Somewhere + Part 2 (cont)

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He was panicking. There was no other word for it. He couldn't do this. He just could not go down there are flirt, hold hands, touch, smile and be happy with another man.

`It's a mission. Think of it as a mission.' He chanted that mantra all day, through the shopping adventure with Mariemaia, through the setting up with the decorations, through the quick conversation with Duo, and even as he cleaned up and made the final touches with Zechs on the banquet hall's setup.

`I can't just chicken out...' He reprimanded himself. `Zechs needs me to act like I'm Fei. I need to act like I'm completely normal, that I'm not in another dimension. That I'm not in another man's body, who happens to be myself. That I'm a perfectly happy, married man.' He rationalized.

He stood up and breathed. `I am so fucked.' And fell back on the bed.

The Chinese boy knew the moment that Zechs had entered the room. The platinum haired man carefully sat beside the distraught boy and gently traced his jaw line. "You'll be perfectly fine. See? You didn't even flinch when I touched you."

"That isn't a good thing." Wufei murmured, turning to his side to face away from the long legged man.

Wufei however, did squirm when the taller man laid beside him and held him close; their bodies spooned against the others. "Miri..."

"Shhh. You can do this. You have memorized the people we know from work, you've practiced pretending you're okay with me touching you. It's a friendly hug, nothing more." Millardo whispered softly, attempting to calm the boy.

`Friendly for who?' Wufei thought bitterly.

"Fei?"

"I can do this. It's a mission, and if I fail then I blow my cover, I'm found out, and tossed in a loony bin with no hope of ever getting your or my life back to normal."

"That's one way to rationalize it."

"Can you think of a better one?"

A short pause. "Yeah. Do it for Maia. You put aside you fear of being gay, of people judging you for one night, and I'll..."

"You don't have to pretend that you aren't in pain." He encircled his arms around the paler ones in a friendly fashion. "I'm sorry. I walked in on you mourning yesterday. I've been an ass, and I should apologize for it."

"Fei..."

"No, its true. I've been wrapped up in my problems, and I forgot, you lost your spouse. I invaded your life and have been forcing all sorts of problems on you, and I haven't once let you enforce your problems on me. And I know I'm not the easiest person to get along with, I know I'm a brat, but maybe..."

"Maybe...?"

"If you talk about what you're feeling, your grief about your husband... And I..." His eyes fluttered closed to stop the tears from leaking. "I can open up a little. We've both lost a spouse, so we can both..."

Zechs tightened his arms around the boy, a soft smile, his first real one it seemed like in weeks appeared on his features. "We can both open up and communicate."

"Yeah..."

"And Fei?"

"Hm?"

"For the record? You're a brat. A cute one. So you'll end up getting away with a lot."

Zechs blinked in surprise as the sounds of a chuckle emitted from the boy. A bit unsure of itself, a little rusty, and not a well used chuckle, but the beginning of a laugh.

"I'll have to remember that." Wiping his eyes, the boy sat up. "We've got a party to host."

Following the boy, Zechs paused, "You sure you're okay with this?"

"Ninmu ryoukai."

Ruffling the boys loose hair, the European laughed, "Brat."

Wufei grinned back. "Baka."

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Sipping on his drink, Wufei watched over its rim at the seemingly swarms of people. And he was supposed to know them all? The pilots were fairly easy, and he knew Lady Une and her boyfriend, and Noin and Sally. He figured out who Hilde was easily enough, Duo seemed to be kind enough to repeat names often.

And strangely, he felt... lonely without Zechs next to him Marie grabbed his waist in a hug, a spirited smile spread across her face. He couldn't help but grin back. She somehow wormed her happiness right into his usually stoic features. Pushing her hat over her eyes he chuckled.

Two hands forcibly shoved it back into place with a mock scowl. "Geez, Fei. Your going to ruin the whole wicked look I've got going here!"

"It'd only be wicked looking if you added a thermal scythe." The American added, sipping on his beer and throwing a loose arm around the Chinese man. He smirked at Wufei then added, "Or a beam cannon."

"Neither of which Mr. Chang has of course." An overly sweet voice came up from behind Mariemaia. A firm hand patted the girls shoulder as cool, calculating eyes looked down on the girl. "Mariemaia." She nodded in greeting.

"Ms. Catalonia." The redheaded girl nodded back politely.

"Actually, Dot, if you walked with her, that would definitely give her that evil, wicked look she was going for."

"Thank you, Mr. Maxwell." She answered, in anything but a polite tone.

