+ Part 3 (cont)
"You can't hold up the entire world, Zechs." Worry slipped into
her steady gaze. "I think they combined."
"I want to believe that, Lu. God I want to believe that so very much!
But what evidence is there? He is barely nicer to me then the day he ruined
my life!" Anger and tension boiled into the forefront of his mind.
"Yet, I can't blame him, he wants the blame, but he didn't do it
on purpose, which makes it worse! I can't blame him for single handedly
ruining my life, because Lord knows he is trying to do so, and the last
thing he needs to be is depressed!"
Leaning back on his wall, Noin began to examine the problem. She damn
well knew that Zechs blamed everything on himself. God forbid the man
let someone else take blame for anything. Men obviously felt that need
on whole as a sex to not only complicate things, but feel that they had
to face it alone. "Zechs, look I know you want to mourn for Fei,
we all are, but are they really that different?" She raised a hand
to wave away his dismissal. "Think back Zechs. Hell, I remember how
the brat was after the whole affair with the Barton's and Mariemaia. All
I see is a regression of the same person."
A dark look was sent her way from the tall man's eyes.
Sternly, Noin glared back. "What if he isn't the same person, Zechs?
Then what? What if he can't go back? What if he is in your lover's body
and is stuck there? What if by the grace of God he is here, then what
Zechs? You are going to have to learn to love each other, or divorce."
"I can't just get rid of him Lu. He isn't some baggage, besides he
is lost here. He doesn't know people anymore, everything he once knew
"And everything you once had has changed."
Raking a frustrated hand through his mane of hair, he glared at his computer
screen. "I want to believe he is the same. I want him to be pulled
into my arms, but when I touch him..." There was that familiar wetness
in the corner of his eyes. "He doesn't want me, Noin."
"Has he said that?" The dark haired woman asked softly, concern
weighted heavy in her question.
"In many different ways." Fingers tapped his desk in impatience.
"Besides, we're going to my sister's in two weeks. I'm torn between
telling her the truth and dealing with the controversy I know that will
cause. Dorothy will find out and then I lose him. I said I would protect
him. But I can't expect him to be someone he isn't every time we go into
public! It isn't fair to him!"
"Nor is it fair that you have to be taunted with Fei's image overriding
his." Noin added, gently. "You are not forgetting Fei..."
"So how can I mourn him, Lu? How can I figure out a way to keep continuing
on as though my life has not been changed?"
"Give Wufei more time. You both have had your worlds rocked and are
both shaken to the core. Zechs, it's only been roughly two months. You
can't be expected to recover in that little amount of time. He can't fall
in love with you in that little amount of time."
"And what about our week with Relena? I should have found an excuse
not to go." He groused.
"You want to see her, I think she'll do you some good. She does tend
to perk up that big brother side of you. Besides, Lady Une will be there
should anything go awry."
"And I'm to pretend that Wufei and I are there to celebrate our Anniversary?"
A brooding response came.
"Oh... Oh." Noin murmured, scratching at her hair. "Totally
forgot, need to make a note of looking at my calendar before I go into
these conversations." Waving her hand in a nonchalant manner, she
shook her head. "So celebrate it, mourn it. Whatever you do, do it
with the boy. I think he needs to feel the pain you're in, and believe
it or not I think the brat might want to help."
"And you picked this up from seven weeks of drinking with him?"
"Actually, if you watch the boy, you can pick things up. He has looked
worried about you. Trust me when I say he is taking everything you're
going through to heart. Both he and you are the types to blame everything
on yourselves. I still wonder how you two ended up together in the first
place. You and Fei were an odd couple Zechs." She glanced at the
man brooding at his desk. "Was that any help at all?"
"Yes, a little. Look thanks, but I'm sure you have work to get back
to..." He left his question open-ended.
Taking the hint, she nodded. "Yeah, a few things, but look if you
need someone to talk to, I'm here, okay?"
"Yes, Noin." The tall man murmured.
"Okay?" She pressed.
"Hmm." She quietly left him staring off into what looked like
nothing and headed down the hall. `Maybe they both need to be on Prozac.'
He faintly heard the door close but he just sat there a finger tracing
the familiar curve of a cheekbone on the photo. "Love you, Fei. Wish
you were here." Sighing, he wiped at the wetness cradled in his eyes.
With one last draw of his eyes, he memorized the image. "I want to
wish you an almost Happy Anniversary. And... Come home soon..."
A beeping pulled his attention from his computer monitor to the phone.
Lifting his glasses onto his head, he opened the vidcom. "Quatre."
"Wufei!" The blonde Arab greeted in reply. "I heard through
the grapevine that you are almost done with your book."
Leaning back in his chair, the Chinese man nodded in reply. "Nearly.
