Pairing: eventual 5X9, mentions of 3X4 and 1X2 Warnings: varying points of view(I guess that might be a problem for some) Spoilers: Post-EW Notes: Written for Ravengirl who asked for a fic with these two. The plot is one of those old 'stuck pretending to be a couple as partners' fics. So old I had to dig it up, dust it off and bring it back to life with a shock of lightning. -raises hands- Rise fic rise! -clears throat- Sorry fro the lateness but work is a nightmare right now and I've had this sitting on my comp, just waiting to be edited. I'm a bad, bad author. Sorry it's not beta-ed either!

Part Two: Meeting the New You

It was already dark by the time Wufei returned to his apartment. After the torture session with his newest partner, the traffic jam from hell and the grandmother of the mother of all headaches, all he wanted to do was grab something quick to eat and crash for the night.

The apartment was eerily dark and silent, the only light coming from the glow of the fish tank as he closed the door and locked it up behind him. Wufei paused as a thought struck him suddenly.

Did he feed his fish this morning? Or yesterday? Did he actually own any fish food?

With trepidation the Chinese man slowly approached the glowing tank, the blue light giving it an almost otherworldly appearance. The slight hum of the filter and the trickle of water broke the illusion a bit as the glowing green plants swayed, hiding his pets.

Suddenly, as if sensing Wufei's presence, one tiny goldfish poked through the green foliage to swim around a bit and disappear again. Over on the far right another fish, bigger and brighter than his shrimpy little goldfish, appropriately named Gold, came into view. Wufei frowned. Not only was Nataku, the Koi fish swimming like he'd smacked his head on something but he didn't seem to have grown at all. Odd.

That's when he saw him. The bright red Betta fish, ShenLong, was floating on his back, the flowing tail and fins a telltale sign of his apparent death.

As if they were coming to scold him, more of his little underwater friends came into view, a few poking at the deceased ShenLong or avoiding him completely. Wufei scowled at himself.

"Not only am I keeping them hostage but I'm starving them to death and making them play with their dead friends. What kind of pet owner am I?"

No one answered the question as Wufei slowly searched the cupboard below the tank for any fish food. He found a full container marked with pictures of bright fish and big letters spelling out 'Fish Food'.

Wufei got the distinct impression that his ancestors were pointing and laughing at him. Very loudly. His head throbbed. They were probably poking him with a stick as well. Maybe this was a karamatic sign or warning of something. Obviously of something morbid because there really is nothing good to say about the death of a pet fish.

With a small sigh a large amount of fish food, too much actually, was thrown into the tank and the Chinese Preventer watched in awe as his supposedly gentle fish turned into piranhas. Quickly flipping the top down, in case Nataku decided she wanted to take a bite out of him, Wufei put the container away and stomped over to his fridge.

He hadn't gone shopping this week, for fish food or his own food it appeared, the nearly bare racks of his fridge told him. A carton of eggs sat innocently on the second rack next to a few leftover pieces of Maxwell's-all-or-nothing topped pizza.

A bag of dried up baby carrots took over most of the bottom shelf as Wufei ignored them all for the cardboard box of leftover Chinese food on the top before slamming the door shut.

A bit grouchy, he stomped over to his couch and sat in the corner closest to the television. With the push of a button the evening news proceeded to try and scare the hell out of him. The fright of the week? The danger of speed bumps and the number of them on colony roads.

"I suppose that's better than 'Peace Talks Fail. War Imminent." Wufei mumbled to himself, spearing a mushroom with the tip of his fork. A young woman with too much eye makeup came back on the screen, laughing that weird reporter laugh at something her co-anchor said.

Just as she was getting into the next story, the phone rang.

'You have reached the residence of Chang Wufei. -'

Scooping up a forkful of rice, Wufei paused to glare at the phone.

"I am not here."

The machine beeped. "Yes, you are."

Swallowing the rice in surprise, Wufei coughed suddenly before clearing his throat to stare at the phone. He'd know that voice from anywhere.

Just what did Sally Po want with him now?

"I bet you're sitting there watching the evening news, eating some cold fried rice and screening your calls-"

Wufei quickly put the box down, his form tense as he studied the room. The blinds were closed, the coffee table was clear of the perpetual mess he's seen on the one owned by Maxwell and Yuy, and the walls were bare of everything but a few Chinese style silk paintings of nature. Everything was in its place, there was no way Sally would even attempt to bug his apartment...


"Either way, whatever you're doing your ignoring me. Again. Anyway, I just called to wish you good luck and to tell you to treat Lu like an equal and not a green agent. She's competent and you know it. The confused, repressed perfectionist in you is just agonizing over having to put up with someone else in close quarters for the next while. Relax and you'll see that Noin is just as fun as I am."

