Somewhere + Part 4 (cont)

Snorting, the blue eyed man to Wufei's side rolled his eyes. "That is Heero Yuy alright."

"So Maxwell managed to find and/or acquire at least a dozen pumpkins and enough fake spider webs to make one think we had never cleaned the place. So when Yuy and I woke up the next morning the whole small house had been decked out in orange and black. Duo had managed to drape cobwebs everywhere. Carved pumpkins lined the small stoop. Fake gravestones in the yard. It was a logistical nightmare to me and Heero."

Marie giggled, "he did all that while you two slept? I didn't think it was possible for Heero or you to sleep through anything!"

Rolling his black eyes, he responded, "When Duo puts his stealth tactics to use, no one knows what he is up to."

"Wait, so were you the only house decorated?" Relena asked curiously.

"No, others in the neighborhood were just as gaudily festooned as ours, but remember Yuy and I were not, how should I put this, yes. Heero and I were not quite familiar with the holiday, nor did our training include festive décor as part of our blend into the community training."

Wiping tears of mirth from her eyes, Dorothy asked another question. "So what happened when Mr. Yuy woke up?"

Leaning on his hand, Wufei shook his head. The war hadn't been entirely all grit and anguish; there had been times when they had been very much the epitome of teenagers. He didn't realize that recounting the war could be actually fun, though he didn't think the story was exactly that amusing at that time. `Duo was right, I did have a armada up my ass.' Grinning, Wufei continued, "Duo was lucky I woke up first. I glared at him, but I merely warned him that Yuy was going to rip him a new one."

"What happened when Heero woke up?" Marie pressed forward for more information; she had never heard these stories. She made a mental note to pry those kinds of things from her loud, American uncle.

"It was so surreal. Yuy had finally cornered the braided idiot in the front hall; it only had taken him four hours to do so. But anyways, just as Mr. Perfect went to rip into Duo the doorbell rang. I swear I have never seen him look so alarmed. He made this mad dash to the kitchen and his gun. Not to say I didn't have my weapon in my hand. The two of us nearly died of shock when Duo opened the front door and four kids in costumes stood there.

"I'm sure my face was just as hysterical as Yuy's. That braided idiot merely gave them candy and they left. I felt like a moron. Heero swore that they were all spies for Oz and spent the rest of the evening hidden in obscure spots to fire at them if they happened to look like they were about to enter the safe house.

"Duo finally explained the whole concept to me. I swore that I was never going to take another mission in America again."

"Wait. Yuy thought that we had hired children to hunt you down?" Ann asked, blinking in confusion.

Smugly grinning, Wufei poked Miri in the ribs playfully. "We apparently thought OZ was tougher than it was."

"Brat," Miri replied, tousling that head of black silk.

"Had we but only know the truth... " Wufei chuckled.

"I still can't believe Heero thought the trick-or-treaters were OZ spies... " Relena murmured.

"Heero could always be counted on for the eccentric and peculiar speculations like that. I think Duo has finally explained the holiday to him," the Chinese man grinned. `It wasn't that bad at all, sharing the past. There were some hilarious missions. Is this what went on when the others came together? Is this what I missed out on back in my world?' He let his thoughts briefly dwell on that idea.

"Did he have theories on lawn gnomes and pink lawn flamingos as well?" Dorothy chuckled.

Wrinkling his nose up in an attempt to not laugh, he finally managed to answer, "You would have to ask Duo, though, I'm sure he did. He wouldn't tell you now, but Maxwell will. Heero had the strangest concepts at times. He really did."

The conversation continued one, Dorothy grinning and belaying some story of Relena and their private school days leaving Wufei with a sensation of home. It was a foreign idea for him, never quite having it fully ever before in his life.

His life had been one long drifting state and never really having memories he wanted to look back on.

Now there was, and he wasn't sure if that was an entirely good thing.

Because he wasn't going to give them up.

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

Relena smiled as she poured Anne more coffee, nodding her head as Mariemaia announced that she was heading off to bed, after of course, she went online to chat with her friends.

