Author: kc-chan
Rating: R
Warning: Language, yaoi, angst, AU, possible OOC, lemon.
PAIRINGS: 6+5/5+6 ; mentions of 5xM/M+5; 3x4; and 1x2x1
++SPOILERS++: to be safe I'll say the entire series especially Blind target, Episode Zero manga, and Endless Waltz.
DISCLAIMER: not mine. . . please don't sue. Only borrowing them.
COMMENTS: that would be nice.<< Other languages are like this >>

beta-ed lovingly by Cheshire. (worship her.)


Somewhere + Part 8

He laid in the darkness. Wondering and waiting. It grew more silent every passing day. At least he assumed time in days, he had mentally lost count. There was no way of telling a standard block of time in pure inky nothingness.

Every now and then he heard the whispers of murmuring voices float across his unconscious state. Words that would never be made clear to his senses.

As if they were closing down.

As hard as he tried, he could not reach the surface of this hellish abyss.

His waking nightmare.

A distant beeping grated his tolerance. From where it came, he could not tell.

All he could do was strike out against himself, growing more bitter.

More angry.

More infuriated.

Livid.

And all that would answer his tormented screams were the sounds of his own pulsating breathes.

Down he sunk. Waiting, watching, and pondering the moment of his release.

How could Miri let him suffer like this?

How could he?

Why would they let him dwindle in the insufferable abyss of nothingness?

How dare they abandon him.

+

Millardo suffered a long, exhausted sigh. Mariemaia glared between her two fathers, her blue glare sweeping between the two taller men. Wufei glanced over at Duo walking past the door and met the violet inquiry.

Duo nodded with understanding and closed the library door, separating the "family" quarrel from the Easter guests. It seemed that their sweet little redhead niece was hitting teenage-hood with full frontal attacks. As he heard voices rise, he winced sympathetically. Glad, that once again, he was an uncle.

"Be reasonable," Anne interceded, sitting herself at the edge of the couch, once the American had closed the doors. She seriously did not want the entire household to partake in the conversation.

"I am being reasonable!" Marie countered, turning her angry glare to the head of the Preventers. "Summer is almost here. There are six weeks left of the school year. I want the guard taken away!"

"Why this sudden change?" Wufei inquired. "You seemed fine all week." Though he was not going to bring up that last weekend they were having the same argument. It seemed to be a revolving rollercoaster for a conversation topic every weekend for Mariemaia.

"Because! It's grating to constantly turn around and see someone there! Every time I sleep over a friend's house there is a guard at the house with me. A team of the Preventer's stationed outside their home. I go to track practice, there is the stupid guard. I go to my classes, and there is the guard. It's an invasion of privacy!" She shrieked, balling her fingers into fists.

"I understand-" Anne began quietly.

"No! None of you understand! You all ran around without someone watching you're every move as kids! Why must you enforce it upon me?"

He tried to hide his wince. He hated when she used that against them. Partway because it was true, he had been completely independent at twelve. It wasn't fun, but that was hardly a reasonable argument with a teenager. It went for the parental route. "Because we have concern for your safety. We have concern that something would happen to you. Because we care about you," Millardo replied softly.

"Because we love you. All three of us, Mariemaia," Wufei added. "We understand that you feel surrounded, and we can work on that. There are alternatives."

"We could use security around the school instead of a bodyguard following you constantly. We could add more cameras and surveillance equipment. But I still think a guard is also helpful," Anne added, though these additional ideas were wearing thin. 'Especially when I seem to mention them every weekend' she mentally grated.

"But I don't want a guard!" She hissed back, completely ignoring the other options being given to her.

"You could always consider changing schools. Going to a super high security school. A top notch private school. Or even tutoring," Miri surmised.

"But you would not be with your friends all the time," Wufei reminded her.

"Why do you have to be unfair?" she screamed.

"Is it unfair to want to protect you?" Wufei asked her steadily, black eyes watching her. Right now those defiant eyes seemed very familiar to him. No one had mentioned that raising children was actually this difficult. 'My ancestors help me, I hope I was never this bad to deal with.'

