New Year Gathering : A Report
"Heero, come on. It's not a big convention. Honest! You will enjoy it!"
"You said the same thing last year. I ended up trampled by hundreds of
Anime maniac girls."
"It's a pretty small number for me...."
A glare. "Relena..."
"Okay okay, this time it's not an official convention. It's just a
small Anime gathering with relatively close friends to celebrate the
end of the year. I swear, Heero."
"How many will be in this 'small' gathering?"
"No more than twenty five."
"And there are other boys in that gathering?"
"Of course, Heero."
"You swear on your pink teddy bear?"
It was eight o'clock in the morning. A boy with blue eyes and short
chocolate brown hair stood near the small pond of the city garden. He
was wearing a white T-shirt, short jeans, and a pair of yellow
sneakers. A brown, medium sized backpack stood next to him. There were
a group of girls standing on the other side of the pond, chattering
eagerly. He looked around him and wondered whether he was a fool to
trust his cousin again. Relena had sworn upon her most important
treasure after all. She had said all members were to meet at this
garden's pond before departing to Reyna Beach where the gathering
would be held, about three hours ride from the city. Here he was,
right on time and at the assigned place, but he didn't see anyone save
a group of chattering girls. Where were the other guys?
The boy looked up and saw a brown haired girl running toward him. He
glared as she stopped in front of him. "You're late."
"Sorry." Relena grinned and looked behind her, "Hilde, come on, let's
go get the other girls here." The short purple haired girl behind
Relena followed her. Heero noticed then that a boy was standing near
where Hilde had been, smiling at the two running girls. He had long
chestnut hair, tied behind his back. A black knapsack was hanging on
his right shoulder.
So there was another guy joining the gathering. Heero felt relieved to
know that Relena hadn't betrayed him this time. Since the other boy
was still staring in the other direction, Heero felt safe studying
him. The boy had on a black T-shirt, blue jeans, and a pair of boots
the same color as his shirt. There was a silver necklace without a
pendant hanging around his neck. Overall, the long haired boy looked
quite cool. Heero was startled when the boy turned toward him and
smiled. However, before he managed to give a reaction to that smile,
Relena had come back and dragged him away.
"Hilde, I, and the other girls need to be in the same car because we
have to discuss the preparation for tonight event. The others have
already arranged their seats in the other cars. That leaves you with
Duo in the equipment mini van. I'll see you later in Reyna Beach,"
Relena explained as she stopped in front of the blue mini van.
"What? Hey, wait!" Heero shouted after his departing cousin.
"We have to depart now, I'll talk to you later when we arrive, Heero,"
Relena shouted back and jumped into the black car in front of the mini
van. She stuck her head out of the window and signaled to the other
cars. "Let's go girls!!"
Relena's car shot out of the garden, followed by two other cars,
leaving Heero gaping at their departure. He was still trying to
comprehend what his cousin had told him.
"How long are you going to stand there?" The amused voice from inside
the mini van snapped Heero from his dumbfounded state. He turned his
head toward the voice and saw the long haired boy sitting in the
driver's seat. The boy was gesturing to him to get in. "C'mon. Put
your bag in the back and jump in. We need to trail after them."
Blinking, Heero did as he was told and got into the mini van. The
front seat was one long bench, not separated between driver and
passenger so there was plenty of comfortable space for him. The long
haired boy smiled at him as he sat down. "Not much a talker, are you?
I'm Duo Maxwell, by the way." He extended one hand toward Heero.
The same name Relena had told him in her rush. Heero took the hand and
shook it firmly. "Heero Yuy."
Duo nodded then grinned. "Ready to chase after the girls then?"
Girls? Oh Duo meant Relena and her cohorts? Heero nodded and the next
thing he knew, they were zooming out of the garden. The tires
screeched as the van took a turn. No wonder no one wants to join this
guy, Heero thought as he fumbled with his seatbelt and considered
praying for a safe journey. Instead he said loudly, "You are driving
like a mouse being chased by a hungry cat."
Duo laughed merrily. "This is nothing at all. We will speed up when we
enter the freeway later."
Heero looked upward and prayed. Just his luck to get a speeding maniac
as the driver.
"So you get ditched by your girlfriend?" Duo asked.
Ditched? Girlfriend? Heero blinked and stared questioningly at the
chestnut haired boy, who noticed the gesture and elaborated.
"I mean Relena."
Relena as his girlfriend? Heero would rather die than woo the
impossible girl. He snorted loudly. "She is my annoying cousin who has
nothing better to do than make my life difficult. I'm going to have a
word with her later about this."
