By noon at the apartment, Wufei was standing in the kitchen and feeling
confused and somewhat frustrated.
"What do you mean, I can not go get some groceries, Duo?" He cocked his head
and scratched lightly at the line of sutures that had begun to itch. As soon
as the stinging sensation hit him from aggravating the healing wound, Wufei
flushed red and sheepishly answered his own question.
"Oh, right. I stand out too much, do I not? Serious security error there.
Forget that I asked." The Chinese boy turned to walk back to the bedroom he
almost never left at this point but was stopped by Duo's hand settling gently
on his shoulder.
"It's not like that, Wu," the braided boy offered with a smile. "I agree we
need some food and stuff, and I agree that you *do* stand out, but I meant
you should wait until Q-Ball gets back. Heck, with his preference to shop at
the least provocation, he might pick things up on the way back from the base.
"Hmph," Wufei grunted unhappily. "I am a spectacle like this. Maybe I should
just go back to staying in the woods alone since it mattered not how I
Duo chuckled and ran his fingers lightly across the line of stitches with a
half-smile. "Oh? Did you think I meant this, Wu? Heck no! I meant a cute guy
like you is gonna stand out no matter where you go, that's all. And as for
going back to hiding away from civilization, forget about it. Heero's worked
too hard to get us to function as a team and now that Quatre's getting up to
speed with that, I am *not* going to let you disappear!"
The American teen traced one thumb along Wufei's lower lip and then kissed
him lightly on the cheek, trying to reassure his worried friend. "Besides,
Q-Ball's probably gonna try to get Tro back here on the double for ya. You
don't want to go off without Trowa, now do you, Wu?"
Wufei had allowed the mild surprise he always felt at Duo's touch slide away
and be replaced with the comforting warmth that was intended and so he had
missed some noise from the living room as his eyes slid closed with a soft,
sad sigh. "I wish that Trowa actually *was* here, Duo," he sighed again, "I
"And I missed you too, koi," Trowa's voice answered unexpectedly from behind
Coffee-dark eyes popped open and Wufei spun around to find himself
face-to-face with the boy who had hardly left his thoughts during the last
"Angel!!" Wufei shouted joyously and launched himself at Trowa.
The slender teen's face radiated pure happiness as he plucked the smaller boy
off the floor and into a firm embrace. With a small laugh of delight, Trowa
indulged himself and spun around with Wufei in his arms, earning himself a
set of laughs from the on-lookers as well as a mock-glare followed by an
intense kiss from the boy in his arms.
While the newly reunited couple was celebrating, though, Duo immediately
noticed a frown on Quatre's face where the boy stood at some distance from
the others. Misinterpreting it, Duo assumed that the blond disliked the
public display of affection between the two and he walked towards him with
every intention of chewing him out yet again for being a poor loser.
Heero was on his way to join them in the crowded kitchen area and detected
trouble in the air. He forestalled it by simply asking, "What is it, Quatre?
This quiet question caused Trowa, too, to sober slightly and he moved Wufei
protectively into one arm. He looked at the unhappy boy, saying, "It's not
your fault, Q. I told you that already. Just tell them what happened and
we'll all go from there."
"If you say so, Trowa," the aquamarine-eyed youth said with a sigh. He looked
up and said simply, "I'm sorry, everybody, but we're gonna have to relocate
immediately. I made a mistake at the OZ base and I may have compromised our
location here. I hope this won't ruin things too much."
"Huh?" Duo asked as he tried to reset his assumptions.
The temporary loss of words on the part of the usually loquacious American,
though, allowed Wufei to break free of the arm that enfolded him and go to
the slightly taller Arabian boy and embrace him warmly.
"Arigatou, Quatre," Wufei said quietly as he released the startled youth from
the brief hug. "I have no idea what you might think you did that was so
dreadful, but you got the most important thing accomplished and that is all
that matters to me. Thank you for bringing Trowa home."
"Um," Quatre was blushing again as he realized that Trowa was giving him an
amused glance and he wondered how the taller teen would react to the news
that he himself had slept beside the boy he loved the night before. Pulling
his thoughts together, though, he answered, "You're welcome, Wufei. I know
how worried you were about Trowa and I'm glad it helps to have him 'home'
even if we do have to move immediately."
