somewhere, lying respectively between parts 10 and 11. hope you all enjoy!
Somewhere [ a holiday side story, II ]Wufei chuckled as Mariemaia sighed again and looked out the window.
"Are we there yet?" she asked from the back seat she was sharing with one of her friends that they invited along.
Fielding the question for what must have been the twentieth time, Miri rolled his eyes. "What would you say, Wufei? About two miles further than last time you asked, Marie?"
Marie rolled her eyes at her friend. Chante broke out into muffled giggles.
"There" Wufei pointed out as they drove past a large billboard. "Finally a sign."
"Mollie's Farm, purveyor of fine fruits, vegetables, and meats since 145 AC. Pumpkin Patch is open" Chante read aloud.
"Look, only a mile and a half to go" Millardo pointed out.
"Very funny, Miri" Marie replied back sarcastically.
The blonde turned in his seat slightly to grin back at her.
Wufei took the turn onto the dirt road, trying hard to ignore the antics of the other's in the car with him.
Marie reached forward, fingers wiggling for the volume button on the car's satellite player. "Can't reach it! Darn it! I love this song! Turn it up, please?"
The tall blonde complied, turning up the volume.
"More, please?" Chante asked.
Miri pumped up the volume and the two girls excitedly burst out and sang along.
Shaking his head, Miri wondered for a moment if he was this carefree with his ill-begotten youth. Sure they had a radio on the barracks when they were training. Sometimes one of the mechanics had one in the hangers. He had a small one that he used for downtime, but he really didn't remember bursting out into song. Looking over at Wufei driving, he wondered. "Did they ever?"
Wufei briefly glanced at the other man, noting Miri made a gesture at the two singing girls in their back seat. "Maxwell. Once." He replied.
Chuckling, Miri replied, "he was threatened not to do it again I gather?"
Shaking his head, Wufei tucked a strand of hair behind his ear. "I believe Heero shot the radio that day. Maxwell maybe got three lines of song out before we were shocked to silence by Yuy blowing the living crap out of the radio."
"Although, he -Maxwell- still hummed and probably sang during fighting" Wufei amended.
"Wait. During?" Miri replied back in slight disbelief. Piloting required fine, detailed precision. He couldn't imagine listening to anything that might distract him while flying.
"Oh, of course. This is Duo we're talking about. He had stacks of CDM's with him. He made compilation mixes with themes to them. Blow them sky high. Relaxing Mozart for the mild battles. You name it, he had something."
"That actually frightens me."
"Hardly. What was truly terrifying was the gmix- or gundam mix- he had complied. Ever heard of a song called 'Tubthumping'?"
Millardo ignored Wufei's repressed shudder. "Ah, no. Should I?"
Shaking his head, Wufei replied, "No. I probably never would have heard of it either, until Duo inflicted it upon me by hacking into my internal speakers. It is some obscure bar song of anarchists. That was all Duo said before I tried to beat him senseless for scaring me like that."
"Huh" was all the blonde could reply.
"I'll have him burn us a copy and I'll play it for you. Then you'll understand my pain."
Millardo regarded the other man for a moment. "You truly are a closet sadist, aren't you?"
Snorting, the Asian man replied, "There is nothing closet about my sadism, Miri. Absolutely nothing." He made a final turn into a makeshift dirt parking lot. "We're here" he announced.
The two girls scrambled out to stretch the moment Wufei put the car in park.
"Don't worry" Miri said to them. "Wufei and I will be at least thirty paces behind you two."
"No glaring at the boys either!" Marie sternly told them, before she turned and grabbed her friend's hand. The two of them laughed and raced ahead.
"Do I glare at them?" Miri asked.
"No more so than I" Wufei replied. "Thirty paces, huh?"
Shrugging, the blonde smiled. "Well, she does have a Preventer team that staked out the place three hours before we got here. There is also the point in fact that both of the girls have their own private body guard watching them."
