. In fact, Wufei had gone out of his way not to fight with the blonde over the past few weeks.
Unfortunately, he noted, it was like starting from square one again. Only last time he was the one being the pain in the ass. Now Miri was sharing that duty.
But the man seemed to be finally letting go of Fei. Wufei merely guessed that that night was Miri's breaking point after a year of denial. Well, he was actually hoping that it would have been the night he returned to his normal world and Fei came back to this one, Wufei wasn't going to complain. After all, he was starting to like it here.
Guilty as he was about that, he did love having friends, family, and a close person who seemed to know him better than he did at times.
Though he was still skittish around the bed, Wufei thought he and Miri were improving. The blonde had actually stopped glaring at him constantly.
'And at least I don't feel I have to watch out for a knife flying at my back anymore' Wufei noted.
Unfortunately, Miri had begun to move to the ground Wufei felt uncomfortable on.
After the outburst, as Wufei privately referred to it as, they had been at each other's throats for a good few weeks. Snapping and shouting matches had been quite common.
It had come to a head when they finally burst out in a massive argument in front of Mariemaia. That had in ended in them both watching Marie getting very upset and bursting out in tears and running in the forest surrounding the house.
Which ended up with an embarrassing call to the Preventer's after Miri, the eight security guards, a few house staff members, and himself spent two hours looking for her. And not finding her.
After Anne had dressed them down loosing Mariemaia, it took all of them and two Preventer's teams six hours of searching to find her.
Wufei was a little bitter about that. For all his and Miri's tracking skills, they had difficulty finding a thirteen year old with no military or stealth training.
'My ancestor's help Maxwell if I ever learn he did teach her basic stealth training' he groused silently at that memory.
'Of course' he amended, 'Miri and I were not entirely focused or at our best either.' They were unfortunately forced to work together and bitter anger and snide remarks to the person next to you does not help when searching for someone.
Luckily they had found her.
His anger had faded to worry by then, and absolute relief was hardly a beginning place for what he felt when they did find her.
And it forced him and Miri to talk that evening when everyone had finally left and Marie was safe in her room.
Wufei, who had never considered himself very good at discussing his private thoughts, got a very thorough lesson that night. Miri and him discussed everything. Closing his eyes, Wufei remembered that night very easily.
Closing the door to their own bedroom, Wufei stood in the middle of the room watching the blonde cautiously. He wasn't quite sure what was going to happen next. It had taken a lot of assurance to get Marie to calmly settle down and get her to believe that everything was alright.
Especially when it really wasn't.
"We got ourselves into a fine mess, didn't we?" Millardo asked softly, leaning back on the door and looking at him through half laden eyes.
"If you're referring to today's events, Marie's reactions, and an all too scary and embarrassing dressing down to us truly from Anne? Then yes." Wufei replied.
"I guess we take her advice and talk about it" Miri replied softly, walking towards the Chinese man.
"Where do you want to begin?" Wufei asked, his eyes watching the other man's movements.
Millardo stopped just short of the Chinese man. "Why did you suggest you and I have sex that night?"
Wufei's eyes widened impossibly and he swallowed loudly. The man was not going to be obtuse with his questions.
"As I said that night. It was a theory. Maxwell seemed pretty sure of it. I thought it was worth the risk." He managed to reply somewhat steadily.
"A risk to whom?"
Wufei tore his eyes away from the older man and glared harshly at the floor. "Look, no matter how you want to interpret that night, I did what I thought was the only thing to do to right the wrong of me being here.
"Yes, I would have missed Marie and you terribly, but it came... comes down to the solid fact that I am living a lie. I took another man's life, an alternate me or not, a person's life. And I didn't just take away a life. I stole everything he and you created. I stole his friends, his life, and his child.
"I never earned it. I was never given it. I took it. That night was my selfish hope that for once in my life I could right a wrong I created. I failed. I caused you more pain. I am sorry.
And I know my asking will never be enough. But I truly am sorry."
Millardo watched the other man carefully. "You don't have to apologize. It wasn't your fault."
"I am not asking for your forgiveness." Wufei stated.
The taller man smiled slightly. "Good. Because you have nothing to ask forgiveness for."
"I man want to blame you, but I know I can't. I tried being reasonable for a long time, the last few weeks my reason left me. I struck out at you because you were the easy target. I know it wasn't your fault. I know I can't blame you. I don't."
Wufei had one burning question then. "Why?"
Miri blinked and paused before answering. "Every little gesture, word, and moment I've spent with you proves it to me." Something almost burst when the other man looked up and gave him a faint smile. "There is one small thing bothering me, though."
Wufei looked perplexed. "What?"
Reaching forward, Miri drew the young man close and gently pulled the elastic band out, releasing the black hair from its strains. "That."
Wufei felt his face flush. "Oh."
Pulling the other man into a comfortable embrace, Millardo whispered, "Thank you for staying."
Wufei blushed harder as he was pulled into the other man's arms. "Thank you for letting me."
Quatre watched from across the room, two men flirting with one another. Whether one of those men knew it or not.
"Sweet aren't they?" a voice asked the blonde.
Smiling, Quatre nodded in agreement. "That they are, Duo."