Tentatively. I suppose it depends on my editor, but I think I made his
job easier than it's supposed to be."
Quatre's grin widened. "Knowing you, probably. And Zechs passed onto
me that you two are not coming to my little Thanksgiving get together."
Rubbing the bridge of his nose, Wufei nodded. "Miri hasn't told you
"Aa. Yes, well after Barton and yours wonderful ploy at the Halloween
party, Miri got hooked into visiting his sister's instead of going to
your party." Black eyes glared at the screen.
"Hm..." The blonde mused, "Wish I had a vidcapture, it
would have been a wonderful highlight to have in my collection."
"So glad I provided amusement for you."
"You need to learn to take a joke. I just pushed a little. I already
apologized." Quatre grinned, watching the boy over the screen. Turquoise
orbs flickered as he watched the Asian man rub absently at his temples.
"Sorry. I have a bit of a headache." Wufei waved at his concern.
Aquamarine eyes narrowed in suspicion.
"Really, Winner." The Asian man replied.
Quatre stared at the boy.
"Stop it, you're freaking me out Quatre." Wufei said, black
eyes defiantly meeting the Arab's. A few minutes dragged by. "You
win, Quatre. What?"
"How's Zechs?" The blonde started, leaning back on his leather
desk chair and watching the troubled man on the screen.
"Aa... Fine?" Wufei started, but catching a slim blonde eyebrow
quirking his shoulder's slumped. "What do you want me to say Winner?"
"The best place to start is the truth. I'm sure you would have preferred
to have had this conversation with Duo, but he is on a mission this week..."
Wufei sighed, he didn't have a preference really, and he was half guessing
that Fei had been fairly close to the bouncy American. But he didn't quite
know where to begin his conversation with the Arab teen. Never before
had he really tried to turn to a... friend for help. Not in a long while.
"I don't think I'm the expert on human relations but I guess my curiosity
is getting the best of me. Has Miri been alright at work? I'm sure you've
heard something either through Heero or Barton. Miri seems a little...?"
"Overworked?" The aqua eyed man asked.
"Yeah." Wufei admitted.
"A bit, or at least what Heero has mentioned. But I guess if Heero
mentions it then it perhaps might be worse than anyone thinks. We are
talking about a man who thinks eight hour days are for sissies."
`At least some things don't change.' The Asian youth thought. "Miri
has seemed distracted."
"You're being vague, Zechs has been known to have one of those `I
need to take the weight of the world on my shoulders' mentalities."
The blonde man pressed, hoping that it would get Wufei to open up to him.
Lifting his glasses from his head, he paused to look at them, watching
the way the light from the window behind him reflected off the glasses.
"He's mourning, Quatre. It isn't unnatural for certain people to
mourn a loved one by burying themselves in their work." He started
slowly. "He has a need to act normal around Mariemaia, we both do.
But I came and ruined his life. I know I didn't mean for it to happen,
hell, three months ago I would have laughed at the mere suggestion..."
"But you're here now." Quatre finished for the Chinese man.
"Yeah. I'm here now." Wufei agreed, softly.
"You think he's in mourning?" The Arab pressed.
Black eyes lifted themselves to look at the pale boy on the screen. "Quatre,
think who you are talking to. I can empathize more than you realize."
"Oh... Yeah." The slightly taller boy replied sheepishly. "You
would be able to, er, recognize those um, signs then."
"Very perceptive, Winner." The black haired boy drawled.
"And you're worried about him aren't you?" The blonde replied.
Snorting, Wufei looked to the side, a light blush sitting on his cheeks.
"I would consider Miri and myself to friends, in a manner of speaking."
`Friends in a manner of speaking?' Quatre thought, `Back to somewhat guarded
replies then Wufei? Scared to admit that it bothers you that you are capable
of feeling things for other people?' Tapping a pen on his legal pad, he
paused a moment. "Well, do you feel that going to Relena's will be
too difficult for you?"
Looking away, the Chinese man seemed flustered and slightly upset. "Miri
and Fei's anniversary are a couple of weeks away. They would have been
celebrating it during the time Miri and I will be joining Relena with
"I see." Came the quick reply. "That explains his guilt,
"I remind him of what he has lost." Wufei whispered peering
down at the hands clenched on his lap.
Quatre sat back and pondered that admission for a long while. "Yes,
I suppose you do, but I know you also aren't Fei, that you are quite different
`That isn't a good thing!' Wufei thought, angrily. "Yes, I suppose
Watching those black brows scrunch together in self anger, Quatre continued
his thought, "But you are different because you are you, not him.
Do you understand that, Wufei? But that is not a bad thing. Yes, you do
look like him, and yes you're mannerisms are the same." His smile
widened. "One could not expect Chang Wufei to be any other way."