"I hate you! I hate all of you!" she tossed her glass to the floor and flung the library door open. They could hear the guest's murmurs of surprise as she sprinted past them all and up the stairs.

"Well, that went about as well as last weekend," Anne commented, offhandedly.

Millardo let out a sigh. "I can't figure out her hatred of the guard. Has the guard done anything to her?"

"That would be my only guess," Wufei nodded, looking to Anne.

"That's what I thought, but I've checked. Four times. Nothing. Obviously someone made a comment to her, or more than likely its hormones settling in and something else is bothering her and she is using this as an excuse to strike out." Anne replied.

With a sigh, she slumped in defeat. "Honestly, I have no idea, guys."

Wufei stood up, and started gently placing the shattered glass into the napkin. "So there's no use in questioning her right now, is there?"

"It would probably be a good idea to leave her alone for now. That's been the case for the last few weeks. As Ann says, she is becoming a teenager. We should expect mood swings more often now," the blonde replied, crouching down and helping Wufei with the glass shards.

"Even so, you two will check on her in a few hours?" Anne asked, exiting the room with them in tow.

"Give it what? Two?" Millardo inquired.

"That worked last weekend. We need to give her time to sort her emotions out," Wufei agreed.

Duo walked over casually. "Same incident as last weekend?" He held two opened beers out for the men, which were gratefully accepted.

"Basically, except no party," Miri replied, taking a long sip.

"Teenagers!" Duo chuckled. "Glad I was never one."

"Me too," Wufei muttered and then blinked innocently at the American's glare. "What?"

+

She hardly cared that she was crying in front of her parent's guests, or that she was running through them like a small child in a temper tantrum. With relief she swung open the door to her room and slammed it shut with a resounding bang.

Collapsing onto her bed she let out a sob.

She really didn't care about the guard. Truth be told this fight, nor the same one she had last week with merely Miri and Fei was never about the guard. It was an excuse really.

She didn't quite know what the problem was. And in not knowing she looked for an easy out to get her frustration out in the open.

Marie sniffled into her pillow. It wasn't truthfully accurate to say she didn't know the root of the problem. She didn't know how to approach it. They all would think she was crazy. Imagining things.

It was like an itch at the back of her skull. A twitching pain in her heart. Something wasn't right between Miri and Fei and she didn't know who to tell about it. If they even would believe her.

And it wasn't like she could tell them what exactly about the two was bothering her anyways.

Were they still in the same room?

Of course she would reply.

They were still talking to each other, right?

Always.

Then why would she think something was wrong. She was being silly again. Imagining things again. A cry for attention. Again.

And they would be right, wouldn't they?

With no proof, and everything looking normal to everyone else, she would sound absolutely crazy.

But they didn't live with them. Not even Anne knew Fei and Miri like she did. After all they were her fathers. She knew them better then anyone.

She turned over and glared tearfully at the ceiling.

It was the small things at first.

Fei seemed reluctant to touch Miri. They didn't always hold hands. They didn't cuddle all the time.

It had taken her a while to notice. To a point where she couldn't quite figure out when it started. She just slowly started seeing changes.

They use to flirt all the time. She hadn't seen or heard them flirt in a long time.

Then there were the conversations when no one thought she was looking. Marie never got close enough to hear them, but they never looked like happy conversations.

And they would always put on those stupid happy faces as she came back into view.

It frustrated her. It drove her to anger. An anger she couldn't quite vent because she really couldn't prove any of it.

Pounding her fist into her pillow, tears renewed themselves. Did they not think she wouldn't notice? They hadn't kissed since the summer. Eight months almost.

It didn't bother her at first, but now with Fei leaving for China in less than six weeks she was. Would they like being separated?

Clutching her pillow to her chest, she sniffled.

Maybe that's why Miri and Fei seemed okay with it.

