Somewhere + Part 7 (cont)

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"You actually tried them?" Miri asked Wufei as the two sat organizing and paying the monthly bills. "I wish I could have been there for that."

Frowning, Wufei replied, "I bet you would have. I think I ate one."

"Wow. That bad?" The older man inquired.

"I'm not sure what those fries were covered in, but it was orange and gooey and nothing that even resembled cheese could have possibly been in it."

Laughing, the European man smiled. "Still."

Glaring at him, Wufei shook his finger, "your turn next time, Miri."

"We'll see if they can con me into it" Millardo replied, placing a finished bill aside. "You think Marie is feeling better?"

Wufei pondered it for a moment. "I would think so. Well, better enough to stop sarcastically sniding every valentine's day commercial."

"Ouch," the older man replied with a pained wince.

"No kidding" Wufei nodded. "And here I thought Duo was the only one who did that."

"Duo?"

Shrugging, the Asian man responded, "Well maybe. Duo from my world did at least."

"That must have been fun knowing that boy's mouth."

"Lucky me that I was the only one with him," Wufei replied sarcastically.

"Heero was where?" Millardo inquired.

"A mission if memory serves me. And very lucky he wasn't in a reasonable distance from me. By the end of the few days I spent with that boy I would have gladly stepped in and skinned him if only to shut Duo up about there tiff."

Wincing, the European shook his head. "That bad I assume?"

Placing his bill down, Wufei looked over at the older man. "Do you have any idea how much television Duo watches, Miri?"

Millardo paused in thought.

"Let's put it this way. I was very confused about what valentine's day was for a while after that. Throughly confused."

Teasingly, Millardo tugged on Wufei's ponytail. "So, what? Diamonds aren't forever?"

Millardo would swear that Wufei paled slightly.

"I see. Duo ruined diamonds for you."

"That and well, honestly, I have never understood the big hype onna's have with a glorified piece of carbon and crystal. It comes from coal and it will return to it." Wufei explained.

Snorting, Miri tugged gently at that tail again. "You are such a romantic."

Wufei stuck out his tongue.

Wiping a stamp across it, Miri laughed as Wufei shuddered in disgust.

"Yuck," the man commented.

"That's what you get," the European man replied.

"For what? Knowing that diamonds aren't forever?"

"Exactly." He placed the final bill on the finished pile.

Circling his arms around the smaller man's body and trapping Wufei close to him. Resting his head atop of the Asian man's, he smiled.

"What?" Wufei asked, tilting his head back attempting to glare at the older man.

"Thank you for cheering up Mariemaia."

"It was nothing." Wufei dismissed.

Millardo merely grinned.

Blushing slightly, Wufei frowned up at the taller man. "What?"

"You are really a great father, Wufei." Millardo complimented.

Slowly, Wufei smiled. "Really?"

"A natural," Miri replied honestly.

With a gentle snort, Wufei replied, "I wouldn't go that far and frankly off the record, I was terrified."

"Hm?" Millardo questioned.

"You really think I'm good at this fatherhood thing?" Wufei asked, ignoring Millardo's questioning sound.

Smiling, the taller man replied, "Better than you probably realize."

Leaning back unconsciously, Wufei smiled happily. "Thank you. You have no idea how much that means to me."

Returning the Asian man's smile, Millardo replied, "I do. And it's the truth. But you're welcome just the same.

"I'm just sorry I had to miss your outing and work last weekend."

Shrugging, Wufei dismissed it. "It's alright." He paused a long moment and then asked softly, "I hate to ask about this but... Well, what about this weekend? I mean it is Valentine's Day and all... "

With a soft grin, the taller man leaned in closer. "Is that an invitation?"

Wufei gave a long suffering sigh and finally settled on a scowl. "No. I merely mean are you going to be okay and all."

Leaning his cheek against the other man's, Millardo replied, "We'll find out.

"I think the guys wanted us to hang out with them, since Valentine's Day is on a Friday and that is drink night."

"Don't we usually do that anyways?" Wufei inquired.

"Yeah, but its two-for-one specials for Valentine's Day," the European man grinned.

"Did Mariemaia mention any plans to you?" Wufei asked.

Narrowing his eyes in thought, Millardo replied, "Now that I think about it, no, she hasn't. And if she isn't going to the dance, we should do something together as a family. Something here, or maybe pull some "diplomatic" meeting with my sister, just to make her feel better."