"Don't be up too late!" Millardo called after her, "you have to get up early!"

"I heard you!" A reply echoed back. "Love! Goodnight!!"

After small feet were heard thumping up the stairs, Relena went to ask how someone so small could make so much noise, but stopped as she watched the two men roll their eyes.

"Relena, I was going to ask you earlier this week, when are you going to Asia?" Lady Ann asked, accepting her saucer and cup from the girl.

"Gah! Don't remind me, please! I am loathing that assignment, deploring it!" She exclaimed.

"Asia?" Her brother ventured, stirring creamer into his cup.

Blue eyes glanced over at him. "The government wants me, in a gesture of goodwill, of course, take a tour of Asia, not only for speeches and working on patching things up with them and Oz and the LaGrange 5 issues, but see the sights as well. Immerse myself in history while traveling with people I don't know and a staff of security. And to top it all off, I don't have a translator fluent enough in those languages that I can trust."

"Don't Heero and Duo usually accompany you on long tours?" Miri inquired, looking a little nervous about his sister's problem.

"They used to, but they can't be horded up on long tours constantly. I would love to keep them as the heads of her security teams all the time but realistically, it wasn't fair." Lady Ann interrupted.

"Then this isn't a high security project?" Wufei asked, sipping on his green tea.

"No, more show then anything, though the sightseeing is going to be HELL on the bodyguards. They get freaked at large auditoriums; I can't wait to see them in crowed markets." She groused and then narrowed her eyes in thought.

"Come to think of it the project is during the summer. It's only a month. Wufei, don't you speak a plethora of Asian languages?" Relena smiled sweetly at the man.

Blinking, the Chinese boy started for a moment, not quite sure if she was taking that train of though where he thought she was. "Many, yes. There are a few older regional languages I don't know, but I speak most the common ones over there."

"So, what are you doing in June, Fei?" Relena grinned victoriously.

Smiling, he tucked a loose strand of hair behind his ear. "Not too much to my knowledge. Why? Would you like some help Relena?"

Feigning surprise, the woman smiled. "Oh, Wufei! Are you volunteering to help me?"

"Relena... " Millardo started.

"If nothing is planned, I don't see why not. Miri?" The black eyed boy leaned back in the loveseat he and the blonde were seated on to catch the older man's reaction.

Ann sat up and placed her cup on the table. "I don't see any reason why you shouldn't go. You're more than competent, you can protect her if need be, and I think it's a marvelous plan."

"And Marie?" The blonde offered his complaint with a pout.

"Nonsense, Zechs. I'm not forgetting her. Mariemaia could always stay with me for the month, she's out of school by then, I can arrange for tutors, and you could get the month off, it wouldn't be that big of a deal." Ann gracefully added.

His frown deepened.

"Don't even start, Millardo" Relena warned

"We'll discuss this later" was all he replied, but all those around him knew it was going to be a forthcoming argument between the siblings by the firm line the prince's lips formed and the unyielding glare from Relena's eyes.

+

The clinking of dishware in the metal of the sink seemed abnormally loud to the Asian man. Miri and him had taken a moment to head into the kitchen just to help out the morning staff on cleaning. They had taken a pile of dishes in from the dining room and while he rinsed them, the tall European was arranging them in the dishwasher.

Over the running water, loud laughter of the three women chattering and gossiping washed over him. Wufei was too far to hear what they were talking about, but their merriment seemed to be trying to sneak into the silence that barricaded himself and Millardo.

Thoughts of earlier Thanksgiving filtered into his mind, cruelly taunting their messages of loneliness and misery to his face. It wouldn't have been so difficult to open up, to return their phone calls. He should have never brushed them aside at the Preventer's office. He willingly showed them that he didn't care.

Yet, even after all that... He recalled the brief interaction he had had with the American pilot at the office, the twenty minutes before his life would dramatically change. `They knew you better that you thought' he mused, remembering how personable Duo had acted towards his despite the numerous times he had callously brushed him away.