Leaning back against the wall, the braided American followed the two men in question as well. "Something has obviously happened between them."
"Don't ask me, Wufei has been tight lipped lately about anything remotely Peacecraft related." The blonde replied with a snort.
"Huh. You too? Whatever happened certainly convinced our former I am so not gay Mr. Grouchy Pants to flirt, and flirt often with a certain member of Sankian royalty."
Chuckling, Quatre sipped from his wine glass.
Purple eyes twinkled in delight as Millardo seemed to usher the flustered Chinese man to the Winner dance floor. "Blondie is certainly very merciless tonight."
"Hm." The Arab man nodded in general amusement. "More so than he was when we visited them last week and you very nearly destroyed the kitchen carving a pumpkin." (1)
"That is a total exaggeration Q-man. I simply helped Mariemaia master the art of Pumpkin Carving 101" Duo smirked back.
"Still, the Preventer's I hear are starting to complain about the amount of pumpkin flavoured treats they have been getting."
"Zechsie was merely being considerate and sharing Wufei and his kitchen treats."
"My staff is still glaring at me for the sheer amount of pumpkin goo in the refrigerator."
"Heero hasn't complained."
"You took home a mere four containers!"
"That is a lot of pumpkin for two people to eat. Besides, I never told Zechsie and Wufei to buy their daughter a forty pound pumpkin."
"That is true. One wonders how tightly she has them wrapped around her little finger."
"It is very impolite to gape at my brother and his husband you two" Relena stated, coming into view before the two of them.
"Can one not help it, Ouji-sama?" Duo asked, batting his large eyes. "They are such eye candy!"
"Are they?" Heero asked, his arm slipping around his lover.
"Well, not as much as you can be Hee-chan, but still very delicious." The American smirked back at the glowering man.
Heero grinned back and nuzzled the back of his love's head.
"Shall we give them a bit of competition in the eye candy department?" Duo asked turning and sliding his arm around his lover's waist.
Wandering onto the dance floor themselves, they left a highly amused Quatre chuckling leaning against his own man and a slightly blushing Relena Peacecraft in their wake.
"I think the competition just challenged us" Millardo stated, smirking as Duo batted his eyes over Heero's shoulder on the dance floor.
"Hn. Let Duo make a fool of Heero." Wufei replied, with a soft smile.
"Oh, does that mean you don't actually mind dancing with me?"
Glaring at up at the man, Wufei retorted, "Keep telling yourself that if it helps your ego."
Miri pulled the younger man closer, "If you insist." He watched with delight the blush blossom over Wufei's cheeks. The man was such a delight to fluster.
"You-!" Wufei started.
"Shush. You're gonna make a scene." Miri chided, laughingly.
"You are such an ass" Wufei snorted, calming down some.
"And you're such a brat" the blonde replied.
Wufei rolled his eyes and continued to allow the other man to lead his on the dance floor.
Marie watched the dance floor from behind one of the room's large columns. She was truly only half listening to her friends chat about who was wearing what or who was cute and who was dancing with whom.
She frowned, and watched Millardo and Wufei closer.
Something wasn't right.
Something wasn't right at all.
Millardo listened to the sounds of the sink faucet running, faint next to the rush of the showerhead he stood under. 'Well at least he got over the sharing the bathroom is icky phase' he thought.
'Though, him brushing his teeth doesn't really bring it to a very sexy level, but still.'
In little ways since Halloween the young man had changed again. A little more open to being touched. A little more allowing of personal space.
Sharing a bathroom while one of them was naked.
Miri smiled. 'After all,' he pondered, 'he did have to come up with the idea for us to have sex from somewhere.'
The blonde had often thought back to that night, more objective now. Wufei's new openness, even if the man himself had no idea, was making it easier to deal with a loss. Closure.
He didn't want to always think of that night's events, but they came up for him to toss about often. Privately at least.
'He let himself have sex with me. I mean, a person who was obviously not gay would not have even tossed that idea around, let alone suggest it.'
Miri watched the Asian man's movements through the steamy glass shower door. 'And he enjoyed it. Not only did he respond he started to participate.'
Turning off the water, he grabbed a towel and patted himself off before securing the towel around his waist and stepping out of the shower. Wufei had seemed oblivious to his movements.
And while someone cleaning off their toothbrush was not the atmosphere Millardo was going for, he wanted to test a theory for himself.
Going up behind the smaller man, he leaned forward and brushed the slightly damp black mane from Wufei's neck. Leaning close, he brushed his lips against the back of Wufei's neck.
He could easily see the boy's reactions in the fogged mirror in front of them both.
The shock, the surprise, and the tiniest flutter in the eyes. Lust.
Pressing his cheek against the top of Wufei's head, he whispered, "Why are you surrendering?"
Wufei's brain had by now stopped working. He managed an inarticulate, "I... I..."
"Hm." The blonde sounded entirely too amused.
Pulling back, the European man left a shell shocked Wufei standing frozen in front of the bathroom mirror.
"What the hell was that?" Wufei managed to whisper out. Though he wasn't sure if the question was directed at the older man or himself.
[part 9] [side story] [part 11] [back to Singles a-k]