Wufei sighed gustily as his fingers snuck up to rub at his aching temples. Either Sally was bugging him, electronically as well as physically, or she was psychic.

Or he was just getting predictable.

Wufei frowned. He was not becoming predictable. He was steady and strong, reliable and competent. He was one of Une' best agents and he knew it. What business was it of Sally's if he didn't exactly get along with Agent Fire?

A heated glare was thrown at the innocent answering machine as Sally's one-sided commentary continued.

"Well, maybe not exactly like me but she's good Chang." There was a thoughtful paused here, followed by an enlightened 'hm' noise. "Actually, if anything...I'd say Lu is a lot like you."

Wufei surged forward, abut to pick up the phone. "What!?"

An inch from the receiver, he stopped; Sally had hung up. The stray hand curling into a fist, Wufei slowly sat back, perplexed. Now what was Sally going on about? Him and Fire, the same? He was an ex-Gundam pilot, she was not. He was a colonist, she was from Earth. He had already proved himself to be competent, she was his hated Unknown Variable. Wufei nodded his head decisively and grabbed his leftovers again.

They were nothing alike.

Lucrezia Noin growled as she was finally able to coax her house key into the frozen lock of her half of the townhouse. The door swung open to reveal a darkened hallway and the vague shadow of stairs to her upstairs bedroom and bathroom.

With an irritated jerk, Lu pulled the key out and slammed the door, leaving her in total darkness as she took a deep, calming breath and kept from dropping her meal. In the privacy of her own home was the only place Lu ever felt she could just relax and forget her anger or frustration from work.


With a huff, a practiced hand shot out and flipped on the hall light as the dark-haired Preventer stepped out of her sneakers and maneuvered out of her coat before heading off down the hall toward the kitchen.

Setting the bag down on the counter, Lu turned around and nearly tripped over the black Persian cat that had suddenly begun twisting around her legs.

"Dammit, Socrates! Hang on a minute."

All she got in return, as another light flickered into life, was a very unhappy meow from Socrates. With an irritated noise, Lu glanced at the red plastic food dish and found it suspiciously empty. Violet eyes glanced from the long-haired cat to the fridge to the bowl in hesitance. If she didn't find the half a can of Whiskas on the second rack of the fridge, she would be caught red-handed failing her duty of cat-owner.

"Well, ever person needs a crash diet every now and then Socrates." Lu mumbled to her cat as she yanked open to appliance door to find no half eaten can of cat food anywhere-

And was cleverly tripped by said hungry cat as she turned around to grab a can from the cupboard.

Glaring, Lu shook the bright, aqua-colored wrapped treat threateningly.

"Ah, revenge!" A delicate black eyebrow was raised. "You brain me and you still get no Whiskas. Either way, you loose."

A loud, impatient meow told her that either way it was hard to gloat while unconscious. Against her will, Lu's mind produced the frightening scene of a certain Batman movie in which a young female cat owner was nearly feasted on by her devious little felines.

In record time, Socrates was happily munching on his late night meal and Lu sat relaxed on a bar stool, eating her take-out salad and sneaking looks at the innocent looking cheeseburger beside it, on the small island counter top. From her point in the kitchen, she could eat comfortably and still watch a bit of the evening news, which unfortunately had to do with...potholes.

"The era of Peace, ladies and gentlemen. Potholes are the new enemy, killing off car bottoms, one vehicle at a time."

Hm, apparently she had just missed a riveting report on the dangers of speed bumps. Pity.

The fake drone of the news-anchors voice, punctured by the content purring of Socrates, re reverberated inside Lu's quiet home making her even more aware of the silence and the emptiness. It was a slightly depressing moment, realizing the only thing a gal like herself had to come home to was a testy Persian cat with a superiority complex and a couple darkened rooms.

With nothing better to do with her mouth, Lu had her sad little salad finished in what felt like no time as she made little squiggly patterns with her white plastic fork and the ranch salad dressing. For reasons unknown the words 'Die Chang Die' were spread messily across the black plastic bottom of the throw-away take-out plate before Lu gave up and pushed it away with a sigh. Between bites of the green leafy stuff, the burger hadn't stood a chance.

"Move Socrates, I have to check my mail before hitting the sack." She frowned at no one. "I have a very trying day tomorrow."

She was meeting Chang at a 'bar' to set up a decent cover story. The suggestion of being runaways- married and having problems already- was way too Romeo and Juliet for a tough girl like Lu and the ex-Ozzie would bet her good arm that Romeo never made Juliet want to beat him with a frying pan. Or run him over with a mecha.