"Dragging me the gathering but leaving me to join her friends in the
"You would rather be sitting among the enthusiastic girls?"
Heero turned toward his companion as he detected the bewildered tone.
"No, I don't like them. But at least she could sit with me and have
arranged for some other guys to sit with us."
Duo's violet eyes had lightened up during his talk, though Heero
didn't know what he had said to cause it. The long haired boy cocked
his head slightly as he talked. "But she did. She sat you with me,
"She did." Maybe Relena did have her good side, Heero grudgingly
admitted. He crossed his arms over his chest and leaned back against
the seat, slightly more relaxed than before because Duo had reduced
speed due to the short queue to enter the freeway. His eyes watched
the cars, looking for Relena's car.
"There they are. We finally caught up with them." Duo pointed forward;
at the same time Heero saw the black car of his cousin.
"I saw Relena's car. I wonder what she had to discuss with the others?
I thought they had discussed everything about this event for the last
Duo grinned at that. "Hilde told me that she was having trouble with
her cosplay costume and one other girls forgot to bring a part of her
costume. I think they are trying on their costumes in there."
"Oh." That's why Relena didn't want him there. They probably needed to
take their clothes off to try on the costumes.
"Talking about costumes, what is yours?"
Their mini van passed the highway entrance and Heero found himself
clutching his seatbelt for dear life as Duo pressed down hard on the
gas pedal. They shot past Relena's car and broke free from the crowded
lane. Heero glared at the crazy driver. "Do you have a drivers
Eyes still on the road, Duo answered. "Just got it last month. Why?"
"Your driving inspector was crazy to let you pass the test."
Duo laughed merrily, and to Heero's surprise, reduced the speed.
"Sorry, I often get carried away."
Heero snorted. "I just finished high school and I would like to live
long enough to taste the college life please."
Duo laughed again and Heero thought the sound was quite pleasing.
"You haven't answered my question." Duo pointed out after a lull of
Heero raised an eyebrow. "Which one?"
"Hn, it's Odin Lowe."
Duo perked up at his statement. "Odin Lowe from Grand Wing?"
Heero nodded, secretly pleased that Duo knew about his favorite Anime.
"You know the Anime?"
"Of course, " Duo smiled fondly. "It's my favorite Anime. I like the
story. It has a deep plot and good characterization of the characters.
Not to mention that the mecha design is cool."
"The music is also good." Heero added.
"Of course." Duo grinned. "This is a nice coincidence. I'm going to
cosplay as Solo Minworst, you know."
Heero blinked. "The annoying pilot 02 who likes to pester Odin?"
"Oi! He is not annoying." Duo protested. "He cares for Odin."
Heero raised an eyebrow, "By shooting him at their first meeting?"
"If he didn't care, the shot would have been fatal, I believe. He did
save Odin from the enemy's clutches after that. The fact that he
didn't kill Odin for stealing a part of his mecha shows that Solo does
care for Odin. "
"More like suicidal to me. He dares to tease Odin who is always armed
and will not hesitate to kill. He even dares to touch him."
"Ah, but no matter how many times he touches Odin, Solo is still alive
at the end, right? That shows that Odin never means to harm him. Why,
he even saved Solo from the enemy's prison instead of terminating him
like he was supposed to do. And talking about suicidal, that's more
Odin's forte. Trying to self-destruct was a stupid thing to do."
Heero grunted, admitting Duo was right but wasn't willing to let the
matter drop. "Solo is still annoying. He likes to interrupt Odin when
he's with the princess."
It was Duo's turn to raise an eyebrow. "Put yourself in Odin's shoes.
Would you like being stalked by a girl who often asked you to kill
It was like being followed by a maniac fangirl like Relena. Heero
"I think Odin also feel the same," Duo said. "He may look annoyed but
inside he feels grateful for Solo's interruption."
Heero knew he would feel grateful if someone interrupted Relena while
she was speaking to him so he didn't protest at Duo's opinion about
Odin's character. "Well, you chose a suitable character as a cosplay.
Your hair is long enough to be braided like Solo used to wear his
Duo grinned. "Not only suitable, Solo is my favorite character after
all." The boy's grin faltered a little, "Though to be honest, I never
braid my hair so I don't know how to. I will have to ask one of the
girls to help me with the hair."
Heero noted that Duo wasn't too keen to ask for the girls help and
could sympathize with him. "I can braid your hair if you want me to."
"You know how to braid hair?" Duo looked surprised.
Heero scowled. "Relena used to ask me to help with braiding her hair
when we were little."
Duo grinned slightly. "I would like the help, thanks."