That they wanted to see if they could be separated from each other.

Maybe. Maybe they weren't in love anymore?

Maybe...

Maybe it was her fault. Her partially her fault. Maybe it was the final top to their problems.

They stood in the face of millions of protestors to protect her. She hadn't always been grateful had she?

Maybe she wasn't worth the effort anymore. Her only value was who her birth father was, and she was nothing like him. Maybe Miri and Fei had expected her to be more like her father?

Maybe they didn't like dealing with her neediness. After all they were off on there own at her age, fighting the world, saving space, and changing things for the better.

After all they stopped their lives to be her fathers. Most of her friend's parents were a lot older than Miri and Fei. They had barely begun to live and they were saddled with her.

She was being selfish wasn't she? Demanding time from them. Choosing them over Anne.

It was because of her.

They wanted to spilt up and they wouldn't because of her!

Dropping back down onto her pillow she bitterly played over every fight between her and Fei and Miri. There were a lot of them. More than there should have been.

It left her with a final, desperate conclusion.

It was her fault...

+

She stood holding Anne's hand at the airport, reluctantly watching Fei and Miri say good bye. She hadn't spoken to either of them much during the last six weeks. Marie didn't know what to say. She felt horribly childish holding Anne's hand. She was sure some news reporter would make a note of it.

Frankly she didn't care. She didn't feel like a brave girl at the moment.

She didn't want to be a burden.

There was of course the large media fiasco that went anywhere Miss Relena or Miri went. She didn't feel comfortable with all the cameras on her. She pretended to smile, yet somehow she knew it didn't reach her eyes.

They had asked her consistently if anything was wrong. All Mariemaia would answer was that she was fine. It was nothing. A childish moment. She was hoping that if she seemed happy, and maybe less of a burden that they might grow closer together.

Watching like a hawk, Mariemaia memorized the display of emotions of Millardo and Wufei parting ways at the airport.

Duo and Heero had come to say goodbye, as well as Sally and Noin. They had talked to Quatre and Trowa the night before.

Wufei smiled, blushing slightly, holding Miri's hand, nodding and confirming things with him and his sister, as Relena prepared to board the plane with him.

It all seemed so fabricated to her. Like a play she was watching unfold before, unable to stop it or interject.

Walking over to the redheaded girl, Wufei pulled her into a hug. "You sure you're fine with this?" he asked her quietly. "I can always cancel."

Forcing a smile, she nodded and looked up at him and hugged him tightly. "Positive. I'll miss you!" she cried.

"I'll email all the time and I'll talk to you on the phone every night. I promise." He replied, kneeling down and giving her a kiss on the cheek. "I love you."

"Love you too, Fei" she replied, slipping her fingers into Millardo's.

"Love you as well" the tall blonde smiled, leaning in close and pressing his lips against Wufei's cheek.

Blushing, the Chinese man briefly kissed him back, dolefully ignoring Duo's grinning face after, and picked up his bag and followed Relena onto the plane.

Turning, Wufei gave one last wave before entering the gateway and was out of sight.

The media cleared out fast, leaving the group to huddle by the window. The adults chatting among themselves, watching the planes line up on the runway.

Marie sighed and pressed her head against the glass. 'Maybe some time away will remind them on how much they love each other. Maybe... Maybe this is what they need.'

"You okay, Marie?" Miri asked, kneeling beside her.

"I miss him I guess" she murmured back.

"Me too, Marie" he smiled.

"You do?" She asked in surprise. That wasn't an answer she'd been expecting.

"Of course. But I think we'll be okay. It's a little less than three months and we can talk to him all the time. It will be like he's right here with us. Promise. Time will fly by, I promise. And it will seem like no time before we're back here waiting for him to come home."

With a sigh, her eyes followed Fei's plane as it took off and flew into the sky, until it was far from her sight.

She just didn't think it would hurt so much.

+

Relena sat down beside the Chinese man. "You're writing her already?"

