Somewhere + Part 1 (cont)

He could hear her walk in, stopping on the other side of the bed. "Sorry to hear you aren't feeling well. Miri said I probably shouldn't ask since you aren't feeling well, but can you help me with math like you said you would the other day? It seems algebra and I are having some problems together."

He smiled softly, her voice warming a part of him that he had hidden under layers of masks and harsh comments for years. "I wouldn't mind."

"Great! I'll be late at school for practice, but I'll get one of my friend's parents to drop me off. I don't know how late Miri is going to be..."

"He's taking the day off. We'll be here." Oh how he hoped he sounded normal to her. So strange to hear such admiration and love in another's voice directed at him.

"Great! I'll be home later. I'm gonna grab some toast- and since you're too sick to tell me I have to eat healthy I'll grab a coffee at school! Bye!" and with a giggle she scampered out of the room.

With a sigh he slowly sat up, grimacing as pain lashed up his spine. He was not going to get use to that feeling. Iie. He didn't WANT to get use to THAT feeling. Scrubbing his face with his hand, he heard Zech's wishing her off and closing the door.

It wasn't long before the door opened to reveal the tall blonde. "Well."

Black eyes blinked at him.

"I suggest you shower, I'll make a better breakfast and I'll use the shower down the hall. You'll find towels in the linen closet right inside the bathroom door. Your clothes are in the chest and closet."

Watching the man walk out of the room, Wufei suppressed the rising feeling of guilt. With a long suffering sigh, he proceeded to go to the bathroom and clean himself, though he didn't think any amount of cleaning would rid him of the previous night's feeling from his skin.

+

By the time he had entered the kitchen breakfast had been laid out.

"You certainly took you're time." The blonde commented.

Sliding into a chair, the Chinese man glared. "You didn't tell me where the kitchen was. This isn't exactly a small one-room apartment or anything close to that. And I don't know where everything in the rooms are, it took me a while to find everything."

"Sorry." The taller man apologized.

Wufei also didn't like the fact that every single piece of clothing he owned was so casual or formal. He didn't see a tradition piece of clothing in his wardrobe. He grimaced at the fact he was stuck in slightly loose fitting jeans and a cotton v-neck shirt. Definitely not his idea of clothing. He wasn't going to bother mentioning it. After all, he was supposed to be acting like Fei, which was what he decided to call his alter ego.

Two plates were settled on the table and Zechs took his seat. A long silence ensued before Wufei spoke out with his first question. "How is this even going to work?"

Leaning back in his seat, the blonde man looked at the boy. "Maybe this hasn't occurred to you, Wufei but you are not the only one suffering here. And while I may choose to suffer this, I am not letting Marie suffer. She has suffered enough."

He hadn't thought about that. "Aa. So I am to become someone I'm not?"

Didn't they just have this conversation? "No. Just pretend until we figure out what is going on."

"And if we don't? And if I'm stuck here?"

"We'll just deal with that as it comes. Trust me, you aren't the only one wanting your former life back."

Pushing his eggs around on the plate, Wufei sighed in acceptance. When it came down to it, there was nothing else he could do. Who was going to believe him, other than Zechs, who still seemed slightly doubtful. "I guess I sit back and listen to you explain everything that has happened since the end of Mariemaia... Eve War. Assuming that histories are the same up to then."

"You fought against Heero? Saved the day by getting his weapon to him?"

"Yes. I guess whatever happened after that is where you begin."

Poking at his food, Zechs sipped his coffee. "Well, you were arrested for war crimes. I was given the duty of putting you and keeping you under house arrest along with the other Gundam pilots. They probably figured we were the only one's able to stop you if something happened."

"House arrest?"

"Aa. Relena pushed for you not to be placed in a prison. I think Quatre and Heero ended up getting her to agree to the house arrest, but I've never asked." Eating a few bites, he continued. "Basically all of us worked to get you to open up. Duo had the brilliant idea of seeing if we could break through your mask. He figured there was a 'warm and fuzzy Wufei deep down inside.' Sally ended up putting you on a few anti-depressants and Prozac. Duo got through to you first, followed by myself."

"I don't even know you. Why would I have opened up to you, no offence."