Chante grabbed Marie's hand tightly. "Oh My God! Look!"
Marie looked in the direction the girl was pointing. "Where?"
"There!" The girl pointed out a group of guys by the caramel apple stand.
"Yep!" Chante finished. She smirked at Marie and gave her a friendly shove in their direction. "Go talk to him!"
The redhead blushed brightly. "Are you kidding?" she hissed softly. "He is like the hottest guy in tenth grade! He won't talk to me. He doesn't know I exist. Well, maybe he knows I exist, but seriously, he is not going to talk to a mere seventh grader!"
"You are vice president of student council. You have an obligation to talk to another member of student council."
"Vice president of our year!"
"It's still student council."
"I'll look like a total dork!" She whispered dramatically as the two of them neared the caramel apple stand.
They froze as the guy and his friends got up and walked past them. The subject of their idolizing waved to the girls as he and his friends passed.
Both managed to give a wave in reply.
They waited until the boys were well out of earshot before they both let out a delighted squeal.
Chante hopped back and forth from leg to leg, blushing brightly. "He totally waved. They waved!"
Marie giggled furiously. "Oh my God!"
They looked at one another again and squealed again in sheer delight.
Wufei turned his attention from Chante and Marie giggling over every detail about how some group of older boys from their school had waved at them to the man sitting beside him.
"There is fun in riding on hay piled onto a wagon that is being pulled at an abnormally slow paced tractor?" He asked the blonde.
"For those who are feeling adventurous" the taller man replied with a self satisfied smirk.
"You're mocking me" Wufei accused lightly.
"Never" Millardo replied, wrapping an arm around Wufei and gently tugging him closer.
Wufei just let himself be pulled closer. 'I shouldn't give him encouragement' he silently bemoaned.
Out of the corner of his eye he saw Marie watching them. Smiling, he snuggled closer to the blonde, pretending he hadn't noticed her. She seemed a little more relieved.
'No matter what I say, do, or act I will always... If we don't tell her soon, she will feel even more betrayed. We are blatantly lying to her. I would not be surprised if she saw it as a slap to the face that we pretended and did not mean it. She will be desperately depressed. Marie seems to rely on the fact that she has us there as a support. To her, we are killable. We are the only things she can rely upon not to be taken away.'
The blonde rubbed his hand gently, in a soothing manner, along Wufei's sweater clad arm as if he had sensed the other man's distress.
Sighing, Wufei mentally shook his head. 'He can read me better than I can read myself.
I continue to insist that he mourn, and with very few exceptions, he continues to consistently flirt. He insists I behave like myself, and yet I continue to try to make him and Marie happy.'
Pausing. He ran over the last few lines of his internal dialogue. 'Am I? Or- oh shit.'
Swallowing, he peaked over at Mariemaia. She was ignoring them, caught up in a conversation with her friend.
Everyone seemed okay, comfortable even with him and Millardo being together. It was a natural order to things there. Leaning closer to the blonde, Wufei wondered if he could too be comfortable in that world.
Closing his eyes, he let his mind wander, wondering what it be like.
It would be a lie to say he hated being intimate with the other man. He didn't like dwelling on the situation either. He also ardently ignored bringing up that night in his thoughts.
And that was the cusp of his problems. He wasn't ready to admit that he had... well some interest. With that thought, he became uncomfortable. Shaking his head, he attempted to clear his thoughts of that night.
"Everything all right?" Millardo asked.
Smiling up at the other man, Wufei nodded. "Yep."
It didn't seem to fool the other man. Narrowing his eyes in attempts to see something that maybe no one else could, Miri asked, "you sure?"
Reaching over, Wufei playfully tugged on the older man's scarf. "Yes. Stop worrying." And in a very childish gesture, Wufei stuck his tongue out at the older man.
"I warned you about that." Leaning closer, the blonde closed his mouth over the offered muscle, and kissed Wufei deeply.
'You are so playing with fire you idiot' he silently berated himself.