"That is a thought... "

The rushing motion of their daughter running in through the front door, made them both look up.

"I had the most Incredible day at school. Something Wonderful happened!" Marie danced in, giggling and twirling with exuberant delight.

"Well? Aren't you going to fill us in?" Zechs asked, politely waiting to hear what the all important and wonderful news was.

"Aubrey asked me to the dance!" Marie danced with exuberance.

"Congratulations!" Wufei replied, smiling wide. "Though I thought this whole Sadie Hawkin's Day dance thing was to have the females ask the males."

"Fei!" Marie exclaimed, glaring at him.

Wufei merely smiled back.

"Congratulations, Marie," Millardo grinned. "Though he was calling it close. It is Tuesday and the dance is Friday."

The redhead girl paused in her happy dancing, here eyes blinking in surprise at that revelation. "Oh crap!"

For their part, her parents just blinked.

"I need to get a dress!" Marie exclaimed, pacing now.

She was so busy fretting that she missed the shared look of dread that passed between both men.

Clearing his throat, Miri asked, "Have you told Anne yet?"

She spared him a look of obviousness. "She already knows. Remember? This month she's driving me home on Tuesdays."

"Oh, yeah." Wufei replied.

"And she can't really go shopping either with that summit coming up," Marie continued.

"I'm free tomorrow? Wufei?" Miri asked.

Nodding, the Chinese man agreed. "Well, we certainly couldn't do it Thursday. Maybe tonight if we rushed to the mall."

Hugging them both, Marie smiled brilliantly. "Thank you!"

She then paused as a cascade of revelations hit her. "Oh God! Now I need to get shoes, and a purse. And my nails and makeup. The hair! I have to pull out all the magazines from the trash and find a hairstyle... "

Wufei tuned out all her excited list making. "I never knew middle school dances were such a big fuss."

"Haven't you heard?" Miri whispered back. "A thing like this can make or break the social season, Wufei."

Rolling his eyes, the other man snorted. "You and Marie need to layoff the prime time, Miri. Seriously."

~~~~'~~@@~~'~~~~

A slightly bemused Millardo Peacecraft and a slightly phased and weary Wufei Chang entered the bar with a highly amused and beaming Anne Une.

"So?" a smiling American man asked giving the two men a glance over. "How'd it go?"

"My fingers hurt from the picture taking and holding down the damn vid capture button on the camera." Wufei supplied.

"It was certainly different then military school dances," Anne supplied, grinning up at her boyfriend.

"She was darling" he supplied.

"She looked fantastic," Millardo commented.

"You will share the pictures and vids, right?" Quatre asked.

Wufei tossed the camera in his direction. "Enjoy."

Quickly turning on the camera, Quatre and Trowa amused themselves clicking through the photos. "Absolutely stunning."

"Who's her date?" Trowa asked, glancing up at the boys.

"Aubrey Conners. His father is Alexander Conners of the Conners and Merticle Medical scientific and drug manufacturing company. His mother is Dietrich Matthews Conners, the Foreign Relations Secretary for the United States." Quatre answered automatically, his eyes never leaving the photos.

"Curious much?" Wufei jibed at the blonde.

Duo snorted. "Oh, like the two of you didn't do the same exact thing."

Grinning down at the American, Zechs chuckled. "Nope, I had Heero do that for me. Now do you want his FBI files or Preventer's Files from memory?"

"Hee-chan!" Duo exclaimed, glancing at his love.

"He is satisfactory choice for a school dance," his lover replied, with a cocky grin plastered on his face.

"Gee, remind me to get your stunning commentary on all her dates," Duo replied, rolling his eyes.

"He is very sweet," Anne said in the boy's defense.

"When did he ask?" Trowa inquired.

"Tuesday," Anne replied.

"At least she is going," Quatre said with a happy sigh. "I'm sure she'll have a wonderful time."

"I'm sure she will" Anne agreed.

"Now!" Duo announced with glee, "Drink time! And Q stop hogging the camera!"

Quatre laughed as he sashayed closer to Duo to let the American boy look with him.

"I've got the first round," Trowa announced, flagging down the waiter.

~~~~'~~@@~~'~~~~

Duo squirmed out from under his spent love. "So?" he panted slightly, teasingly tracing lines on the Japanese man's smooth chest.