`They still cared. They still managed to see through my masks, my denials, and see how scared I was of changing. That I was scared to form attachments.' They had _known_ him even when he didn't know himself. `Now, here I am in a stolen body, robbing precious moments from Mariemaia and Miri.'

`Its so surreal... ' The blonde man thought as he mindlessly placed the dishes the Chinese man handed him. `He truly is getting along with my sister. Fei and her were civil towards one another, but seldom beyond polite conversation. This time they were talking. Talking!" Sighing, Millardo raked a nervous hand through his mane. "I should have not pressured Wufei into finishing the book. I should have at least told him that Fei was thinking of dropping it. Fei never really found what he wanted to do with his time.

'I don't know what Fei even did half the time when he was here all day. But... Wufei seemed so incredibly happy to return to that scholarly type of atmosphere. I hate to even admit that Wufei seems more focused in life than Fei did.

'Wufei runs with me! I mean I was shocked that he was doing his tai chi and katanas, even without his swords! The sheer beauty of it... I had not seen Fei do that in years. I desperately miss him. God, how I miss him, but if Wufei would just let me closer, let me near him. I just know that something can be worked out. Its not like I want to forget Fei... But I don't see how I can get him back. I can only hope that they are still in the same body and maybe Wufei will drift away and Fei will come back home. Back to me... '

Glancing up at the raven tressed mane of the Chinese man, Millardo sighed. "Are you serious about helping my sister?"

Pausing in his work, the boy set the dish back in the sink and rested a soapy hand on the counter. "I don't see why not? I mean as long as it works out well for you and Marie, I would love to help her. I could use the exercise of putting my rusty knowledge of the region to use and dusting it off."

Standing, the European leaned his back against the counter top and faced the small man. "I guess I am merely a little confused. I was under the impression that you two did not get along. And I fairly thought it was a shared mutual feeling between the two of you."

Pausing, Wufei shook his soapy hand over the sink, and turned the water down, merely filling the pots with the suds. "I never really talked to her before" He finally admitted softly. His lashed fluttered down, giving him such a gentle look. "She honestly is not as bad as I had envisioned."

Cool blue eyes looked over at him. "What exactly had you envisioned?"

A gentle smile broke on his golden features. "I guess I had had this vision of a pacifist speech spouting thing."

There was a dry chuckle, "About three years ago that might have been close. She really has my mother and father's spirit with her. She grasped what they had envisioned, I am the idiot who sought revenge over peace."

Reaching out, a tender touch fell upon the European's tan arm. Wufei could feel the self-hatred about the tall man, a feeling he was extremely familiar with. "We all make mistakes, we sometimes are given choices that don't have a happier ending, but we become stronger for taking the harder path. We may not always enjoy it, but character and wisdom is never lost from those experiences." The hand removed itself, retreating back to its owner's side. "Does it bother you that I am going?"

"It doesn't bother me. I could always have Marie stay with Ann if a mission comes up."

"Are you sure you are okay with this?"

Nodding, Millardo turned his head and looked down in those black orbs. "Perfectly alright." His thoughts whirred with contemplation. `I never thought they would get along... ' Absently, he reached out and ruffled the boy's loose silky mane.

A knock on the door was their only warning before the auburn tresses of a familiar face entered through the open door. "Hope I'm not interrupting."

A rouge colour blossomed across Wufei's cheeks as he retreated back from the sink and haphazardly into the tall blonde man behind his person. A long arm wrapped loosely around his torso, hanging over his shoulder, attempting to steady him. That deep voice rumbled the chest behind him, causing a strange and unfamiliar sensation to tumble over the boy. "No, Relena. We were just talking."

Blue eyes narrowed at her brother, "You better not be talking him out of this, brother!"

He flinched slightly at her warning tone. "No! We were just discussing where Marie could stay if I happened to get a mission during his time with you."

A slight pout crossed her lips.

Wufei heard the agitation in the sigh Millardo gave. "I know, I know... " He heard the man mutter.

Her eyes flashed with an annoyance. "You know you could always get another job."