After a momentary shock, Wufei's brain let his body take over and react to the blonde's sudden kiss. Butterflies fluttered in his stomach as he panicked. 'He is kissing me in public!'
But, he wasn't disgusted.
Pulling back triumphantly, Miri gave the started man a final peck on the nose and a self satisfied smirk. "You'll think twice about that now."
"Maybe, maybe not" Wufei shot back.
The taller man blinked in response. 'Did he just flirt with me?'
Blinking himself, Wufei set off a silent mantra in his scurrying mind. 'Oh crap. Oh crap. Oh Crap! I did not just say that out loud!'
Reaching out, Wufei tensely and cautiously wrapped an arm around Millardo's waist. 'What the hell came over me?' he ranted in regards to that kiss. 'I just sat by and let him kiss me. In public. And... and I didn't get flustered. I'm not... I can not be...'
Miri knew that was Wufei's thinking face. Both he and Fei had the same main mannerisms. This was both a welcoming and disheartening fact. Welcoming because life with a man for five plus years and you knew them. Every little gesture and twitch of the face was an open
book. Downside? It was no longer the same man who was making the gestures.
Whatever the other was thinking about, it had captured his full attention. Millardo made a note to pursue it later.
'He has adjusted himself though' he pondered for a while. 'If that indeed is the word for it. Since that talk, he seems like he has decided that since he is staying he might as well fit in.'
'He's willingly changing and modifying his behavior.'
'But now that we know he isn't leaving, God, how can I... we break it to Marie? I know she'll feel betrayed. She has a right to. But I don't know how to explain it to her, or why we have gone on over a year lying to her. We are still lying to her. Even now.'
He felt Wufei snuggle closer.
Sighing, he tightened his grip. 'First he pushes me away. Then he pulls me closer. What he... how he reacted, participated with me that night. Damn it! I don't want him to retreat from me. He is opening up to me. And I need him to be there for me. I am loathed to admit it, but I am slowly depending on him.'
'I don't want to forget Fei. I don't want to replace him. And I know that accepting Wufei is a far cry from replacing Fei. But I can't deny that on some level I want Wufei.'
'It's like starting from scratch. I'll never get over my loss of Fei. But to be honest I don't' now if I could consider being serious with Wufei. I don't want to be hurt again. It's a selfish gesture. It really is. But I don't want him to leave and I don't feel ready to move on.
'I swear I flirt with him just to push his buttons. Like I want to be an annoyance. It's so childish.
'But I also want it be more, maybe... just not yet.'
"You can't possibly lift that up Marie" Wufei intoned, looking at the redhead sizing up the pumpkin she had found.
"Hold on Marie! I'll help you!" Chante called out, dashing up to where her friend was standing.
"Leave it to Mariemaia to find the biggest damn pumpkin in the patch" Millardo commented to the man at his left.
Looking up at the other man, Wufei nodded. "And want it."
Grunting, the said redhead turned to her parents. "It is not the biggest pumpkin here. I am sure there are others that are bigger. I happened to like this pumpkin."
"It is a perfect pumpkin too!" Chante added, circling it with the other girl.
"It is perfect for carving!"
"A hideous and monstrous pumpkin face!"
"And slit eyes!"
"If you two can even lift it" Wufei reminded them, dryly.
Marie gave him a look. "Miri! Fei! Help?"
"That's not my pumpkin" Miri offered, holding up his much smaller pumpkin with one hand. "I'm holding my pumpkin."
"Wufei!" Marie pleaded.
"Don't look at me. I have all the other pumpkins by me."
Chante brightened, "we can always roll it carefully."
There were grunts and dark words as the two girls tried with no avail to move the pumpkin. They maybe got it to roll a few feet.
"So, when do we want to go over and help them?" Millardo asked sweetly to the Asian man.
"Shh. I'm enjoying this" Wufei grinned.
Wufei struggled for a moment, helping Millardo get the pumpkin into the trunk of the SUV.