"Hm?" Heero asked, staring up at the American man.

"Well?" Duo hinted, sliding an arm comfortingly around the other man's waist.

With a roll of the eyes, Heero turned to look at his partner. "I'm starting to wonder why you always bring them up in the company of bedrooms."

Grinning wildly, Duo replied easily. "It's the best place to have your undivided attention."

"You always have my undivided attention."

"Hm," agreed Duo, appreciably. "But you aren't always lying around naked when I have it."

"Public decency laws do make it difficult to be so."

Smiling, Duo nodded agreeably. "So?"

"Wufei? I don't know what to think. I mean he looks more at ease and seems to be adjusting. Well, for him at least." Heero shrugged.

"Yeah, there is that but... " Duo hedged.

"Winner say anything?" Heero inquired.

"Nothing concrete, more along the lines of easing Wufei away from the and I quote "infallible" version of Fei we all seem to carry with us. And that maybe we need to learn to separate the two as well."

"Hn."

"I am guessing Wu was feeling pressured?"

"And Winner noticed it?" the blue eyed man asked.

"Nope," conceded Duo. "And here's the kicker" he added, now that he noted Heero's attention intensely focused on this issue now. "Wu mentioned it to him."

Heero merely gave his lover a look.

"No seriously, though that was pretty much the same look that I gave to Q. I mean I know Q talks to him a lot and that he mentioned Wu was feeling anxious over the whole parenting issue."

"Chang's doing well." Heero replied.

"Understatement Hee-chan. Q mentioned that Annie was talking about Wu sharing his customs with Marie and Zechs."

There was a long pause before Heero asked, "Willingly?"

"Seems so," Duo shrugged noncommittally. "So I think the whole dance thing threw our beloved compadre for a loop. I mean this ordeal our Wu would have once referred to as "onna" crap.

"He's getting over himself unconsciously, or subconsciously in leaps and bounds because of Marie."

"Understandable. When you look at it." Heero replied, thoughtfully. "I mean he fought a war for her. He obviously has some very deep-rooted reasons for it."

"Some of which the world may never know," Duo agreed.

"I personally have come to the conclusion that it was a debt he felt he owed. He took her father's life- and we all know he didn't plan to win that fight. It was his kamikaze mission to end his own suffering. We all knew that. So, I am guessing that when he lived he did what I would have done. Sought forgiveness."

"Ah." Duo replied softly.

"Silvia Noventa revisited. Exactly my point, Duo. She- Mariemaia that is- by accepting him. He has dedicated his life to her as probably originally a penance of sorts. Asking for forgiveness."

"And now," Duo continued, "now it's different. He wants to be a parent."

"Hm." Heero nodded, sitting with his love for a long while before asking softly, "Do you ever wonder if Wufei ever thinks about the fact that he's killed her father, or more aptly Treize let Wufei kill him, and Wufei has essentially took his place?"

"So sweetly put, koi," Duo remarked dryly, though he smiled still. "A master of delicate treading I see."

"I meant for it to sound like that," Heero defended himself.

"I don't honestly know, Heero. Marie certainly doesn't harbour any ill feelings or sediments to him. She adores him in fact."

"Wufei is more responsive to her than Fei was," Heero remarked.

"To her yes. To Zechsie, no."

"You think she's noticed?"

"She's a brilliant girl. Smarter than any of us might realize, Heero. She might be curious to some changes. At some point she might mention it."

"Should someone say something?"

Duo blew his bangs out of his eyes. "That's the kicker. If it were me in her position I'd be mighty miffed about being kept in the dark. Q is more like her though. Both are more rational, empathic thinkers. She'll be upset, understandably and then hopefully accept it."

"One would hope."

"Wufei bends over backwards for her. You know she enjoys the newfound attention he lavishes on her. Besides," Duo pointed out, "who else would cohort Wufei into dress shopping and hairstyling when Annie couldn't make it?"

Shaking his head, Heero smiled. "I still can not see him dress shopping or in a hair salon."

"I'd cringe at the thought too, Hee-chan. But I bet you it didn't even cross his mind to bother him."

"He's a father now," Heero replied.