The amusing image of a Leo stomping all over a slightly chibi-looking Chang Wufei made a smile stretch across Lu's lips. A flick of the mouse made the computer screen come to life and she wondered vaguely if that mental image would make a good desktop background. If she needed, Duo Maxwell could be persuaded to let loose his artistic side for a couple of chocolate abrs and a bag of potato chips.

She's seen the ones of Une getting attacked by a stapler, and other nefarious office supplies, when the long-haired man had gotten a couple weeks worth of stake-outs. Crime had been slow that month apparently. The exact month 02 had filled Une's office drawers with green jello and whipped cream for St. Patrick's Day.

Lu's hand froze suddenly over the mouse as she read the name on the screen. Wind. Zechs- Milardo- Wind, whoever he was this day of the week- had written her after nearly two years of silence. Instead of relief, or even morbid curiosity, at the subject of Wind to Fire: personal, Lu felt anger.

After the way he had left, after the things he'd said, what gave him to right to simply pop up, like a cockroach Lu thought vehemently, in her life again?

Stone-faced, the little box before the unread message was check before she hit the delete button with more force than necessary.

After all, they weren't friends anymore.

A message from Sally, another from Une- mission oriented obviously- and one asking if she wanted an account at the United Bank of Africa, Lu shut down her mail and stretched. An almost depressing mood settled over the violet-eyed woman, followed by a scowl.

"This day just gets better and better." She muttered to Socrates and the cat twisted around her legs and purred. "How much you want to bet Chang's sitting at home having a wonderful time all by his lonesome? Jerk."

Stumbling off to bed, the vague thought that perhaps, like herself, Wufei did have some bad days crossed Lu's mind. She snorted, startling her cat.

Yeah right. They were nothing alike.

Directly under the forest green street sign reading that this particular stretch of pavement was the intersection of Ellesmere and Terraview stood Chang Wufei, scowling slightly at his wristwatch. Shoppers, lunching business executives and reunited friends came and went around the stationary Preventer, all talking loudly to each other or into their cell phones. A few face-paced suits juggled eating and work by using an almost invisible headset, making little children give them funny, slightly scared looks as their mothers dragged them down the street.

A slight smile graced those unusual pouty lips as a little girl, her hair up in the familiar style of pigtails, ran by him. She stopped for a second and looked up, her big green eyes shining with excitement and her toothy grin showing the world the new set of front teeth she'd earned before she dashed off, taking Wufei's smile with her.

Absently the Chinese man's wrist rose slightly to display the time, making him frown. His elusive partner had exactly two minutes and thirty five seconds before she was late.

Wufei hated tardiness. It was rude, inefficient and ...tacky. Somehow.

When people were on time, even slightly early, things got completed on time and correctly. Stings were successful, babies were born and fish were fed. Yes, to Chang Wufei being punctual was not perk it was a necessity in life.

One minute.

'It is simply a common decency that human beings presented to each other because it is an important social value passed on by our ancest- Oh, there she is.' Wufei thought it a scowl.

On the other side of Ellesmere and Terraview, waiting patiently with her arms crossed against the autumn chill stood Lucrezia Noin. The high collar of her three-quarter coat was pulled up to cover her reddening ears and pink cheeks as her white-gloved hands rubbed together for warmth.

Time ticked by as Wufei studied his wife-to-be, as far as Divinity was concerned, until the woman on the other side of the road was forced to meet his gaze and stop ignoring him.

It wasn't until one elegant black eyebrow rose did Wufei realize what he was doing was considered staring in many dictionaries and quickly looked away.

The lights changed as he looked down at his watch.


His position didn't falter as Noin stepped up onto the sidewalk and stood beside him. There was a moment of tense silence before she spoke.


"You're late."

The words slipped out before Wufei could stop them and he was thankful the cold kept form showing his embarrassment. He knew he was being a jerk, and coming off as slightly obsessive-compulsive, but women made him that way. The only one he could actually carry on a decent conversation with was Commander Une and that was because those conversations involved Preventer business.

Married he may have been but Casanova he most certainly was not.

Noin frowned at him, unknowingly mirroring her partner's expression. "I was not. You said we would meet at Ellesmere and Terraview at noon. I was at Ellesmere and Terraview at noon. You were on the wrong side of the road."

"I was here first." Wufei countered, feeling decidedly stupid at the childish remark. "Technically, that means you had to meet me here."

Noin snorted. "Technically we should be meeting out there." A slim gloved hand pointed out in the middle of the busy intersection.