By this point the Chinese teen had moved back into the protective arms of the
handsome youth who seemed to be unable to stop smiling. Trowa wrapped not
just one arm but both around Wufei's slender shoulders and held him gently to
his chest, reveling in the feel of the beating of his heart and knowing that
Wufei was safe. [image:
"Want to fill me in here, Quatre?" Heero asked easily as he motioned to the
blond to follow him into the living room. Before they disappeared around the
corner, the cobalt-eyed boy asked, "Since it looks like we need to move out,
Duo, could you please start getting us packed?"
Duo laughed and stuck his tongue out at his lover. "Sure thing, Heero, but
honestly! Can't we find a place to stay long enough for me to get bored with
it next time?"
An amused grunt was his answer to this playful remark, though, as Heero
remained focused on finding out what he needed to from Quatre before
contacting Doctor J to get them a new safehouse.
The Japanese teen was pleased that he had already warned the strange old man
that they'd probably need a new location since Trowa's departure from the
base had been delayed. It was always a good policy to move whenever a mission
had complications like this one had, so he fully expected to get a
destination within an hour of asking for it.
They could move out far more quickly than this, of course, in fact, they
usually did, but this time there was the added complications of not wishing
it to be too obvious that they were leaving in a hurry. More than once the
four pilots who had previously shared residences had been very nearly
identified after the fact by nosey neighbors who took a bit too much interest
in their comings and goings. And there was nothing as interesting to those
types of people as seeing four attractive young men with too many packages
loading up an often stolen car for their departure.
Through the afternoon, Heero would coordinate things with Quatre and Duo and
they'd all leave the other two alone to spend some much needed time together.
Duo wished that Trowa might get to the bottom of whatever was bothering
Wufei, but as it was, the couple was glad to be together and they spent most
of their time cuddling in happy silence while awaiting word on where they
Late afternoon was approaching and Lt. Zechs Merquise was anxiously awaiting
the end of yet another boring meeting so he could get ready for the first
date he had gone on in months.
It had taken him time to stop considering the evening at the Opera with
Treize as a "date" since it had turned out so very badly, but now he felt
nervous about the upcoming evening with the young man he had only met briefly
//I hope I wasn't too forward.//
He pondered as he nodded absently as the scientist in front of the room
pulled a plastic cover off of a device that had been hidden from view. The OZ
officer knew the machine he was being shown was supposedly some kind of
scanner that could reveal the Gundam Deathscythe even when its cloaking field
was activated, but frankly, he just didn't care.
//What did he say his name was again? "Quatre", right. Hmm, that name seems
familiar, wonder why?//
Before his thoughts could ramble further, though, a muffled explosion from
the front of the room resulted in an out-pouring of noxious gas from the
device and everyone began to cough and gag.
As several people tried to determine if the machine was on fire or not, Zechs
was busy trying to help the other audience members evacuate the smoke-filled
room even as his own throat burned and ached from chemical exposure. The
young officer's heroic efforts resulted in everyone being removed from the
gas including the now unconscious scientist that had refused to leave the
Once Merquise knew that everyone was out of the room and safe, he collapsed
against a wall in the hallway and coughed until he tasted the acrid hint of
copper in his mouth.
A purely mental groan went through Zechs' mind as he began to lose
consciousness. His last thoughts were self-derogatory yet revealing.
//Well shit. You saved the day again, Milliardo, but this time it means
missing a date with someone new. You really need to work on your timing, you
know that, Peacecraft?//
Eyes shut and body limp, Zechs Merquise never even felt himself being lifted
to be taken to the base's medical wing. He would be trapped there as their
star patient for three days, more than enough time for the Gundam pilots to
relocate successfully as well as enough time to make the very idea of
tracking down the "sweet little blond", as his mind had labeled Quatre, out
of the question.
In fact, it would take an unexpected turn of events for Zechs Merquise to
ever even realize that the boy he had taken an immediate liking to was none
other than Quatre Raberba Winner, terrorist as well as heir to the greatest
fortune in space.
Full Author's Notes to Run at Conclusion.
