A Joyful Gathering
With a small sigh as their lives returned to peace and quiet, Trowa gathered both bowls of now-cold noodles and broth, intending to reheat them if needed. He looked at Wufei and asked innocently, "Are you still hungry, koi?"
Unexpectedly amused coffee-dark eyes peered back at him from beneath a curtain of fine black silk hair and Wufei said in a playfully dark voice, "Yes, but not for ramen noodles, angel-boy."
Emerald eyes gaped as Trowa stammered, "Wh-what do you mean, my dragon?"
A loosely curled bronze fist rose from where Wufei had extracted something from his pocket and he turned it over, palm up before unfurling his fingers to display a few rolls of tiny sugary candy disks and he asked, "Will this be enough, lover-mine?"
Trowa swallowed nervously not only at his partner's tone of voice, but the unspoken challenge that lay beneath the wrappers labeled "Smarties" in his hand. After clearing his throat for a moment or two to keep from squeaking when he finally spoke again, he asked, "Does this mean you want to play cards after all, Fei?"
"Sure thing, baby." Wufei teased, then added in his best Clint Eastwood-esque tone, "Are ya feeling lucky, punk? Well, are ya?" 
A bright laugh erupted from the taller boy's throat as he set the bowls of soup aside, no longer caring about them as he felt a welcome warmth spreading through him and he responded in his own poor imitation of the American film star, "Make my day." He sauntered towards the unusually playful teen and dropped both hands onto Wufei's shoulders before taking the smaller boy's mouth in a deep and passionate kiss.
Groaning in the back of his throat, the raven-haired youth clutched the soon-to-be poker chips tightly and wrapped both arms around Trowa, more than willing to engage fully in the shared exploration of each other's mouths. Lips locked and tongues dancing against one another, the two young lovers were quickly being swept away on a wave of lust.
When the nearly endless kiss broke for air, Trowa began to rain kisses onto Wufei's gasping mouth, nipping at the corners lightly and then gasping in return as nimble fingers began to pull his dark blue sweater free from his faded denim jeans. Eager to keep pace, the standing boy moved to unbutton his partner's shirt and had the top three buttons undone when a certain unwelcome sound echoed in the room -- *again*!
++ Ding Dong! ++
Both boys froze in place -- again!
Trowa moaned softly and began to re-button Wufei's shirt without a word. Mumbling something about wondering what Debra had forgotten to mention or do during her earlier visit, the emerald-eyed boy tucked his shirt back in place. The seated youth straightened his collar and glanced at his lover with a look of need tempered by friendship for the neighbor child.
Then the doorbell rang again. Twice no less!
++ Ding Dong! Ding Dong! ++
"Now *this* is getting ridiculous!" Wufei stated and made a mental note to talk to the girl's mother about courtesy when ringing doorbells. Trowa, however, had already moved to the door and opened it again planning to greet the girl. What greeted him in return, however, was *not* a four year-old child.
"HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!" A chorus of voices shouted out gleefully and Trowa nearly fell over in shock, speechless in the face of the newcomers.
"What the--?!?" Wufei exclaimed, looking past his stunned lover and laying eyes on people he never would have expected to see standing outside the Virginia safehouse. "Maxwell? Yuy? Winner?!" He swallowed hard and added in horror, "Merquise?!? What the *fuck* are *you* doing here?!" Sudden awareness of being painfully unarmed swept through him. Wufei experienced a sinking feeling that distracted him from the more obvious realization that if the statuesque blond had come as an enemy, then why was the man standing there smiling and holding what looked like a stack of large take-out containers?
"Oh, he's with me, Wufei! Um," Quatre rushed to answer, blushing as he did and then gazing adoringly at the platinum-haired man adding, "I guess we have a fair amount of catching up to do if you didn't know that we're a couple now, but may we come in? The food's going to get cold if we stand out here too long."
The Sandrock pilot raised both hands to indicate the bags labeled with the name of a nearby luxury hotel that was well-noted for its gourmet restaurant's extravagant Thanksgiving buffet which featured catering that Duo had taken advantage of by ordering ahead. The two blondes had been more than pleased to cover the expense of not only the feast but also a luxurious rental car that Trowa spotted in the driveway.
Shaking himself out of his temporary silence, Trowa moved back a few feet from the doorway and gestured for the others to enter, saying, "Certainly, Quatre. Won't you come in?" He glanced at the former Lightning Count and added meaningfully, "You're *all* welcome here."
"Why, thanks a lot, dude!" Duo grinned, pushing past the others in his haste to enter, the huge package in his hands apparently too heavy to stand and hold much longer. He strode into the safehouse as if he owned the place and greeted his Chinese friend happily, "Hey there, Wu-babe! How's it going? I'll have to sign that cast for ya later, buddy, I need to ditch this bird before my arms fall off! Where do ya want it?"