A mischievous grin came into fruition on the tall man's features. "Tallgeese would miss me."

Wufei, unable to help it, snorted in merriment.

Relena's eyes rolled in annoyance. "I'm inclined to agree with your husband, dear brother. I don't happen to share the belief that Tallgeese would miss you, I think it's the other way around. And here I always thought that Fei would have the hardest time adjusting to a civilian life. No offence Fei."

"None at all" the boy smiled, highly amused by the sibling bickering. Relena was beginning to remind him of someone he once knew very well.

The tall man raked a frustrated hand through his mane of think platinum blonde hair. "We've discussed this before Relena. I'm not suited to being a diplomat."

"Yes, you are" she insisted.

"The last time I attempted Relena, I nearly blew up the Earth. I don't think that can count towards peaceful diplomatic meetings."

"Pointing beam cannons at people rarely does" Wufei whispered softly with a grin on his features. He reached a poke in the ribs for hi comment. Looking up he smiled sweetly at the tall man who scowled down on him.

Turning his glare back to his sister, he continued. "Besides, who would look after Mariemaia? Wufei would either be helping you or writing-"

"Tutors" Relena answered back easily.

"She isn't like that, Relena," Wufei stepped in to Millardo's defense. "She needs her school, she needs a normal life."

Muted surprise crossed over the blonde man's features briefly.

Relena's attention was focused on the Chinese man. Sighing, she twirled a strand of hair between her fingers, "What about boarding school? I still its safer than a mere private school... "

Smiling, Wufei shook his head. "If you can convince Marie, Relena, then we'll do so. But give her a few years, let her have a childhood we mere denied. Marie needs comfort of people. To tell her that we love her then turn around and ship her off to a boarding school seems very two-faced."

"But-" Relena started.

"Relena, not every child likes boarding school. I hated being separated from kids my age. I may love learning, but I was denied the feeling of love for a long time. Duty is not a comparable replacement. What Mariemaia needs is to know that she has people that she can turn to at any moment, that we aren't going to hate her for her past mistakes, that we are not going to judge her on that, and that we love and support her.

"Give her a few years, Relena. Then if she wants it, we'll let her go." He finished.

Relena's eyes darted from his to her brother's and back. Sighing, she leaned against the doorjamb.

"If Marie wants to go to boarding school we'll let her, Relena. We would never stop her, but she shouldn't feel pressured to go either. She has good and supporting friends here, she's becoming a well adjusted young girl." Miri added.

Shaking her head in defeat, Relena smiled softly and looked towards the black eyed boy, "Can't you help me out here?"

Blinking, the fast paced thought of `like I know him that well' flickered quickly before he replied. "We'll talk about after I get back from helping you. Let's take this one step at a time and see how it works before we jump to any rash decisions."

Relena chuckled, "Fine, fine. No. The two of you have had enough privacy. Time to come back to the group!"

+

Wufei looked up from his book, gently placed the bookmark in his page. "Relena finally decided to turn in?"

The lean man practically collapsed on the bed. "Shut up Wufei."

Smirking, the Chinese man replied somberly, "everyone sleeping then?"

With his arm still over his eyes, the Sankian man nodded, "yeah."

Placing his book quietly on the table beside his chair, the Chinese man gently ascended and walked across the room to close their bedroom door. With a silent sigh, he crossed back across the room and gingerly sat on the edge of the bed. "Miri? Um... Are you okay?" Blinking suddenly, the man felt like banging his head against a wall. `Stupid! Stupid! Of course he isn't!'

Rubbing absently at his arm, his black glance looked slightly distressed. "I mean... I guess I meant to ask you if you wanted to... er... talk about it?"

Turning onto his stomach, he buried his head on his pillow. "Save it for tomorrow after they leave Wufei" the older man implored.

"But... "

"Not now, Wufei. Please, not now."

"Good night then... "

There was no response from the older man.

Sliding under the covers, Wufei tried not to think about how still the room felt, or how uncomfortable the sensation of dread felt. Curling inwards, he closed his eyes and drifted into the confines of a restless sleep.

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