Author: kc-chan
>> see part 1 for warnings, ratings...


Somewhere + Part 2

Maxwell sipped at his beer, joining the rest of his fellow pilots and friends in an uncanny silence. His eyes moved over the others expressions, Trowa and Lady Une were just blinking, `probably don't know whether or not to buy into such a tangled web...' He thought.

His eyes drifted to Sally who looked like she definitely didn't believe, and he judged by the way she had been taking notes that she was ready to diagnose the Chinese boy as certifiably insane. Noin just sat there, looking like she might have been buying some parts of the story, probably because she trusted Zechs.

Duo turned his eyes to his lover, who subtly returned the questioning glance. They both carried their own conversation privately, which ended with Duo glancing to the Arab boy and back.

The American had learned long ago to trust Quatre's reactions to things; the boy was an empath, able to feel emotions so clearly. And while he knew a person could change their emotions to attempt to convince Q of a few things, Wufei was not one of those people. From this dimension or another, the Chinese boy definitely could never lie with his emotions.

The small blonde had rubbed absently at his heart, now with his full attention on the Asian boy, Duo bet he believed both Zechs and the imposter Wufei in Fei's body.

He settled his nearly finished bottle on the floor next to his feet and locked eyes with the Chinese boy. Yeah. He was telling the truth. Duo couldn't think of a wilder explanation, but they had seen some strange things in their youth, and possibly this was just one more of them.

"So, Zechsie. You obviously believe him. Why?" The violet eyed teen asked, resting back against the leather couch with his hands knotted behind his head.

Raking a hand through his hand, everyone in the room except perhaps for the Chinese boy, saw the Sankian man's distress. "Because he, Fei was here last Friday night, and by the next morning Wufei was jumping out of the bed, looking like he was ready to vomit because of what had happened when Fei and I got home the other Friday."

"You basically came, er... during their... activities?" Quatre asked, his slim fingers running over his heart.

A bright red flush blossomed on Wufei's cheeks, and everyone knew without him even having to answer.

"So you were both going to try to pretend everything was normal?" Trowa asked, his arm rubbing small circles on his lover's lower back.

Wufei blinked as those green eyes glared at him. "Zechs and I came to the conclusion that it was worth a try, for Mariemaia's sake... at least..."

"Hn." Heero replied. "So she is unaware?"

Shrugging, Millardo replied, "So far. And I think it would be best to continue as such. I don't think anyone outside of this group should know, not yet. She hasn't noticed a difference, and any strangeness she has written off as Fei's approaching deadline with his work on his research."

"I will agree with Millardo on that fact." Lady Ann nodded, recrossing her legs. "As long as he can act close enough to the man we know, she should be kept in the dark."

"Doesn't she have a right to know?" Noin asked.

"She does, but she has a lot going on right now. If there is a need, we will." Zechs replied.

"I agree." Quatre added. "She will not feel as comfortable around people if this situation gets out of hand, or she is told a person she loves is still here in form, but not in body. Children can be sensitive to these things." He looked over at Wufei. "Besides, I doubt Wufei would want her to come to any harm. You fought in her grandfather's war where you come from?"

He nodded swiftly, "Yes. I was involved in the Mariemaia, I'm sorry, the Eve War. The ending results are just... different."

Strangely, whether they believed him or not, slowly things were worked out among them. He swore to Lady Une he would continue to abide by the rules set before him at his hearings, as much as he loathed being treated like a criminal, he did understand her worries.

Sally had not been easy to convince. The scratches on his arm and the formed bruises did help his side of the story, but he ended up with Zechs holding prescriptions for a few antidepressants. Like he needed medication. His only worry was that the blonde would probably force him to take them, and that did not sit comfortably with him at all.

Finally, all that was left was himself, Zechs, and the four other pilots. He supposed he consider himself lucky that Mariemaia usually stayed over at her friend's place on Fridays.

So there he stood, arms resting on the balcony, watching nothing as everything attempted to settle in. He could hear the soft murmurs of the others inside. How was he going to work through this?

"So do you think you're here permanently or did you happen to merge with Fei?"

Black eyes swung around in some surprise to see the American looking down on him. He had forgotten how easily the braided boy could get up next to him without making a noise. "I could not tell you."

Resting his back against the railing, Duo faced the glass doors facing the inside of the house. "Strange the irony and symbolism of you standing out there while everybody else is inside."

Wufei was silent, not letting the violet eyed man know how firmly he had picked out the situation. That was exactly how he felt. There was that closeness that he had never had, that warmth that wasn't his. He did not deserve that friendship. He hadn't earned it, but oh how he desired it, now that he had seen a glimmer of it. And all he had to do was just open that door and join them. But that first step was not going to be easy to take.

And the alcohol in his system probably wasn't helping him either.

Duo watched the Chinese boy from the corner of his eyes. "You really are like Fei at the end of the war. He changed, and yet, you didn't."

"So?" Wufei bit back.

Smirking, because he had hit a nerve, Duo shrugged. "Strange, that's all. You are so guarded, so standoffish and he was so open to us. It's a bit of a shock to us, that's all. And as much as we are hurt by it, I don't want to imagine what Zechs is going through."

"Why should it matter?"

"Because he really did love Fei. And I think he wants to try and love you, but doesn't know how to begin again."

"Who says I want that?" Wufei sniffed.

"You would rather be lonely than have love?" Duo inquired.

"I didn't say I wanted to be lonely..." He replied back, slightly less harsh than before. `I don't want to care. I don't want to loose. I don't want to feel."