Placing his fork down, the European leaned forward. "Because of how similar our loses were in the wars. I don't know if you remember, but I was there when your colony exploded, I watched you suffer, I remember the haunted and despairing agony that your voice carried. I remember it so vividly, because that was how my voice sounded after they burned my kingdom and my family to ashes."

Wufei opened in his mouth in surprise. "I... I do remember you there, kind of... I fought you, yes?" His colony was a sore spot for him. He didn't really remember much of that day. The raw emotion carried richly in his voice, so much that he couldn't keep it from bleeding into his words.

A cool hand touched his cheek. Blue eyes watched the torment in those black eyes of the darkest coal. "You've never talked to anyone about it. Did anyone ever know about your wife?"

Pushing back from the touch, visibly shaking, Wufei hissed, "Stop it!"

"You felt better back then after talking about it." Zechs pressed on, ignoring the boy's obvious suffering. "We talked often. I guess a small friendship grew from those first few long nights of talking. I started to see why you chose to fight on Derkim's side. I heard about Trieze. I heard about your wife, Meiren. And I finally understood. And you finally lost all that anger." Standing, Zechs crossed his way over to the large bay window in the room. The autumn light danced through the panes of glass. "We finally broke through your mask."

Wufei stood trembling. His life had been laid before him; every hatred, every fault and this man he barely knew had known it all. Zechs knew and talked about them so openly! "Stop it!" He commanded, flinching at the pain his voice carried.

Millardo ignored that plea. This is what the boy needed to hear if he was to pretend to even belong here. After all, it worked the first time, why not the second? This boy seemed so much now like his lover was back then. 'Is it the loss taking over my mind, or I am trying to make this boy into my Fei?'

"The council didn't seem convinced of your change, even Relena worked with us to acquit you. You went with us, with me to the Peace Ball later that year. Relena had us, the war heroes and Gundam pilots, as honored guests. She surprised me by announcing me under my old name. Zechs Marquise became no more. To the world the prince had returned."

"That was where you mentioned I took the bullet for Mariemaia?" Wufei asked softly. The earlier pain had left him. A dullness had replaced it.

"You were in a coma for months. I was inconsolable."

Wufei looked up at the man before him, watching the tears crawl down that perfect face. "Why?"

Leaning his forehead against the cool glass, Zechs closed his eyes. "Because I thought I had lost you. I didn't realize it until you laid in a pool of blood how much I truly cared for you. I stayed by your side as the others pushed even more for your acquittal. Mariemaia stepped forward and addressed the council. They pardoned you temporarily, stating that you would have to attend hearings once, and if you recovered."

"Zechs?" Wufei stepped closer to the man. Why did it bother him that this man seemed utterly devastated talking about the past? Because he no longer knew what was going to happen? It wasn't his fault he was here. It was uncomfortable though hearing such pain and affection placed towards him, or an alternate version of himself. "Zechs, let's move on. I doubt people will quiz me on my past."

"Thank you." Blue eyes caught his and Wufei found himself blushing slightly.

"Whatever. I do have other questions."


"Come, let's finish breakfast and you can ask them."

Nodding, Wufei allowed himself to be lead back to the table. "What do I exactly to here?"

Sipping his coffee and regaining his composure, Zechs replied, "You've recently been writing a book on events of some of your colony's earlier political events, possibly what lead up to the Alliance's dislike for them. You've been doing a lot of research on it; lately you've been focusing on the Alliance's records. You went with Relena on a short few days trips to the old Alliance Record Hall in Norway. The two of you, from what you and her talked about, dug up hundreds of records dealing with your research and you helped her with some of her own. Mostly records about the Sank kingdom. My own knowledge and connections are few and far between.

"Anyways, you came back about a week ago? Something like that. You've been organizing the stuff you found. This fall you'll be teaching some literature and history classes at the university."

Combining the knowledge he was first given upon awaking in this new time and the new information Wufei was frankly, stunned. "Hn." It was like processing a new life in a few days. "Just out of curiosity, we're not meeting up with anyone ne? I really don't think I've begun to grasp the situation, not to begin with the new memories I'll need to have."

Shaking his head, Zechs replied, "Not until Friday, but that's six days away. Relena mentioned something to me when I talked to her yesterday about having us come down to her place a few days from now, helping her with her project and all."

"Marquise..."