End Notes for Parts 24 and 25:
Dedications: Finally!! I got the Disco Ball for the Hall of Fame back in
order and I can light it up and we can dance again! So sorry for missing two
nights in a row there, (and after working so hard to catch up last weekend,
argh, such a baa~aad llama!) but better late than never?
[turns the light on, calls the honorees' names with adoration and enthusiasm]
This posting run is dedicated to the cool cats and delightful friends who've
sent me C&C's over the past few nights even though I fell silent due to the
crisis (no, it hasn't gone away, I'm just ignoring it tonight) that hit Casa
de Llama! These folks include -- but are not limited to since AOL eats my
mail! -- the following intensely delicious people (who each gets a special
saying tonight! isn't that nifty? the ultimate microficlets?):
Azzie (who needs another fic from me since she works so hard to C&C
everyone with kind words in a lovely shade of green!),
SkyLark (who bounces with Koji and sprinkles
Danielle (who stays up late every night to read this silliness and
deserves a cookie! ),
AJ from NZ (who has worse weather than NC does, but it better leave
Aukland alone or llama will have to come and stomp on a tsunami!),
Aurelie (who is the French Otaku Princess once again! BOO-YEAH!),
bearilou (who encourages llama-boy who is eternally grateful!),
Lady Une 99 (who is also called "Sarah" or "Ms. Camero" and llama
thought of her with that "Corvette" reference when Trowa was so pissed at
Heero and considered changing it into a "TransAm" in her honor!),
Shea Maxwell (who deserves only good things and tons of them!),
Mahtob (who asks really good questions and guesses right on my
foreshadowing way too easily!),
Zan (who is wicked cool and older than the llama!),
Mizuno (who is suddenly tickled by a purple feather to make her
Trixie (who has a fun email address that makes me think every night:
"Milliardo Peacecraft as Zechs Merquise played by David Bowie as the Goblin
Rubious (who's going to party down in Canada at AnimeNorth and we are
Nazarri Blue (who is too sweet for words and gets a box of truffles!),
d-huron (who writes cool stuff and is NOT an "evil bastard" when he
writes sexy teasers for us to read at [3x5_5x3list]! )
jana-friend (who just finished a marvelous 1x2x1 fic "momentary lapse
of reason" which can be enjoyed at her web page "shinigami&wing" at:
Starlight (who probably got more storms but we hope she's doing okay
SteelSong (drops the pattern to stop and flirt with her since she's
got a kick-ass fic "TFSB: Edification" with BDSM promised [adults
only web page available at: http://www.steelsong.com/mainmenu/menu4.html ]
more soon, please, dearest Goddess?),
Kayo (who brightens the darkness with kindness and makes even
Ashkara (who has some fics that llama-boy is dying to read as soon as
"goldmund" (who popped in and waved which was nice!),
Lori (who has a forgiving heart since she puts up with my plotlines!),
Liz (who hereby receives an extra award for reading this far down the
Da Black Cat (who has a cool nickname!),
CiaEclipse (who is patiently waiting for a gift ficcie!),
+=+ saving the best for last, the disco ball shines on +=+
Kimmie (who might write another 5x3 LEMON if we ask nicely! [asks
nicely: Onegai? Kimmie of Hi'kry? Pretty please with chibi-Gundam pilots on
Ryoko (who keeps Sweet&Sweet shiney and bright and you can go read all
the earlier parts of this fic AND it's predecessor PLUS look at all the
lovely piccies that've been used at:
http://www.angelfire.com/anime/saotomechan/sweetxsweet/index.html !!! [kisses
kitten and runs away])
[turns off the disco ball and flops over, tired from all those names![
Gee, do I have that best fans in the whole wide Gundam Universe or what?!?
Yeah, sure, I wrote 28 long parts of this sucker, but they've gone to the
trouble of not only reading it but ALSO letting me know they like it! And
encouragement like THAT deserves a huge long thank you from me to all of
Also, [sniffles] this is the LAST NIGHT the disco ball will be used for
"Hidden Gifts" since the Conclusion will run next time and it contains the
final TOTAL FIC DEDICATION! Want to know who gets that honor? Well, plan to
scope it out along with the key questions in the Author's Notes at the end of