Wufei attempted a small smile. "I am worried. I don't know how we
are to get through next week. Everything I do, every time I try to talk
"You have then attempted to talk to him about this then?" The
"Of course!" Taking a deep, Wufei closed his eyes briefly to
calm his nerves. More in control he repeated himself, "Of course.
He refuses to talk about it, and that's when I see him Winner. He was
up at four am to jog this morning! He didn't go to bed until well after
two! He isn't sleeping, he is barely eating, and he is overworking himself.
I know the symptoms of depression! I know what he is doing! I did it!
He is pulling up mask upon mask-"
"You are understandably upset." Winner interrupted, hand clutched
over his heart.
Wufei stopped, thrown for a moment before settling himself. "Forgive
me. I forgot..."
"Its alright, it isn't your fault Wufei. I'm actually relieved that
I can sense your emotions, it is a rare moment you let your feelings out
in the open."
"What am I going to do? I can't go on pretending that we are fine.
It isn't fair that he has to get a bombardment of memories from me pretending
to be Fei."
"You could stop pretending." Quatre suggested, openly.
"Then how we will deal with everything-"
"I meant you could learn to live with him. You're a pilot. We are
Gundam pilots, we adapt and we survive. At any cost. You don't have to
be him, Wufei. But if you are opening up to us, talking to us, then you
are changing. Tell me, would you have had this conversation with me a
few months ago?" The Arab man demanded, eyes baring down into those
uncomfortable black ones.
`Would I?' Wufei thought, eyes clouded over in thought. `I just dumped
my problems onto Winner. I haven't talked to Winner in my time since I
had to during the Mariemaia Affair. Yet...' It was strange for him. To
open up so easily, it felt good. "No, I probably still wouldn't have
until I came here. I can't live with him Quatre."
"You've been living with him."
Wufei scowled, turning his slightly blushing face to the wall. "There
aren't many options available."
"You wouldn't leave Mariemaia." Quatre replied, soundly.
"No. I couldn't."
Quatre held back his smug smile. "Well then, welcome to parenthood,
A deep frown settled onto the Chinese man's features. "I walked into
"Yeah, you did. But I'm also right. You're a parent now, Wufei. You're
life is second to that of your child." He concluded.
"I didn't ask to be a parent." Wufei pouted.
"Most people don't Wufei, it just happens." Shrugging, Quatre
continued, "You can also consider divorce."
`To a man I'm not even married to.' Wufei sighed. "Not an option."
`No kidding.' Quatre sighed silently. `Given your culture and upbringing
you are sometimes very easy to predict.' Placing his pen down, he looked
the Chinese youth in the eye. "Well then, I would suggest you make
the most of the experience. Zechs won't let anything happen to you. Trust
me on that. He will do anything to protect the ones he cares about."
`Even if I don't deserve it.' Wufei glanced at the screen before his computer's
alarm went off. "Sorry Quatre, I need to get Mariemaia."
Smiling, the blonde boy nodded. "See? Makes me glad that I only have
sisters and tons of nieces and nephews to deal with."
"So you're right." Wufei snorted.
"More than you probably know." Agreed the blonde man.
"A psychic as well as an empath, Winner?" Wufei asked smugly.
Chuckling, the L4 man bid the Asian man farewell before hanging up. He
paused and looked at the blank screen, not turning as his office door
opened and closed.
"I feel bad using his boundaries against him." Quatre informed
the man standing behind him.
A gentle hand reached out and touched his shoulder. "A strategist
with a heart of gold."
Aquamarine eyes glanced up into green ones. "Thank you, I'll have
to get that engraved onto my business cards."
"So?" Trowa asked, wanting the details of the conversation.
"We were right to think he was interpreting Zech's depression as
something he inadvertently caused. It is nice to know that he is trying
to reach out to Marquise."
"I sense a 'but' in there."
"Right on that as well. Wufei is feeling, well I guess he is sensing
a vague unhappiness in seeing Marquise going through everything he did
to avoid dealing with his wife's death."
"Then the two of them regarded her death differently, or is this
Wufei more in love than ours was with his deceased wife?"
Awkward moment lingered before the Winner boy replied. "I can only
venture to think that Wufei is being sensitive to Zechs' problems because
Wufei is still grieving as well. You must remember that Wufei hasn't had
any break through. I have a trace out on all of Sally's reports on his
condition. He is still on medication for depression.
"He is trying to help because I think he sees what he hates about
himself coming forth in Marquise." Quatre concluded.
"Why would he be concerned, unless..." Trowa nodded firmly.
"He wants to help because he likes having friends. There is a change,
one he didn't have to work for, or prove to anyone. We accepted him."