Heero nodded in reply.
"Did you choose Odin because your features are similar to Odins or
because he is your favorite character?" Duo asked.
The long haired boy smiled fondly. "You're lucky. Odin's clothes are
much more simpler than Solo's. Your hair is even as messy as his."
Heero glared at his companion. "It's not messy, just a little,
"A little?" Duo chortled. "Heero, honestly, your hair is as tidy as a
"Omae o korosu." Heero growled out the words he had had the habit of
saying whenever he was annoyed since he'd started watching Grand Wing.
Duo glanced at Heero and grinned. "You do a good imitation of Odin's
death glare and his famous words, you know."
"And you are as annoying as Solo is to Odin."
The grin on Duo's face went wider. "I'll take that as a compliment."
Despite annoyed, Heero understood how pleased Duo was to be compared
with his favorite character just as Heero felt a little thrill when
Duo pointed out he was like Odin. The understanding meant he couldn't
stay mad at the long haired boy. He shook his head slightly, if not
fondly and said, "Baka."
Duo beamed. "That's also what Odin likes to say to Solo."
Heero snorted and refused to say anymore.
"It's really a nice coincidence to have a cosplaying friend from the
same Anime. I thought I would be the only one cosplaying as a Grand
Wing character in this gathering." Duo, Heero noted amusedly, was
really like Solo, who also liked to chatter. "And to top it all off,
the characters we chose are the famous pairing. Does Relena know
you're going to cosplay as Odin?"
Heero shook his head. "She will only force me to wear something more
complex and embarrassing."
"I didn't tell Hilde about my costume either. Though she is my best
friend, I will not let her choose my costume. She wanted me to wear a
kitty themed costume for God's sake." Duo said the last sentence with
a grimace then brightened. "This will be a great surprise for them
then. I bet the girls will go crazy when they see us pose as the
A frown creased Heero's forehead as Duo mentioned 'famous couple' for
the second time. "What do you mean by famous couple?"
"Odin and Solo of course. Though judging how you find Solo annoying, I
guess you'd have a different pairing, but you gotta to admit that Odin
and Solo is the most popular couple. What couple do you like anyway?"
"Wait, what do you mean by couple here?" Heero was confused and felt
something wasn't right. "I don't understand."
Duo answered while still keeping his eyes on the road. "I'm talking
about yaoi couple, of course."
Heero's eyes widened at the 'yaoi' word. Relena often chattered about
her obsessiveness with yaoi. Heero had stopped listening to that kind
of chatter when he understood that Relena was talking about two males
screwing each other. However the damage was done and he had gotten a
basic knowledge about what yaoi meant.
"YAOI?!" Heero sputtered. "How could you think about Odin and Solo
"The girls all think like that," Duo answered. He turned his attention
from the road to Heero. "You look very surprised. You do know that
this is a yaoi gathering, right?"
"WHAT???" Heero shouted. His eyes widened in shock. "Yaoi gathering??"
Duo nodded, eyes turning back to the road. "Gathering for yaoi fans.
From your reaction, I take it that you didn't know about it."
"Of course I didn't! If I'd known, I wouldn't be going!" Heero
sputtered. He should have known there was something amiss when Relena
asked him to go. "I'm going to kill her for this later. Turn the car
around and let's go back."
"Can't." Duo answered.
Heero glared. "Why can't you?"
"You forgot this is an equipment vehicle. All the equipment and half
the food supply for the gathering are in here. If we turn back, the
gathering will be ruined," Duo explained calmly.
"I don't care."
"I care," Duo countered. "And even if I could turn back, I won't. I
want to attend the gathering."
"You are willing to attend a yaoi gathering?" Heero looked at his
"Of course." Duo glanced at Heero. "I like yaoi after all."
Heero was so perplexed that it took him a while to understand the
statement. "Are you telling me that you are gay?"
"A guy who likes yaoi isn't always gay, but yes, I am," Duo answered
Heero unconsciously shifted away at the statement. The movement wasn't
lost on Duo, though the long haired boy's eyes were on the road. "Oh
please, I'm not going to ravish you just because I'm gay." Duo sent
Heero a grin. "Though you are kinda cute."
"I'm not cute!" Heero glared. "How about the other guys in this
gathering, are they gay as well?"
Duo blinked and glanced at Heero. "Heero, we are the only guys in this
gathering. The rest of them are girls."
"WHAT!?" Heero hollered this time. Oh, Relena was going to be so dead
when he got his hands on her. Heero spent the rest of journey plotting
1001 ways to exact his revenge on his cousin.