"But the thought of another man loving you is unacceptable to you?"

"I don't like men like THAT."

Duo did not miss the repulsion on the Chinese man's face. "Have you ever tried?"

Wufei stood up in shock, glaring at the boy beside him. "Why would I ever want to?"

Leaning closer, knowing he was invading the other boy's space, Duo walked closer, matching step for step as the other boy unconsciously backed away. "Who knows, maybe you would like it."

"Iie. I'm not a fag." He spat back as his back touched the corner of the balcony.

Duo placed an arm on either side of the Chinese man. "So you came into this world through sex. I bet that for a moment it warmed your little stone heart to be touched so intimately since your wife perished."

Eyes squeezed shut, "Do not speak about her."

"Because you can't? I bet you liked it. For a second I bet you reveled in the wonderful fact that a man was taking you."

"Iie!"

"You look so incredibly guilty. You loved it. I bet you would love to have Zechs in you again. To have the feel of a man claiming you."

"Stop it!" Wufei hissed. "Just stop it!"

Duo backed away. "I think you need to be honest with yourself. We won't judge you. The world knows about your marriage. Who's going to shun you that you should care about? That's your fear isn't it? To be shunned?"

"I'm not gay." It sounded so weak, even to his own ears.

"Believe it or not, we're your friends. We want to help you. You just need to open yourself to the idea of friendship."

Silence met Duo's words.

"Would you rather all of us abandon you, here? In some world you are unfamiliar with?"

"...No." Wufei whispered.

"Fei?"

Looking up, Wufei blinked into violet eyes looking down on him. "We're here for you. You aren't alone. You don't have to fight anything anymore."

Wufei sank to his knees, trembling. There he stayed until the last person that remained in the house was Zechs. He couldn't face their stares, their pity, and their friendship. He didn't deserve it.

They did it out of sympathy. They did it because he reminded them of someone else. Because they wanted him to be someone else. Lights were out as he saw the blonde haired man turn them off and head towards the rooms beyond his sight. Leaving him alone.

There was a pause and he found himself stunned as Zechs crossed back through the room and opened up the door.

"What?" He asked defensively.

Zechs closed the door, and sat gracefully beside him, close enough to feel the warmth but not touching. "Are you planning to sleep out here?"

"I'll come in eventually."

"I don't mind sitting out here with you."

Silence lingered at length between them. "Are you curious about what myself and the other's discussed?"

Yes. "No."

"Quatre was worried about you. He wants to check in with you during the day at times, just to make sure you're feeling alright."

"I'm not an invalid."

"No. Just lonely, lost and confused."

"Gee, thank you."

"I know you're not him. But I'm not asking for another lover, not yet, just another chance to help you."

"You still see me as your lover."

"I won't ever look at you with anything but love, Fei."

"I really hate that nickname."

"I know. But I love the way you scrunch your nose every time I say it."

"Baka."

`Love you too.' Zechs smiled brightly down on the boy.

+

The two watched as the redheaded girl danced around the kitchen, eating the popcorn that she was suppose to be placing onto a string for decoration. Black eyes twinkled warmly; unaware of the small glances Zechs kept giving him.

"Mariemaia, those are supposed to be getting put on the string, not in your mouth." Wufei smiled, waving the match back and forth to extinguish it.

If possible her grin widened, "They'll get on there, eventually."

Chuckling deeply, Zechs moved the just lit candles to the island's countertop. "You mean until the caramel is melted and the apples get dipped. Then you'll move onto the apples and the popcorn will get strung."

"You're both so MEAN!" She laughed, pausing to look under the pot's lid. "How much longer?"

Black eyes looked over at the cookbook then to the clock on their microwave, "Another five minutes."

"I can't wait that long!" She complained, reaching to grab another handful of popcorn.

Reaching the bowl before her, Zechs lifted it above his head, and grinned down on her. "Is there a problem?"

"Miri!!" She pouted and turned to look at Wufei. "Tell him to put it down, Fei!"

Stirring the caramel, Wufei smirked, "What effect will that have?"

"Can't you take it from him?" She pouted, blinking her large blue eyes his way.

"Like that will do much good." The blonde grinned.

"Humph." Wufei sniffed. "Miri..."

"You two are no fun." He grinned and placed the bowl down, grabbing a handful before Maia snatched the bowl into her own hands. Sticking out her tongue, she skipped over to the table in the next room.

"Make sure some of it gets onto the string!" Wufei called, tapping the spoon against the side of the pot and covering it once again.

Blue eyes watched as the girl turned on the television and sat down to start stringing the popcorn. Leaning on the island's counter, he pushed the candles to side. "You okay with this?"

Leaning back on the counter, he folded his arms over his chest. "It'll be fine."

Smiling sweetly, the European replied, "Sorry about not being able to get Marie from practice today."

Shrugging, the Asian man shook his head, "It was a well needed break."

"That's right, how is the book going?" Zechs watched the boy sigh deeply. After the incident over a month ago on the balcony, the boy seemed to try and adjust somewhat to his new life. The book was a bit of a burden on the boy. He remembered the long days of watching the boy sit with all the research his Fei had dug up, rereading notes and outlines, re-listening to interviews and so forth. Rereading his own progress multiple times to understand the fullness of what he was suppose to accomplish.

And what had surprised the tall man was how the boy decided to keep going with it. It was actually becoming a good thing, giving the boy something to do. Zechs knew that Wufei was still adjusting to the complete civilian life, coming from, what his understanding was at least, a more active Preventer life.

[cont]