The older man paused, "You call me Miri."

"Huh?" The Chinese boy blinked up at him.

"You haven't called me Zechs or Marquise since, well, that night when you finally broke down all your masks."

"Miri?" It felt strange calling the man he barely knew on such intimate terms, at least intimate for his tastes.

Shrugging, the blonde chewed thoughtfully on his toast, "Or Millardo. But usually Miri. Marie does the same."

"Any nicknames I should know about for her?" Wufei asked with a slight frown on his lips. This closeness was driving him crazy. Miri? Obviously his other self here was a lot more open than he imagined he could ever be.

Tapping his chin thoughtfully, the blonde paused a moment. "Maia is the usual one, but usually its Mariemaia. Its not unheard of for us to call her Marie."

"And do I call Maxwell and Yuy and them by their respective names as well?" The frown deepened.

"Oh. You aren't use to that kind of familiarity with them are you?" Zechs questioned.

"No." Came the stiff response.

"Well, what do you call them when you hang out with them?" The taller man inquired.

"I... I don't... didn't see them outside of work." Wufei managed to confess.

"But. Wait. Now I'm confused. You were in the war with them, right?" He waited for a nod. Receiving it he continued. "You claim you worked at the Preventers with them, but you didn't communicate with them outside of work? I'm slightly confused at that."

"I didn't see the need for it."

"Huh." Was all the blonde could manage. "Well, we're all pretty close here. It might benefit you to open up instead of acting like you have a stick up your ass."

"I don not have a stick up my ass!" Wufei cried back, watching as the man brushed past him with an empty plate in his hands.

"Yes you do. Finish eating."

"Don't boss me around!"

"Drop the attitude first." And with that the blonde disappeared into the kitchen.

"I don't have an attitude." Wufei murmured, plopping back down in his seat and quickly shoving a few bites of food into his mouth.

"Yes you do. Maybe no one's ever mentioned it because they all hate you. I can't see them wanting to be friendly with you if you act like this, and I've only been around you less than two hours."

"I don't need anyone."

Black eyes turned as the blonde burst into laughter. "What?"

Tapping the boy's nose, Millardo grinned. "You, more than anyone I know need people. Maybe you just haven't realized it yet."

"Hn."

+

Staring at the calendar, Wufei sighed heavily. Wednesday. Shuffling the papers on his desk he decided to explore. Zechs had finally decided that he was "well enough" to be home alone. Getting up, he headed towards the door. He didn't get too far before the phone rang.

Picking it up, he replied, "Hello? Who is calling, please?"

A familiar voice greeted him. "Hey Fei!"

"Mariemaia?" He asked back, blinking in slight surprise. He was never going to get use to being called Fei. Holding down a cringe he glanced over at the clock on his desk he asked her, "Its only one in the afternoon, aren't you suppose to be in class?"

"I am. Well, in between classes. Look, I forgot my bag with my equipment for fencing. I know, don't ask how I can forget a bag as big as that." In the background he could hear the rush of girls giggling and chattering.

"You need me to bring it to you then?" Great. At least Zechs had the intuition of dragging him along to pick Maia up from school with him in the car. He was pretty sure he could find his way there. He hoped.

"You are wonderful!! Can you bring it when school ends? I'll meet you by the pick up lines no later than... say 2:45?"

"See you then."

"You're great, Wufei! Love!"

"Love..." He could hear the girl hang up. He placed the receiver down in its cradle. She was so strange, so absolutely accepting of his presence. He briefly had wondered more than once since his arrival five days ago, if the Mariemaia of his time would have been so open and loving towards him. Had she any reason to be?

Well, at least the girl had given him an excuse to wander about. Heading up the stairs towards their rooms, Wufei took in the surroundings. He never had imagined living in such a large place. Then again, he was living with the crown prince of Sank in one of Zechs' many homes and properties.

Reaching the girl's room, he opened the door. He hadn't been in her room yet, but it seemed like any other normal teenagers room. Well at least what he always heard Maxwell tell him during the war. Posters plastered onto the walls of her latest obsessions with movie stars and musicians. Bookshelves of books, a stereo, and plenty of cds. Her computer covered in stickers. He was glad the room wasn't pink or frilly. She seemed to have pleasant tastes.

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