"Damn" Miri murmured once they finally secured it.
"I can't believe she found an even larger one" Wufei grated out, blowing a few stray strands of hair from his eyes.
"No. I can believe it" the blonde snorted, brushing off his hands on his jeans. "After all you and I just lifted a sixty pound vegetable into our car."
"Is there even room for the smaller ones?" Wufei asked, peeking at the remaining space.
Looking at the shorter man, the blonde snorted. "Please. I think they'd be squashed after one turn."
"Right. Into the middle with the girls?"
"The middle" Millardo agreed opening one of the middle doors. "Make room between you two for the other pumpkins."
"Didn't they fit into the trunk?" Marie asked, settling one of the smaller pumpkins next to her.
Chante took another from Wufei. "I didn't think your pumpkin was that big, Marie."
"Seriously" Marie agreed.
"Totally serious. Make more room" Wufei replied.
"We're afraid that the mutant pumpkin would decimate the feebler of its kind" Miri offered Marie in response.
With a resigned shrug, Marie and Chante made room between them and at their feet. "In they go then."
"Gourds" Wufei offered handing one bag to the girls. "And the corn."
"Here are the apples" Millardo handed another bag.
"I'm gonna be sick of corn by Thanksgiving" Marie noted aloud, cringing at the two bags of corn.
"I didn't get that much" Wufei defended.
"Hop in Wufei. Toss me the keys, I'll drive" Millardo offered.
Tossing the other man the said keys, Wufei climbed into the passenger side and closed his door.
The blonde took the offered stack of papers from Wufei. "Sorry your friend can't come over to help you, Mariemaia" Wufei apologized to the girl.
With a sniffle and a sneeze, the redhead looked up, "Id's aldight."
"Tissue?" Miri offered the sick girl.
"Dank you" she replied, and coughed. "Dupid cold."
All three blinked when the doorbell rang.
"I'll get it" Wufei replied to the two blank stares he got. "Here" he said, handing the rest of the newspaper pile to the blonde. "Finish putting the paper down if Marie is still up for carving the pumpkin."
He ran to the door, and while he did he noted that who ever was at the door was constantly pressing the bell. As if ringing it constantly would get his there faster.
"I'm coming" Wufei murmured impatiently. Opening the door, he blinked in surprise. "Quatre? Duo?"
Grinning, the blonde pilot lifted the bag in his arms. "We come baring gifts of soup."
Blinking, Wufei finally responded, "soup?"
Duo reached forward and patted the black haired man on the shoulder. "Marie? She's sick?"
With a nod, Wufei opened the door wider and let them in. "Come in."
"Hee-chan and Trowa got hacker happy. I decided to hop on over and grabbed Quatre as cohort in crime."
"And we brought soup" Quatre beamed.
"You're just in time" Wufei intoned, taking and hanging up their coats and leading back towards the kitchen.
"Just in time for what? Dinner? I had hoped you hadn't cooked yet" Quatre replied.
They entered the kitchen.
"Damn. You've grown a pumpkin on your table" Duo remarked, taking a moment to size the orange thing up.
"Hwello Wuo" Marie sniffled.
Reaching down, Duo hugged her. "How're you feeling?"
"Sick" she replied.
"Quatre? Duo?" the blonde asked in some surprise. When he had left work earlier, they had been roped into helping Heero with some hacker work.
Taking the bag from the braided man, Quatre placed both the bags on the counter. "We were in the area Zechs. We escaped from hacker duty and we decided to drop by."
Eyeing the pumpkin thoughtfully, Duo turned to the sick redheaded girl. "You gonna carve it?"
"I hoped to. I can'd dewide on what to carwe." She handed some of her sketches over to the man.
Flipping through, Duo pulled out ones he liked. "This one has some nastily wicked eyes. I like the nose here. Oh! This is a nice mouth."
"Where should I put the food?" the younger blonde asked.