"Hm?" Wufei replied look up. "Oh, yeah. She seemed a little upset. I know she keeps on saying she's fine with this, but I know she's upset."

With a smile, Relena nodded. "Of course she would be. Any child would miss such a great parent as you."

"Thanks. I'm going to finish my email to her and quickly send one to Miri. I'll meet up with you in a half an hour?"

"Sounds great" she agreed before heading towards the front of the plane.

Smiling, Wufei took a sip from his water bottle and started on his email to Marie.

FROM: WChang @ specials.preventers.gov.eu

TO: MK @ encypted.mk.preventers.gov.eu

SENT: 04:08 June 3rd, 202

SUBJECT: Hello, Mariemaia

----- message begins -----

Hello Marie,

I hope all is going well. Yes, I can almost see you frowning and rolling your eyes at me. What can I say, I already miss you. And Miri as well. Sorry I couldn't stay longer at the airport, but we did have to leave at some point. Though, personally I would have loved to have said goodbye longer.

Have you and Miri come up with any plans yet for what you want to do this summer? Remember to get him for all he's worth. Anne has relieved him of duty all summer, so he can devote every second to you.

Hope you are doing well and I do plan to call tonight (well tonight for you, tomorrow morning for me. And remind Miri that there is a 13 hour time difference for the most part when he calls.)

Love,

Wufei

----- message ends -----


He mused a moment, proof reading out of practice. 'Love, huh?' he mused happily. It was so easy to say but he truly meant it. She had become his daughter.

As he sent his message to Marie, he opened up a new composition and began a letter to Miri.

FROM: WChang @ specials.preventers.gov.eu

TO: MPeacecraft @ specials.preventers.gov.eu

SENT: 04:38 June 3rd, 202

SUBJECT: Miss me?

----- message begins -----

Millardo-

Don't worry. I already sent an email to Marie, before you even ask. Your sister is fine, I'll be going over the plans with her once again before we touch down for a refueling in Turkey somewhere.

Just wanted to remind you that there is a thirteen hour time difference for the most part between where I am and where you are.

Wufei

----- message ends -----


With that last message sent, Wufei closed his laptop and headed up towards the front of the cabin to find Relena.

+

Yawning, Millardo smiled as Marie announced she was replying to Wufei before she was going to bed. She seemed a little more like herself now. He had to remind himself that she was probably just a little anxious about Wufei being gone for so long.

Closing her door he walked into his and Wufei's room and tapped the door shut with a gentle kick. Unceremoniously dropping onto the bed he wondered truly how well he was going to sleep.

'Face it Miri. You've become used to the brat curling up against you at night. You are going to miss him terribly for the next few months.'

Scrubbing his face he looked over and noticed his laptop was blinking.

'A message?' he mused, getting up and picking up the laptop. Returning to the bed, he opened it and looked at the message. To his surprise it was from the very object of his thoughts.

Laughing, Millardo hit the reply button. Maybe it wouldn't be too terrible.

+

"Marie! Breakfast!" Millardo called up the front stairs.

"Coming!" she hollered back. "I'm emailing Fei since their vid comms were out of service this morning. I'll be down in five minutes!"

FROM: MK @ encypted.mk.preventers.gov.eu

TO: WChang @ specials.preventers.gov.eu

SENT: 16:02 June 16th, 202

SUBJECT: camping is wickedly cool!

----- message begins -----

Hey Fei!

Camping was totally awesome! We couldn't go to the real woods and forest like Duo wanted. Heero wouldn't let him. Neither would Miri. (Such spoilsports!!)

Anyways, Miri said we could camp out in the back yard. It was tough setting up a tent! Luckily Miri, Duo, and Heero seemed to have a lot more practice than I do. Heero and Miri got their tents up super quick. Duo says that I would have to go to military school to learn how to do put up a tent as quick as Miri.