"He always was a fast learner. And you are overlooking his Achilles'
heal, so to speak. I was completely rotten to use it as a reasoning point,
but you know how damn logical Chang can be."
"Mariemaia?" Trowa asked, slightly surprised that his lover
would actually consider it.
"I know. It was low of me to use her as a buffering board to go at
him with. But I know he won't leave her. He fought a war to help her."
"It is easier to die for a person..." Trowa hedged.
"True. But I get the secure hunch that he deeply cares for her. He
wants to take care of her."
"Did he consider divorce?"
"No, though I had originally considered he might have. But after
talking to him today..."
Trowa nodded, "Chang never considered it because he isn't
married to Zechs, and therefore it wouldn't dawn on him as a natural way
to deal with the problem. And when you suggested it?"
"Just like you predicted. His cultural background, his upbringing
refused to even let him consider the option."
"Well then, indeed."
"And did he reach any conclusion on how to help Marquise?" The
European man inquired.
"No, but I do think Wufei will think of a way to deal with the problem."
She poked at her food, shifting it from one side of her plate to the other.
Mariemaia could feel those warm black eyes watching her movements, probably
dissecting them knowing their source. "It's eight o'clock."
She informed the Chinese man across from her.
"Yes, it is." Wufei replied back evenly, taking a moment to
sip from his glass of water.
"Zechs has missed dinner every night this week."
"He's been working late for the last two weeks. Lady Une is giving
him a lot of work." She concluded, stabbing absently at her salad.
"Well, I've heard that there have been some tough cases, they need
his help. We are taking two weeks holiday over Thanksgiving. He has a
bunch of things to finish before we go. Just like you've been doing extra
homework and I've been finishing up the last parts of my book." Wufei
reasoned, attempting to smile at her.
Silence loomed over the table, the soft sound of her fork scraping against
her plate lingered in the air. "Ne, Wufei?"
"Hm?" He replied, chewing thoughtfully on his food.
"Is it too late to reconsider going to Miss Relena's for Thanksgiving?"
Placing his fork down, he looked at her. "I was under the impression
you were excited about going. Relena mentioned that they were going to
be getting a lot of snow so the hills should be great-"
"No. Its, well. I... we don't need to go!" She murmured.
"Marie?" He asked softly, his tender gaze watching her. "Why
the sudden change of mind?"
"Couldn't we just, well, have it be just us? Just this year?"
Wufei saw the hesitation in her manners. Smiling, he nodded. "I wouldn't
have a problem with it." Her blue eyes twinkled brightly. "I
doubt Miri would either. He seems a bit tired."
"Also, I could visit Relena after Thanksgiving! Spend a few days
with her so you and Miri can spend your anniversary together. This way
I didn't do all that homework for naught!" Mariemaia grinned, her
face beaming with excitement.
"Sounds like you have it all figured out. I'll talk to Miri when
he gets back. I know he wanted to see Relena, so maybe we'll end up joining
you." He suggested.
Sighing, she peered at him from under the edge of her bangs. "Fei~
come on! I'm almost thirteen years old! Can't I travel on my own?"
Those puppy eyes were nearly convincing enough before his overprotective
and Gundam training kicked in. "Definitely not. I'll talk it through
with Miri. We'll get the Lady to have a defense team if you are traveling
Rolling her eyes, she murmured an agreement.
Wufei sat in their room, hanging up the phone. Duo was not happy that
they weren't going to make it but Wufei thought talking to Zechs was a
bit more top priority then the usual Friday night ritual. Though, if he
were pressed to answer, Wufei would have preferred the night of debauchery
to a serious one to one talk with Millardo Peacecraft.
The clock on the wall indicated that it was nearing a quarter after eleven.
"And at this point," Wufei muttered, flipping a page over in
his book, "We would have missed them anyways since he's probably
still at work."
He sat there reading for another hour before the front door finally opened,
indicating the awaited man had finally returned. Turning his page, the
Chinese man remained still, watching the page not comprehending a word
that was written upon it.
Footsteps were heard as they ascended the stairs and came down the hallway.
"Oh. You're up still." Zechs mumbled, blue eyes not quite making
it to the boys face.
Closing the novel and placing it on the table beside him, Wufei turned
his head to look at the tall European in the low glow of the lamplight
room. "Just reading. Did you eat?"
The blonde paused for a moment, not quite knowing if the boy's words were
meant to come out the way they did. "I had a late lunch."
A thin eyebrow quirked. "A late lunch? It's after midnight. Do you
need to clean up at all?"
Settling his bag on their bed, he continued to warily watch the boy. He
doubted that Wufei realized it, but every second more the boy sounded
more and more like his Fei. "I'm a little tired." He hedged.