Gathering his wits enough to respond, Wufei answered, "I have no idea what you're talking about, Maxwell. Put what 'bird' down 'where'?"
The American laughed, "The turkey, you nutcase! What kinda bird would I bring for Thanksgiving dinner with my friends?" Glancing about, he shrugged and added as he moved to the dining room table, "Well, duh, why don't I just set it here? It's as good a place as any and better than some, right, Heero?"
The Wing pilot glared at his enthusiastic lover even as he walked to the table and deposited several heavy-looking bags of his own. Ignoring Duo who immediately started taking various round and square covered containers from the bags he'd dropped off, he walked back over to Wufei and helped the other pilot to his feet before grabbing his crutches for him and handing them to him with a slight smile. "As usual, the baka asks a question and fails to allow an answer leaving me to repeat it. Tell me, Wufei, how *are* you doing? It's been a long time." He extended a slightly golden hand and the smaller boy shook it gladly, far more pleased than he would have expected he'd feel to see the Japanese teen.
Wufei smiled and nodded his head in formal greeting before answering, "Yes, it has been too long, Heero. The leg is healing as well as can be expected, but why are you all here?"
Heero shrugged negligently yet failed to conceal a warm expression as he glanced at his braided lover who was busy taking care of the things that Heero had left on the table. "This is all Duo's idea, Wufei. He decided that since he hadn't seen you and Trowa together since the trip to Cancun *and* since you were in the US, he'd see to it that you had a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner with friends."
Unnoticed by Wufei, the two blondes had entered the house, too, and Trowa was helping them and Duo with pulling what seemed like an endless assortment of dishes and cutlery from a box with the same hotel logo on them. There was a bit of quiet conversation going on, but it was mostly pertaining to where things could be found in the kitchen and no one had offered further information on why, exactly, an enemy pilot was with them.
Hearing Heero explaining that reason they were there to Wufei, Quatre decided it was a good time to speak up. The Arabian teen said, "When Milliardo and I heard that Duo and Heero were planning to visit you, we thought it would be nice to come, too, so here we are!" Realizing belatedly that no one had even asked if they were interrupting anything, the Sandrock pilot added apologetically, "I hope you don't mind us appearing out of the blue this way, but Duo wanted it to be a surprise."
"This *is* a surprise, all right!" Trowa smiled, walking over to stand by Wufei as if in support of the boy he loved who still seemed overwhelmed by the sudden appearance of so many people. "So, Quatre, did you wish to introduce us?" He gazed at the azure-eyed man knowing that he had met him before when he and Heero had been in Antarctica, but since Quatre had called him "Milliardo" Trowa rightly assumed that many things had changed and wanted to give them all a chance to start over.
"Of course!" Aquamarine eyes dancing happily, the Winner heir proceeded to introduce the man who had stolen his heart a few months earlier. "Chang Wufei and Trowa Barton, may I present my dear friend Milliardo Peacecraft? Milliardo, may I present Wufei and Trowa?" Quatre smiled at all of them as they shook hands civilly.
"It's a pleasure to meet you," Milliardo said in a voice like warm honey, the cultured tones of a man born to royalty natural in every way. "My apologies for startling you earlier, Wufei. I had no idea that my little love had failed to inform you that we were, as he said, a 'couple'." The amusement in the former prince of the Sanq kingdom's tone was primarily due to the sweet pink blush that crept onto Quatre's cheeks with the use of the endearment, but the look of disbelief and confusion on the Chinese teen's face was partially responsible, too.
Trying to spare his proud lover from further seemingly pointless questions that still needed answering, Trowa asked, "How long have you been going by your birth-name instead of 'Zechs Merquise', Milliardo?"
Milliardo smiled and answered the understandable inquiry, glad that Trowa -- unlike Heero Yuy when he had asked the same thing a month before -- wasn't pointing a gun in his face. "Shortly after my battle with Heero in Antarctica, Treize was forced by Romefeller to insist that I leave OZ. When I did so, it seemed only logical to reclaim the identity that I had forsaken so long ago once the mask of Zechs Merquise was destroyed."
"Ah, I see," the emerald-eyed teen nodded, satisfied with the answer yet curious about something more personal as well. A slightly confused expression on his face, he asked, "And when did you and Quatre get together? I don't recall hearing him talk about you much in the past."
Quatre's blush deepened and he moved to cling to one of his tall lover's arms and Milliardo nearly laughed. "There, there, little love, I'm sure he won't be any more shocked by the truth than your other friends were."
"I'm not so sure, darling," the smaller blond answered, then added, "Trowa and I were awfully close for so long, I hated hiding this from him and telling him now seems so awkward."