Marie's hand shot out and though she felt the slightest bit childish grasping Wufei's hand, she felt safe. The blonde woman reminded her of people she sincerely did not want to recall.

A firm hand cupped the back of her head, fingers soothing any worry from her neck. Wufei pouted slightly at the woman, black eyes sizing her up for a moment.

"Sorry, Dot, don't think you'll find a beam cannon here." Duo answered sweetly, batting his violet eyes innocently at her.

"He's right Dorothy, we left it at the Summer house." And taking the girls hand in his own he headed off to find Zechs. He did not like the feel of those calculating eyes on his back. The sinking feeling that his evening was only going to get harder as the night wore on. He needed a drink. Forget that he should be worried that he was now driven to alcohol. He was going to NEED it to deal with Dorothy. And who the hell had invited her anyways?

Duo snickered at the blonde woman's look of surprise. "It's actually at the Summer Palace, but you know how security is with Prince Miri, its all very hush hush."

Shooting the American a despondent glimpse, she sighed. "And I suppose there is a Gundam in the garage as well, Maxwell?"

Tossing back the rest of his drink, the braided boy shrugged. "I had to make an entrance, Dot."

"Glad to see your humour is rubbing off on him." She informed him, her voice saying anything but.

"What can I say, I'm irresistible. Go bother someone else, Dot. Leave Fei alone for the damn evening. Go flirt with Relena, if you're lucky maybe someone slipped her a mickey and she'll run to you're awaiting arms." With a final smirk, Duo sauntered off to find his lover.

He didn't need to turn around to feel the intense sneer that she sent his way, but then again he didn't care either.

+

Zechs' eyes widened when Wufei all but trampled him. "We need to talk."

Mutely nodding, he followed, wondering what was wrong with the boy, and why it involved Marie.

Unfortunately, they didn't get more than halfway across the room. Relena grinned and called to her brother just before they made it past the sofas. Grimacing, Zechs lifted a pale eyebrow at the shorter man. Sighing, Wufei indicated that he was to talk to his sister first- whatever he had to say was probably not as important.

Continuing a few paces and bringing Mariemaia into the empty back hall, he stopped and crouched down before her. "You alright?"

Arms flew around his neck, a small head nodded mutely on his shoulder. He heard a noise that suspiciously sounded like a sniffle. Hugging her tightly, Wufei murmured into her soft red hair, "Its okay Marie. She didn't mean to upset you, I'm sure." She pulled back, wiping away any traces of tears, "I know, it's just sometimes... Sometimes..."

"The past can haunt us. I know. Believe me I know. But don't let her bully you. Okay?"

She nodded and leaned forward, hugging him tightly. "Yeah, I just need to be reminded from time to time."

A throat cleared from behind the Chinese boy. Blinking, he looked up to see Trowa standing there with Quatre grinning down at him and Marie.

The girl beamed at them. "Hey Mr. Trowa, Mr. Ouatre."

Trowa crouched next to the Chinese youth, smiling slightly at the girl. "You want to join me in getting some cookies, I think some of your friends are here, and will want to get some sugar in their systems before heading out for candy gathering."

"Probably." She agreed, following the lean European out of the hall and back to the party.

Wufei stood up, somewhat fluttered by the serene smirk that the young Arab was giving him. "What?"

"Nothing. She's a sweet girl. And Zechs seems to be near to telling you're and his secret to his sister. You know how siblings can tell the minute you're lying to them. Better go fix the problem before it starts." He suggested, good-naturedly.

"How?" The Chinese youth replied, tucking a strand of loose black hair behind an ear.

Giving the boy a shove from behind, Quatre smiled. "You'll figure something out, I'm sure."

Wufei stumbled back into the hall, glaring daggers at the blonde boy who disappeared from sight as quickly as possible. Sighing, he headed towards the tall platinum blonde man, resting with his back towards him. Sharp hearing picked up their conversation easily.

"You seem trouble, niisan..." She hedged slowly, a manicured nail tracing the edge of her wine glass.

"Troubled?" Came a reply, a frown settling on his fine features. "How so?"

"Distant. Something about the tone in your voice when you told me you would be unable to make it up a few weeks ago. It seemed strange..." Her sweet blue eyes pressed for information.

Zechs shifted slightly; somehow she seemed to be judging his actions, waiting to say whatever it was she had been hinting at for the last few minutes.

Unexpectedly, it was that moment when a pair of bronze skinned arms gently settled on his shoulders from behind. A warm cheek pressed against his own. "Relena." That warm breath washed over him.

