Wufei wiped a droplet of the brown nutrition drink from Trowa's lip with a gentle smile, earning a silently mouthed "thank you" in return.
"Now that I am fed or whatever Duo was waiting on," the Chinese boy asked, "may I please find out what happened between Quatre and Trowa this morning? I am *not* thrilled to wake up to find out someone else is hurting around here." He looked at Quatre sympathetically, he assumed there was good reason for whatever Trowa had felt was necessary to do, but it was clear the blond teen was miserable.
"Fine," Duo groused, then sighed, "It's like this, Wu. This mornin' Q-Ball said..."
"Excuse me? 'Q-Ball'?" Wufei asked with a soft snicker, "Where did *that* name come from?"
"Pool." Trowa remarked dryly, sipping at his drink and acting as if they had called the blond that the entire war.
"Billiards." Heero clarified with a shrug.
"Me," Duo grinned, taking the credit even if he couldn't recall who started it.
"It's better than 'little one'," Quatre added with the first hint of a smile. "After all," he looked at Wufei with a bit of sadness that was soon covered by a smile, "I grew an inch over the summer and Wufei didn't, so I'm not the littlest one anyway."
"True," Wufei shrugged, he was perfectly content with his current lot in life and height meant precious little to him anyway.
"Whatever," Duo shook his head in annoyance at the fact that they all seemed to be dancing around the subject. "Nicknames don't mean a damned thing, guys. Wu? You wanted to know what happened. Well, the bottom line was that Quatre figured it would be easier for Trowa to go ahead and get even with him for hurting you and it went a little too far, that's all."
"Nani?" Wufei looked perplexed. "I know I'm kind of out of it, but that makes even less sense than the whole 'Q-Ball' thing. Trowa? Explain, please?"
The boy holding him nodded solemnly. "Fei, this probably isn't going to make sense to you, it doesn't really make sense to any of us at this point, but Quatre felt he needed to make restitution for his actions and he insulted you to get me to hit him. I'm ashamed to admit I obliged him all too easily, and that's what happened. Or am I wrong, Quatre?"
Shaking his head, the blond agreed, "No, not wrong, a little too right, maybe, but not wrong. Besides," he turned to look at Wufei with an unknown emotion in his eyes, "I still owe you an apology, too, Wufei. What I did to you was unforgivable, andů"
"Stop. Just stop," Wufei frowned at all of them. "Are we trained soldiers or are we school girls who're worried about who our latest crush is and whether or not we'll get invited to the dance?" He glared in a rough approximation of his usual style at all of them, then his face softened into a fond smile.
"I appreciate the lengths you have gone through for me lately, all of you," he looked at Duo and Heero as well as the boy who held him, "But can we please just move past this now? I'm healing and this is *nothing* compared to what we've been through in the past except this was something that happened within our circle, so to speak. We're fighting a war. Why should a pair of minor fistfights be any great issue among us?"
All four other teens simply sat silently and stared at the Chinese boy in open surprise.
"Well, damn, Wu," Duo smiled up at him from the floor. "How is it that even when you're feverish you still make more sense than I do most of the time?"
"Because I'm me and you're you, maybe?" Wufei shrugged and then blinked at him kittenishly, "Fever? What fever?"
Quatre's eyebrow went up at this statement as well. He had tried repeatedly to get a complete run down on the injuries he had inflicted on the Chinese boy but had been blocked unintentionally by the others who simply didn't realize he didn't know.
"Heero noticed you were running a fever this afternoon, Fei-kun," Trowa told him quietly, "Don't you remember taking some medicine for it?"
"No, not really. But I did have a strange dream that I woke up to find him in bed with me." the smaller boy quirked a smile at the Japanese pilot who suddenly looked as if he wasn't pleased Wufei recalled that particular bit of the recent past.
"Hmph," Duo frowned and pretended to be angry. "Heero in bed with another guy is not a 'dream', it's a nightmare! But, yeah, Wu, he was keeping an eye on you for us and found out you were hot."
The American snickered at his own little joke which the others ignored except for Quatre whose eyes were now amazingly large as he asked, "Um, guys? Is there anyone left who *hasn't* spent time in bed with Wufei this week? Um, uh," he faltered and chuckled a little as Trowa cast him an odd look. "Besides me, of course," he added as a blush crossed his cheeks.
"Don't go there, Winner," Heero remarked with a hint of annoyance.
The fact that they were joking as a group was a good sign, though, and it meant that the crises they had faced were now coming under control. He wanted to follow up on Wufei's statement, though, and he added, "But in all seriousness, Wufei *is* right. This has all gotten out of hand and I think it's past time we all just set this aside. We've made some mistakes and we've learned a few things, but it's time to let it go."
"Agreed," Trowa nodded and reached down to see if Wufei had finished his drink yet. The other batted his hand away gently and Wufei looked a little guilty as he tried to drink more of the thick liquid.
"I'll let it go," Duo commented with a decidedly directed stare at Quatre, "as soon as that gold monstrosity is off *someone's* hand before it can be used as a weapon again."
"Oh," Quatre blinked as he looked at the heavy signet ring on his right hand and immediately pulled it off. He handed it to Wufei who looked at it in confusion. "Um, this is what cut your face, Wufei. I'm sorry."
"All right, Quatre," Wufei held the ring and marveled at how heavy it was as well as the intricacy of the design. "But what am I supposed to do with such a thing?"
"I don't know," Quatre shrugged. "It just seemed like maybe I should give it to you since it messed things up so badly."
Trowa plucked the ring out of Wufei's hand and shoved it into a pocket in his jeans. "I'll take that," he remarked with a frown.
Wufei looked at him in confusion then glanced at the others.
Quatre appeared as contrite as he had most of the discussion and Heero looked vaguely disinterested. Duo, on the other hand, looked positively glowing with barely repressed humor as he asked, "So, Wu, 'school girls'? Us? Worried about guys giving us rings and stuff?" He shook his head and added a loud, "NAH!!!"
Trowa flushed a bit since this was the last thing on his mind. To him the heavy signet ring reminded him of Wufei being injured and he just wanted it out of sight. But now that Duo had pointed this out, he thought there might be a little to that as well. He considered saying something directly about his feelings for the dark-eyed boy in his arms but decided such pronouncements deserved some privacy, not a public display.
Duo had gotten an introspective look to his face after his joking and he asked, "Wu? What did you mean when you said something about stuff 'within our circle'? Did you mean between us five or what?"
"Yes," Wufei nodded, "I view the group of us as a circle. We complete each other as a team. Our mobile suits as well achieve more in an organized attack. We each have our strengths and weaknesses, but if we are united we can function smoothly and as a single unit. A 'circle' seemed to fit us best in my mind."
"Oh, wow," the braided boy looked suitably impressed, "Deep. But I kinda like it, so I'll borrow it, too. Are we a 'circle' of friends, too, maybe?"
"Why not?" Wufei answered and then the room fell silent for a time before he finally asked, "Are we done yet? About the issues with Quatre and the fights and all? Heero had a good point, we need to drop this."
"We're done," Heero remarked as the chime on his laptop alerted him that a new message had just arrived.