"Yeah," Duo agreed with a smile. "He is, isn't he?"

~~~~'~~@@~~'~~~~

"She looks amazing!" Sally gushed, viewing the pictures Une was sending her via the vid comm. "You picked out an amazing dress."

"Wufei picked it out," Ann corrected with a superior smirk on her lips.

"Seriously," Sally replied.

"Completely, Sally. He even took her to the stylist for makeup and hair," Ann revealed.

"Damn. He's been domesticated!" Noin cheered, viewing the images as well on their three way call.

Snorting, Ann replied, "Hardly."

"Shopping? Makeup? Hair? Certainly not the Chang Wufei I know," Noin laughed.

"True enough. Did it bother you?" Sally asked the brown haired head of the Preventers.

"Not as much as I hoped it would," she replied honestly.

"Ann?" Noin inquired gently.

"I basically gave them custody. You guys know that," Ann replied.

"But they share that with you," Sally added.

"No" Anne replied. "I gave it all to them."

"Why?" Noin asked.

With a sigh, the braided haired woman leaned back in her chair. "The same reason Wufei was there picking out a dress. They have the time. Zehcs and Fei, and now even more so Zechs and Wufei. Their lives revolve around hers. I, admittedly selfishly, don't want to lessen my involvement with the Preventers."

"You don't have to," Sally replied earnestly.

"No, I don't," Anne replied, with a smile. "I like being the big sister, the cool aunt. And yes, Zechs and Wufei consult me on a lot of their decisions."

"You sure you're okay with that?" Noin asked.

"I needed to choose in my life. Dedicate it to him and Mariemaia, or come into my own. Trust me if Zechs and Fei weren't raising her, it would have been me. But I like being her confidant. Tough I will relinquish the title of peacekeeper between Marie and Zechs to Wufei."

Snorting, Noin leaned on one arm and grinned. "Those two have the same personality."

"Wufei, the peacekeeper? Well wonders never seize." Sally replied, laughing.

~~~~'~~@@~~'~~~~

"What did you accomplish?" Trowa asked, entering the room and glancing at the extremely happy grin on his husband's face.

"Hm?" Quatre asked innocently. "What makes you think that?"

"You have a perfectly content I-knew-so grin on your face," Trowa informed him.

"Ah. Well." Quatre responded.

Walking over Trowa dropped down beside his love and glanced at the images in his hands. "Ah! Marie's pictures already?"

"Wufei sent them via email before heading over to the bar, I guess," Quatre informed him.

"I see," Trowa replied with a smile. "Every wall wears away eventually."

"Of course," the blonde responded, flipping to the next image. "She looks heavenly."

"Absolutly," the taller man agreed, leaning in closer and draping an arm over his love's shoulders. "She's growing into a fine young woman."

"Wufei picked out the dress."

Trowa glanced over in surprise. "How did you find that out?"

"Anne."

"Then how did she know?"

"Zechs told her."

"Hm," Trowa mused, glancing at the perfectly feminine picture Mariemaia made. "That is not something I'd peg Wufei to be good at."

"You mean "onna" stuff, don't you?" Quatre laughed.

Chuckling, the taller boy nodded. "Well, I guess his "onna" side is starting to kick in."

"Well, Zechs is going to need to face it sooner or later."

"Or Wufei will," Trowa replied.