"Fei..." He was trapped but the sudden openness and willingness the boy was displaying for his sister. Well for Wufei it was, Fei would have dropped into his lap by now.

"Miri." The boy responded with a smile that didn't look too forced.

Wufei brushed his cheek against the older man's, closing his eyes briefly. This was something neither had prepared for, but this was important to not only their little secret staying a secret, but he felt that Zechs wouldn't want to lie to his sister. He only had the knowledge he had pulled from hours staring at the intimate moments of those photographs, but he felt he was doing a fairly good job. But as lips brushed his own, he could feel his stomach lurch slightly, but he held steadfast. `I'm merely kissing him. It doesn't mean I'm enjoying it. It doesn't mean I'm a fag. It's a mission, nothing more, and... and nothing less.'

Jetted onyx orbs opened as the brief kiss ended, staring into those clear, icy orbs of Millardo Peacecraft.

Those lips brushed his cheek before turning back to his sister's awaiting glance. "Joining us then?" Wufei heard the girl ask.

"If you would like." He replied, settling next to the tall man on the couch. He swallowed without letting on his high and quite extreme discomfort, descending into the warm embrace of his supposed lover.

Zechs was impressed, he knew he was surely trying the boy's patience with the second kiss, but the admirable job Wufei was doing, was shocking, and painful all at the same time. A relaxed arm snuggled itself behind the black haired boy, Wufei leaning into the soft embrace. "We were discussing the plans that went astray a few weeks ago." He informed the boy.

Holding down a grimace, Wufei slipped a hand on to the European man's knee, the other playfully taking a sip of the man's cider. Even knowing it was probably spiked with something harder than just apples and spice, but he was going to take any help he could get. He swore he could feel her sapphire blues intensely watching his every movement. "It's my fault, entirely. My editor and I had a slight disagreement about a pivotal chapter in my book over whether a certain interview should be included or not. I ended up severely behind once he and I came to an agreement."

"Oh, I figured something like that came up. Miri can be so vague at times." Chuckling, she sipped from her glass. "But you will make it up to me, right?"

"Of course." Wufei nodded, holding down a flinch when the older man started softly playing with strands of his hair.

"I was hoping to see you in the near future." The blonde man agreed. Relena settled back in her seat, looking the pair of them over, "Then you won't think me selfish if I ask to have you both accompany Lady Anne and her male companion at my palace for Thanksgiving dinner?"

"A..." Wufei darted a look to the European man for backup.

"Well, you know we usually have dinner at Quatre's..." He hedged, taking his glass back from Fei's fingers.

"I know, I would love to go like I do every year, but it is usually a business and political get together as much as it is friends and family. I would hope he wouldn't protest to me stealing you and Fei for one Thanksgiving. I just wanted to spend some private time with you two and Mariemaia. How often do you spend quality time with your sister, Miri?"

Watching those warm eyes mist up in hopes of winning over her brother, Wufei was decidedly glad he didn't have siblings. Very grateful.

"Fei?" She asked, that gaze turning to his own.

"I can't think of any real issues..." he started, furiously screaming internally, `Accept having to spend an entire weekend lounging over a man who wants to treat me like his lover even if I'm not.' He turned his curious gaze to those icy blue orbs.

Zechs sighed as he met that seemingly sweet stare that basically read that if he agreed he was a dead man. "Let me discuss it with Quatre, though I sincerely doubt there would be an issues or problems. I'm sure Marie would love spending a weekend with you and Lady Ann. Besides we all know how that girl lives for the slopes, and there should be plenty of snow on them by then for some serious cross- country skiing."

If he were able to, Wufei would have started banging his head against the coffee table, or started strangling the source of his on coming headache. "Sounds great."

She straightened up, and leaned forward, "Besides, Miri, how could you deny me the fun of having you over for your anniversary."

`Anniversary?' Wufei contemplated. `She couldn't possibly mean...'

He suddenly remembered the wedding picture. It was sunny and looked like Spring weather.

"Too bad we couldn't be in Sank, like where we were for your wedding. Its beautiful there this time of year..." Relena babbled on. "Its only because its unnaturally Springtime there constantly. Guess those hot springs were good for something." Zechs added. Turning to the Asian man, he asked, "Sounds great, huh love?"

`Yes,' Wufei thought heatedly, `The man was going to die a long, slow, torturous death.' He grinned and leaned his head back against the older man. "Divine."

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