Duo helped me make a campfire and smores too. You would've hated that. All this gooey chocolate and marshmallow right before bedtime too! (Duo ate one for you. And so did I. ^____^)

Then Duo told us a ghost story. It was so scary! I had to hold onto Miri because it scared me so! (I'm so lucky my friends didn't see me acting like a kid but it was really scary!!)

It did rain in the morning though so picking up everything caked in mud was definitely not fun. Especially cleaning all the mud off the tents. Yuck!

Miri and I are going to the lake house next week and hopefully Anne will be joining us.

Talk to you tomorrow morning!

Love you!

Marie

----- message ends -----


+

Leaning back on the chair, Miri let the sun soaked air warm him. Marie had headed over to her friend's for a pool party and sleepover birthday party, leaving him for the first time in two weeks a free night.

Opening up his laptop, he checked his email for messages from Wufei.

He had actually been fairly surprised that Wufei had bothered to really write to him. They never really wanted to keep the vid line open for so long with Relena on "duty" as Wufei called it, so face to face conversations were relatively short, much to Marie's chagrined.

Yet, Wufei wrote him constantly. At first he figured it was to keep up appearances to his sister, but noting the email times, most of them were written in off hours.

Then he had figured it was out of sheer boredom.

Finally, he came to the firm realization that Wufei actually liked writing to him.

It was a strange sort of realization for him at first. Wufei, it had seemed to him, fully accepted him as a friend and confidant. They may not have been intimate, but they were acting more and more, as Duo had put it to him, like a couple raising children.

Smiling, he brushed that stream of thought aside and opened up Wufei's message, and laughed aloud.

FROM: MPeacecraft @ specials.preventers.gov.eu

TO: WChang @ specials.preventers.gov.eu

SENT: 11:58 June 18th, 202

SUBJECT: Re: Your sister

----- message begins -----

----- original message -----

[WChang wrote]

Miri,

Your sister. I only start like this because you opened this door already. But I repeat. Your sister.

I thought she gave up pink. I was wrong. Do you know that she has managed to put some form of pink on her body everyday this week? A pink umbrella. Pink hiking boots. Pink jacket. Pink shirts. Pink pants. I swear if she pulls out the pink limo you're going to become an only child.

Wufei

----- original message ends -----

Wufei,

I see she still has some irritating qualities to her. Don't worry, I checked with Duo. He believes the pink limo was accidentally-on- purpose wrecked by Heero a few years ago. And what can I say. She likes pink.

Even you have to admit it really is her colour.

Sorry we missed your call this morning; the two of us went out grocery shopping. I will say that I think I've allowed Marie to eat more sugar in the past two weeks than you allowed her to eat in the last five years. Well, technically. Eight months.

Duo and Heero are doing fine. I know they are working on some mission or another and might not be in touch for a few days. Nothing drastic, just a little spy and surveillance. Or as Duo calls it - butt sleeping exercises.

Quatre and Trowa just got back from South Africa this morning as well. They aren't sure if their emails got through since of a faulty connection. I believe he will try calling you tonight- 11 am your time if I am not mistaken.

I'm sure Mariemaia has talked to you non stop about our plans this summer. I'm trying to keep her busy. But you are right. I wish I had more time to talk to you about it on the phone. But don't worry, she seems a bit better. Maybe she was nervous about you being so far away?

I miss you. (the bed misses you to.)

Love.

Millardo

----- message ends -----


+

"What did my brother write to you, Fei?" Relena asked, peeping over the seat in front of him on their plane.

"Um... Nothing." Wufei could feel his cheeks burning after reading that message. 'The bed missed him? What the hell did Millardo mean by that?' he fumed silently.

"Did he send you porn again?"

"Relena! He doesn't do that!" He replied, blushing harder.

"Pity. I'll have to cc you on Dorothy's next email."

"Please, that's alright." He had no interest in what that forked eye-browed woman sent over the internet. Wufei was certain he was better not knowing.

"Oh no. It'll be my pleasure" she giggled, turning back around and leaving him in peace.