"True enough."

~~~~'~~@@~~'~~~~

Wufei locked the door behind them as they came in back from the bar.

"Do you think she's alright?" Zechs inquired.

"I'm positive she is fine. There would have been a call of not. Remember she as not only 3 personal guards there, but two teams and the place is surrounded by special forces and I'm sure a sniper or two if Heero had anything to do with her security tonight," Wufei easily replied.

"Do you always get more logical when you're drunk?" Millardo asked.

"I'm not drunk," Wufei replied.

"Close to it," Miri countered.

"Tipsy is a far cry from being drunk," Wufei informed him.

"If you say so," the blonde man teased. "Can I at least get you a cup a coffee? I want to introduce you to the wide world of romance movies."

Settling on the couch, Wufei nodded. "I might need it to stay awake."

Millardo gave him an indignant glower. "These are classics. They'd be insulted if you fell asleep."

"No promises."

With a sigh, the blonde man nodded. "Fair enough."

Settled down with half finished coffee cups on the table, the European man said nothing as the movie played before them. Glancing down he noted smugly that Wufei was snuggled against his side, almost seemed comfortable there.

The lithe man was nestled against his side, his arm around the Chinese man's shoulders, holding him close. `One could almost say denial' Miri's mind quipped at the sight.

`Feels almost natural too, damn it,' Zechs muttered silently. `Fei is gone yet is it right to want Wufei so badly, so soon?'

"I don't get it," Wufei announced, interrupting Zechs' train of thought.

"Huh?" the European man answered smartly.

"She whines constantly. She is helpless. She clings and spends more time complaining about her waist size than my ancestor's know what. I think she got what was coming to her. She owned other people for goodness sake!" Wufei explained as the credits rolled onto the screen.

"I've never heard anyone describe `Gone With the Wind' like that before," Millardo replied.

Looking up at the other man, Wufei asked, "how is this one of the greatest classics of all times?"

Snorting, the taller man rolled his eyes. "You are such a romantic."

"Please," Wufei scoffed back.

"What?" Miri asked innocently. "You don't like the idea of being swept off your feet?"

Eyeing the older man, Wufei looked at Millardo unsteadily. "You're joking, right?"

Smirking, the blonde leaned in closer. "And what if I wasn't?"

Blushing furiously, Wufei stared back in muted shock.

"I would think it would be a pleasure to sweep you off your feet."

The whistle on the kettle went off, interrupting the mood.

With a sigh, Millardo untangled his arm from the boy, to which he noted Wufei blushed harder about, and stretched. "I'll get the coffee."

With a slight scowl, Wufei glared at Millardo, muttering under his breathe, "I knew you weren't serious."

That caught the older man's attention. As the smaller man went for the remote, Zechs snuck an arm around Wufei's waist and hoisted him into his arms.

To say Wufei was shocked was an understatement. He was beyond flustered cradled in the taller man's arms. "Miri!" he mustered up, feeling his cheeks glowing. "Put. Me. Down!"

With a snarky smirk, Zechs walked towards the kitchen, holding Wufei in his arms. "Nope."

"I look like an idiot!" The Chinese man complained. Loudly.

"No one is here to see you," Miri informed him politely.

"You are!"

Zechs let the boy slide down once they were in the kitchen. Holding him close between his body and the counter, he leaned in close. "I didn't think you'd care about what I thought."

Wufei swallowed loudly. His mind was still trying to muster up his dignity after he had been carried like some woman into their kitchen.

He stiffened slightly as Millardo leaned in closer, their cheeks brushing against each other. Something suddenly burned with an unknown and at this point he was even sure if it was an entirely unwanted feeling.

"Miri... " he muttered, eyes fluttered closed.

Smiling sweetly and with more understanding than the older man knew the Chinese man could see. Nuzzling the younger man gently, he pulled back and pressed his lips against the boy's cheek.

"Just keeping you on your toes, Wufei. I wouldn't want civilian life to get to boring for you."

As the older man slipped back, Wufei swore his heart was beating at triple time. Regaining his breath, he managed to get his blushing under control. "You can be such a jackass, you know that."

Grinning flirtatiously with the other man, Millardo nodded in agreement. "I can be, yes." Biting off part of a cookie, he popped the other half in the other man's mouth before he scooped up the coffee pot to bring back into the other room.

Frowning around the cookie, Wufei rolled his eyes at the older man, but merely followed him back inside.

Walking ahead of Wufei, Miri grinned wildly. `Well, score one point for me. He didn't act repulsed by the friendly kiss.'

"How about another movie?" Miri asked.

"Not another romance movie" Wufei moaned, dropping back onto the couch.

"Hamlet?" Millardo offered.

"Is there more love crap in it?"

"There is death, suicide, poison, and sword fighting," the older man offered.

Shrugging, Wufei settled back into his previous position against the European. "Ack. Why not. It isn't as if I could talk you out of it."

"Well you might be able to pursued me... " Miri hinted.

"I'll watch the damn movie." Wufei grumbled back.

"You're so sweet," the blonde man crooned.

"You're still a jackass," Wufei commented back.

"But I'm growing on you. Admit it," Zechs smirked back.

"Unfortunately," Wufei admitted.

"Score points for me," Miri chuckled.

"Start the movie, Miri," Wufei replied.

"Starting."

"Good."

And Millardo grinned in delight. It wasn't too bad of a Valentine's Day after all.

[part 6] [side story] [part 8] [back to Singles a-k]