Honor Thy Mother
When Wufei slipped away from the breakfast table without a word, looks of concern were exchanged. The Chinese teen had been unusually quiet, and they'd wondered. The sound of the front door closing spurred the group into action. If their friend was in trouble, they were going to help.
Concerted stealth garnered from working with one another, the other teens followed silently, keeping the young Preventer in sight without alerting him to their presence. He carried a small bag in one hand, walking proudly, facing forward. The others were at a loss; Wufei seemed to be heading towards the outskirts of town.
After a short distance, Heero signaled the others to a stop. Huddled around him, they watched Wufei disappear down the concrete steps leading to the riverbank.
"Whadda think he's doing?" Duo asked, his eyes on the stairs. No one offered an answer, and by mutual consent, the four teens followed their companion.
On the water's edge, Wufei stood, his head bowed and hands palm to palm at chest level. The small bag lay opened at his feet, and the others could see a profusion of flowers spilling out. Exchanging a look, they moved forward as one.
Though they'd been quiet, respecting his solemnity, Wufei turned. His gaze went from one to another, gauging their understanding before returning to face the water. He bent gracefully, plucking a blossom from the mix, and tossed it into the flowing river. Again, his palms met, and his head bowed.
Heero and Duo stood to one side, alternately watching the older teen and each other. On Wufei's other side, Quatre's hand sought and clasped Trowa's. They leaned towards one another in silent communication.
"Eighteen years ago, a strong woman gave birth to a willful male child. I honor her gift of life. I honor her memory." Wufei did not look away from the river as he spoke. "She loved flowers as the givers of beauty and peace. It would honor me if my friends were to join me in this celebration of her spirit." He gestured to the bag, indicating for them to take a flower.
The five teenage boys each held the stems, and at Wufei's nod, tossed the flowers into the current. Wufei returned to his prayer stance. Duo, somewhat sheepishly, mimicked his motions, memory strongly brought to the fore. Quatre smiled nervously, bowing his head in respect. Trowa folded his hands together, while Heero bowed low from the waist.
"What do you know of your mother?" Wufei's voice asked softly. His eyes sought out each in turn.
Quatre shook his head. "I never knew my mother. She passed on at my birth." Trowa clasped his hand and nodded silently.
"I was born out of a tube," Heero's expression somber.
Seeking the last of the four, Wufei felt a sadness he'd always believed of the weak. "What of your mother, Duo?"
His eyes far away, Duo raised his hand in a slight gesture. "Soft," he said. Focusing on his friends, Duo smiled almost shyly. "She was soft."