FROM: WChang @ specials.preventers.gov.eu

TO: MPeacecraft @ specials.preventers.gov.eu

SENT: 23:14 June 20th, 202

SUBJECT: Re: Re: Your sister

----- message begins -----

Miri,

The bed misses me? What the hell is that supposed to mean? It better not be what I think it means. Relena still is teasing me about the last mention of the shower. And that is your fault.

Yes I did receive Marie's message on my comm. I am sorry that we keep on missing each other. A last minute meeting came up for Relena, hence why I am emailing you so late. I wish I was going to be home for her birthday. Remember how we thought I would be able to fly out for that weekend and fly back in? Well it seems that the guards are going to be switching that weekend. I don't want Relena left on half guard without my protection.

No. I don't think anything would happen. But better safe than sorry.

And as for your comment about being lonely at the bar without me on Fridays? Bring a picture and staple it to the chair.

Sincerely,

Wufei


+

"He won't be able to make it?" she repeated quietly.

Miri held back a curse. He told Wufei he wanted to tell Marie, now he was seriously wondering what the hell he had been thinking.

"He wants to. He really wanted to. But there was a goof in the system and he needs to be there to assure not only Relena but other people's safety. He really wanted to be here."

Marie focused harshly on the floor. "Fine. Whatever. I'll spend the weekend at Grace's."

"Marie?" He inquired.

"I said fine, Miri" she ground out, feeling the tears curling in the corner of her eyes.

"We can always do something together. You and me, Anne if you want. We can go and visit Trowa and Quatre and celebrate down there" he suggested.

"I'd rather spend it with my friends" she replied back evenly.

Miri blinked at that. 'She will be a teenager in a week and a half' he reminded himself. He figured that he should probably let her spend it how she wanted. "If that's what you want..." he hedged. It didn't mean he would have to like it.

"Yeah" she mumbled before turning and heading out of the room. She didn't want to let him see the tears falling down her cheeks.

A frown fell on his lips as he watched her leave the room. There was something that was bothering her, but for the life of him he couldn't figure out what it was.

The vacation seemed to be fine, but there were moments where he wasn't sure anymore. Marie seemed to get moody for no reason and there were the random questions on had he spoken to Wufei, had he written Wufei, and so on.

They had thought that it had been because Wufei was traveling.

Then about two weeks into Wufei's traveling Marie started in again.

He was beginning to get nervous. 'Is she catching onto the fact that Wufei isn't really Fei?'

'Maybe on a subconscious level?'

Sighing, he continued to watch the spot off in the distance Marie retreated to. 'Perhaps I should give Wufei a call?' Checking his watch he nodded. Four in the afternoon was six am there. 'He'll be up.'

Crossing into his own office he nudged the door closed and sat at his desk and dialed up his so called husband.

Wufei blinked sleepily as the vid comm in his hotel room beeped. Groping his way out of bed, he slumped into the chair and answered, "Chang."

"Morning to you too" a cheerful voice greeted him.

Blinking a few times to clear the sleep from his eyes, he glared at the blonde European. "What time is it?"

"6:04. Good morning sleepyhead." Miri greeted.

"Why in my ancestor's name are you waking me up?" Wufei groused none too pleased about being pulled from his sleep.

"You were sleeping?" he asked, rather surprised.

"Yes."

"You must be getting lazy traveling with my sister" he teased.

He was answered by a disgruntled glare.

"Hey, has Mariemaia been acting... well, odd to you?" Miri asked.

Blinking, the Chinese man pursed his lips in thought. "Nothing too bad. Usually questions on when I'm coming home, have I talked to you lately, and so forth. Why?"

"She's been getting testy lately" the European man hedged.

"She is becoming a teenager next week" Wufei reminded him. "What are you guys doing, by the way? I haven't had the chance to talk to her yet."

"She's having a sleepover at her friend's house."

"Oh. I see." Wufei wasn't expecting that answer.

"Now you understand my concern. I'm not sure if unconsciously she's figuring something is up between us or she's just upset that you won't be home for her birthday."