Trowa gazed at Quatre with a perplexed expression and he said, "Why not give me a try, Quatre? You know I only want to see you happy."
"I know," Quatre pouted, then sighed and stared at the floor as he said reluctantly, "Go ahead, Milliardo, tell him."
The TallGeese pilot finally laughed out loud, and placed a reassuring hand on Quatre's shoulder before he stated nonchalantly, "We met almost four months ago on a small gay resort colony. We were both quite high and when we finally came to our senses a few days later we were already lovers far more than we were enemies."
Wufei choked aloud and had the most astounding look of utter shock on his face even as he fought for breath.
"Are you all right, dragon?!" Trowa asked in sudden concern, moving to actually slip an arm around the gasping boy, supporting his weight easily.
Despite being unable to catch his breath, Wufei nodded, "I'll be okay, angel." Words failed him as he coughed for a moment.
Carrying a glass of water and laughing, Duo joined the group in the living room. With a classic smart-ass grin on his face, he handed the glass to Wufei who sipped at it gratefully and he remarked, "So, ya told Wu about Quatre's little 'lost weekend', huh? *And* the guy that he just couldn't get out of his blood, too, right?"
Frowning, Trowa gazed at the American boy and asked, "Since when is it a laughing matter that a Gundam pilot spends time too overcome by drugs to realize the identity of the person that he is having sexual relations with, Duo?" The situation made no sense whatsoever to him and he hoped the answers would be forthcoming.
"Since none of it was Quatre's *or* Milliardo's faults," Heero answered unexpectedly, coming to the defense of what sounded like an indefensible position. Arms crossed over his chest in standard Yuy-body-language to indicate displeasure but acceptance, he added, "The colony air-supply was contaminated and no one there was sane enough to realize the problem until it was too late. It wasn't drugs, Trowa, it was human physiology."
"Wait," Wufei interjected in a thoughtful tone, "I think I remember reading about something along those lines in the news. Was that the incident on 'Eros'?"
Quatre's blush deepened as it was revealed that he had indeed been enjoying some vacation time in what was considered the single most hedonistic and self-indulgent location in all of space. A place many men went to simply to lose themselves in orgiastic pleasure. Nodding and unable to speak, he kept his eyes down until a long-fingered hand reached out to draw his chin up and he found himself gazing into ice blue eyes that he loved.
Milliardo continued to gaze into Quatre's eyes as he stated, "Yes, Wufei, we were *both* on Eros and had gone there with other partners." He pointedly did *not* mention who either had gone there with, that subject being obviously closed to discussion. "However, once the air supply was cleansed and we could think clearly, we talked. At length. For weeks after the incident we tried to work through our feelings, but that was done in secret to avoid complications from the war interfering with our private lives. In fact, neither of us was able to forget the other and despite our opposing sides in battle, we wanted to be together. Treize did me a great favor by asking me to give up OZ. It meant that instead of cold duty I could enjoy the warmth of being at the side of the one I love."
The look of pure love that had filled Quatre's eyes impressed both Trowa and Wufei as the taller man leaned down to state as if for his lover's ears alone, "Almost six weeks ago, we pledged our love to one another and have been together ever since. And I have no regrets whatsoever, little love. Not then, not now, not ever." Closing the tiny gap, he kissed the Arabian teen sweetly.
Duo clapped happily then pretended to wipe a tear from one amethyst eye, "And then they lived happily ever after! I just *love* the way he always kisses him at the end of that story!"
"DUO!!" Heero exclaimed, trying to be angry for his irreverent behavior and failing.
The Deathscythe pilot laughed and found his braid being tugged upon by the Wing pilot in a silent command that he shut up. Smirking broadly, Duo obeyed but did so only after Heero was made to suffer somewhat through the skillful application of lush lips to the Japanese teen's golden neck. Cobalt blue eyes flew open wide and stared at teasing amethyst ones which dared the other boy to try to keep him "hostage via hair" a moment longer, a dare that was accepted and made good upon, too.
Milliardo simply ignored the American boy's outburst and contentedly wrapped both arms around Quatre's neck and pulled the much smaller pilot against his body, holding him there warmly, azure eyes sliding closed in satisfaction when he felt the Arabian teen relax and lean into the loving embrace.
For their part, however, both Trowa and Wufei were simply trying to take in the new information and they remained where they were, the smaller boy's body tucked protectively into the curve of the taller one's arm. Once the full truth had been revealed, neither youth felt any animosity against the new-comer to their group yet found it to be an awkward moment just the same.
Author's Notes for This Part:
 A small salute to my kitten-koi's favorite band Gorillaz! Only in an anime music video like theirs for the song "Clint Eastwood" could someone let a very large ape do what one did to Murdoc in that clip, ne?
Full Author's Notes to run at conclusion.