"Here" Wufei replied, clearing off the kitchen island's counter. "Anything need to be reheated?"
"At the speeds Duo drives?" Quatre remarked.
"Dumb question" Wufei responded.
The Sankian man wandered over to help; he opened up one of the bags and placed the cups of soup on the counter. "Oh, potato and apple dumpling. Nice. Do we need bowls, Wufei?"
Quatre worked on removing the soup from the bag before him. "I shouldn't think so" he offered, taking the spoons out of his bag. "No dishes needed. I thought an easy clean up would be nice."
"Thank you, Quatre" Wufei replied, smiling.
"How are the plans going?" Millardo asked, setting up eating places on the counter.
"We're working out a plan of attack" Duo offered with an entirely too wicked grin on his features.
"Can you do soup and plan?" Wufei asked.
"Yep!" Marie acknowledged, carefully gathering their plans and plodding over to the stools.
"Good choice" Duo noted, grabbing a cup of soup and opening it. "Never want to plan on an empty stomach. Chicken noodle soup is good for the sick pumpkin carver in training."
Opening his own cup, Quatre quietly eyed the plans. "You've got a lot of designs there."
"Wuo anb I awe wonna combine a few" Marie sniffled.
"Tissue?" Wufei offered.
"Dank you" she replied.
"I hope you've had the cutlery sharpened recently" Duo remarked, blowing on his spoon.
"I think I need to put down more papers then" the blonde joked.
With a dark grin, Duo looked over the other three. "Just because Uncle Duo is here, don't think you three are getting out of this."
"Wouldn't dream of it" Quatre replied.
"This is so disgusting!" Quatre noted aloud, his hands dripping with pumpkin innards.
"I swear I don't think there are this many pumpkin recipes in existence, Duo" Wufei complained as he shoved another full container of pumpkin insides into their refrigerator.
"Waste not, want not" Duo intoned.
"I think we might be running out of containers" Miri noted, with a smirk.
"There is no room left in our fridge either" Wufei added.
"What are you complaining about? I know you have another fridge and a freezer in your garage" Duo sweetly reminded them.
"There is pounds of this crap" Quatre remarked as he dumped another handful into an open container.
"You can take a bunch to feed that personal army of yours" Miri offered the other blonde.
"They don't eat this much pumpkin" Quatre remarked.
"I've got more pumpkin goo waiting" Duo called out in a sing-song voice.
With a defeated sigh, Wufei headed towards the garage. "I'll go find us some more containers, shall I?"
"Good guess!" Duo exclaimed at the retreating man's back.
"Id wooks so wicked!" Mariemaia exclaimed.
Duo finished lighting the last candle and placed the top on the fully carved pumpkin.
The Sankian man had to admit Duo was extremely gifted with a metal edge. Wufei and himself would not have come close to anything that intricate. It would have ended up looking like the way their pumpkins had every year.
"Dank you! Dank you!" Marie exclaimed, launching herself and hugging Duo fiercely.
"Well done little Jedi" Duo grinned. He had to admit, it had turned out good.
Marie hugged Quatre and Miri. Duo watched Wufei's face light up as the redhead hugged him tightly. He flung a knowing smirk in Quatre's direction.
Quatre returned the smile.
Reaching over the European man flicked off the kitchen lights.
The pumpkin glowed eerily in the dark kitchen.
"Now that is one creepy pumpkin, right kiddo?" Duo complimented.
"Id wooks so awesome" she grinned with glee.
Duo gave the three a final wave before closing the car door. "You sure you don't want me to drive?" He offered the blonde.
"I don't mind" Quatre replied.
They sat in silence for a while.
"So?" Duo asked.
"So? Ah, I thought they were cute together."
"Duo, you can't rush these things."
"Yeah. I know. But I want Wufei to be happy. I just hope he let's himself be so."
"Me too, Duo. Me too."
End of side story.
[part 10] [part 11] [back to Singles a-k]