"Hmm" Wufei pondered. "Maybe she's just feeling a little insecure right now? Damn. I wish I could back for the weekend."

'So do I' Miri thought, though he quickly dismissed it. "I'm sure it's hormones and we're getting nervous, that's all."

"Maybe" Wufei replied back, not sounding very convinced.

"So how is Relena?" Millardo tried awkwardly changing the topic of discussion.

"Still wearing pink." The Chinese man commented.

"I heard that it was the colour this summer season" Millardo chuckled.

"Great" Wufei snorted back.

+

Mariemaia sighed in relief that no one had seen her slip in Fei's office. She didn't need the servants thinking she went insane. Closing the door she turned on his computer and opened up her email. She knew it was silly to send the email from his computer, but she missed him and sitting in his office was kind of like him being there.

She wasn't really in the mood for typing or even talking to him. Marie swore she might break into tears if she had to look at him.

Worry consumed her. She had tried acting normal but nothing was normal anymore. Grilling both her fathers on how often they talked to the other wasn't probably her best way of gauging their relationship.

'It will be fine once Fei gets home' she thought. 'Miri seems fidgety now that Fei isn't here.' Maybe that was a good sign. 'I can't make things better between them if they both aren't here!' she pouted and began to type her email.

FROM: MK @ encypted.mk.preventers.gov.eu

TO: WChang @ specials.preventers.gov.eu

SENT: 10:09 June 22nd, 202

SUBJECT: Re: Happy Birthday!

----- message begins -----

Hey Fei!

I'm glad I got to talk to you yesterday. My birthday was good. Wish you would have been able to come home, but I understand that you had to protect Aunt Relena.

My b-day was pretty cool. I stayed over at Grace's and had a small birthday there.

Miss you.

Mariemaia

----- message ends -----


Sighing as she sent the email, she leaned back in the office chair. 'Come home, please' was what she really wanted to write. 'I'm glad we talked yesterday. Please come home. My birthday was good. Please come home. Miss you. Please come home...'

Wiping at the tears crawling down her cheeks she sniffled. Why couldn't she figure out what was wrong with her?

Turning around she glanced at the plethora of pictures Fei kept in his office. It made her feel better that there seemed to be a lot more than there used to be. It was the sort of hollow comfort that maybe she was overreacting to nothing.

She hoped she was at least.

+

Relena fanned herself in the street fair mercilessly. "I didn't realize it got so damn hot here, Wufei" she said.

"It is mid-July, Relena. We're on the equator. You didn't think it would be at least somewhat warm?" He asked incredulously.

She chuckled lightly. "Not this warm. Hey, are my brother and Marie back from Spain yet?"

"They should be back on Monday. Marie seems to be better now" he replied.

"Told you it was hormones." She replied, triumphantly.

Grinning, he shook his head lightly "Yeah, yeah. I'm an overreacting parent and a total dork."

"Did you get a chance to talk to her yesterday?"

"Yeah," he replied, ordering a cool drink for the two of them. "They were doing fine. Miri said something about finding a perfect tea set for you and is having it sent to you."

"How sweet of him! Thank you" she replied, gratefully taking the cool cup from Wufei.

"You're welcome. I think its a few more blocks to the store our host was talking about this morning."

"Great! It's so nice to have the day off. I hope you didn't mind coming with me, Fei."

Smiling, he led her through the throngs of people. "Not at all. I like exploring strange little corners of cities in Asia. You never know what you might find."

"And just think, in two weeks we'll be on the plane home" she chuckled happily.

"Marie keeps mentioning it. Miri and I think she's getting anxious for me to come back" Wufei sighed, eyes darting down the street looking for the shop.

"Well, this is the longest you've been away from her, right?" Relena inquired.

"It is" Wufei agreed. "I don't think she liked it. I believe the idea excited her at first, but honestly, she probably wasn't ready for it."

"It is probably very hard on her" Relena agreed.

"Ah! Here we go!" Wufei announced, stopping in front of a small hole in the wall store.

"Oh! How exciting!" she grinned and followed Wufei into the store.

+

Marie fidgeted in her chair. Miri was chatting lightly with Heero and Duo. She was supposed to be looking out for Quatre and Trowa, but her eyes were always drawn back to the gate that her aunt and Wufei were to arrive at.

Anne had left a few minutes ago to make sure the Preventers were all in place.

Sighing, she leaned back in her chair. She guessed was just anxious to see Fei.

"You okay?" Quatre asked, surprising her as he laid his hand on her shoulder.

Shrugging, she nodded. "I just miss him. I just anxious to see him again."

Smiling, he nodded. "I'm sure it was tough. But I think their plane should be landing any moment."

She perked up immediately. "You sure?"

"Positive" Trowa replied, stepping next to Quatre. "Anne is on the phone with the field agents and they said the plane just touched down."

Marie burst off the chair and ran towards the gate at full speed.

Millardo watched her mad dash with a touch of sadness. 'You really missed him, didn't you?' he thought, before following her, albeit at a more reasonable pace.

They heard the shouts of happiness as Wufei exited the gate from a certain redhead. "Fei!" Marie shrieked and all but launched herself at her father, enveloping him in a fierce hug.

"Marie!" he grinned fiercely as he hugged her close. "I missed you."

"I missed you too!" she cried back, cuddling her head into the space between his neck and his shoulder.

Millardo crouched down and pressed his lips to Wufei's cheek gently. "Welcome home."

Wufei blushed brightly, giving the man a hidden glare over Marie's shoulder. "Thanks."

Slowly standing up, Marie had all but latched onto his hand. 'She really missed me' he mused. It felt... nice. Really, really nice.

Wrapping his arm around Wufei's waist, he headed back to the gathered group.

+

Wufei didn't mind for once the older man holding him close. It wasn't overly intimate, but it was relaxing.

"Welcome home" Millardo said softly, flipping through the channels absently.

"Thanks. I missed you guys. How has Marie been?" He replied, slipping into the taller man's arm.

The gesture didn't slip past the blonde's attention. "Better? Worse? Depends on the day."

"Relena said it was hormones."

"Really? Maybe. I think she just wanted you to come home." He replied.

"Hopefully. It's nice to be home" Wufei whispered, closing his eyes.

Millardo shifted slightly and pulled the exhausted man closer. 'The jetlag finally hit him. About time, silly.' He smiled and leaned his cheek against that silky black hair.

'This is what I missed. Though I have no idea how to get him upstairs now.'

What he didn't see was a familiar set of red odangos watching them from just out of sight. With a silent sigh, she slid down the wall and smiled slightly. It seemed that all her worrying was for nothing.

Peeking around the corner, she noticed Miri press his lips to Wufei's head, before lifting the smaller man into his arms. With an air of panic, Marie scuttled as quickly as she could for being silent towards the upstairs.

She barely made it down her wing before she heard Millardo ascend to the landing. Silently she released a sigh of relief. Looking out, she watched Miri nudge their bedroom door open.

Then he looked up at her. "Shouldn't you be in bed, young lady?"

Blushing sheepishly, she nodded. "Sorry. I wanted to say good night."

"Good night, Mariemaia." Millardo replied, watching her head down her hallway. 'How long has she been sneaking around and watching us. This could be a problem.'

Entering their room, the European man laid the slight Chinese man on the bed. 'Crap. I didn't realize she had taken to watching us. Damn!'

He started to pace. 'How long has this been happening? Does she think that Wufei and I are...? Damn!'

It was another issue he didn't want to deal with at the moment.

"Friday will not come soon enough" he murmured, thinking it was a good idea to get smashed that week. Sighing, he raked his hand through his hair and collapsed on the bed next to Wufei. Pulling the other man close, he held the Asian man and closed his eyes.

He had the sinking feeling that the journey only went downhill now.

[part 7] [part 9] [back to Singles a-k]