Wufei bit back the instinctual response to tell Noin to go there then if she was going to be that way, with a sudden mental shake of his head. He needed to get over this...nervousness of women in general. He was acting irrational.

"Come on. We need a cover story that will stand up to paranoid scrutiny and civilian curiosity. I'm not sure which will be worse."

"Civilians." Noin pointed out briskly. "They always seem to find the tiniest little discrepancies in a cover story. Soldiers like it straightforward and short."

Wufei resisted the urge to ask how she knew this as he filed away her interesting tidbit of information. With a jerk of his head, he lead them swiftly down the street and inside.

Kleo's was not the type of place you'd expect two Preventer agents to be meeting, especially to discuss sensitive case details, and for that reason it was the perfect place. It accepted all kinds of people, the upper crust of society slumming it and the down and out trying to get by were not out of place here. The ground floor was usually full of those Wufei liked to call 'suspicious types', either meeting a contact, dropping off information or making a pick up.

The top floor held the private rooms, thought to be the owner's apartment by those who didn't know Kleo Khan was in fact an undercover Preventer Agent and not a simple bar owner.

Wufei was eternally grateful that Agent Khan was on their side as she quickly disentangled herself from a rowdy looking bunch of bikers to throw her arms around Wufei's neck tightly.

"Cousin! Dammit, if you were any later you'd have to park your ass out on the damn sidewalk and sleep. I doubt the lady would like that very much."

The hug was a bit stiff, mostly on Wufei's part as he pulled back and gave the slim Asian woman in his arms a small smile.

"Yes I doubt she would as well, Cousin." He looked back to find his 'lady' had caught on quickly and was looking around the bar tiredly, giving them an excuse to escape. "Do you have a room we could rent, just for the night?"

For her part, Kleo played the role of the offended family member to a tee. Making a small fuss, claiming that she always had room for her family before she ushered them upstairs and out of sight.

Wufei felt his partner's eyes on his back as he lead them silently up to stop just before an apartment door. With practiced ease, his hands slid along the wall, looking for the barely noticeable ridges of a hidden door. A slight bit of pressure and the boards popped open before he grabbed the edges to keep it open and motioned Noin in, following swiftly.

Door secure, Wufei turned to see one of Noin's eyebrows raised in question.


He shrugged. "We couldn't exactly call her your sister."

Brows furrowed in confused thought.

A loop of dread unfurled in his stomach, like smoke drifting our of a dragon's snout, before Wufei ruthlessly crushed it. He knew Agent Fire was wickedly sharp, she'd have to be with a job and a reputation like hers, and he knew he'd be answering uncomfortable questions in seconds.

"Imaginary relations aside, why are we even having this meeting here and not back at HQ? If this case is as important as we believe, we shouldn't be taking any unnecessary risks here."

Wufei was grudgingly impressed. Many of the agents in the Preventers were sheep- you tell them when and where to piss and they'd do it without a thought. Very few had the brains, forget the balls, to think for themselves like this mission required.

Unfortunately, one of those sheep was very unhappy and not afraid to stray from the herd.

"We've got a leak at HQ. At our level."

Noin's eyed widened as she swore softly. A gloved hand ran through her short lock, making them stick up slightly. "How bad?"

"Nothing damaging to the hot, high profile cases as of yet but a few missions have been compromised. The Jennings Case was the worse."

Noin shot him an irritated look. "Two agents died on that case, Chang. I'd say it's a bad leak."

Wufei glared right back. "Calm down for a moment, will you. That's why you're still officially 'on-leave'. I've just taken some 'down time' as well. The only people who know the difference are Une, Sally, Quatre and Trowa."

Tugging her warm coat off in lieu of the heated room, Noin frowned. "Maxwell and Yuy are suspects?"

"No." For a moment, Wufei was surprised at his tone. It'd come out harsher than he had intended. Noin was a soldier and suspicion of Duo and Heero would have been the first thing that crossed his own mind, had the Chinese Preventer not known them personally.

Wufei took a breath. He needed to keep his temper at accusations like that- more likely than not the people running Divinity would have many scornful things to say about the ex-pilots. All of them.


The violet eyed Preventer's apology was stiff as she took a seat at the table in the middle of the room, a steaming pot of tea and another of coffee waiting for them. Wufei felt his words nearly stick in his throat as he forced them out.

"No necessary. Maxwell and Yuy are still on mission in Brazil. They are in full communications blackout until next week."

Noin made a slight sound as she quietly filled one of the mugs with the dark coffee and took a refreshing sip. Wufei couldn't help but notice she looked troubled as he sat down across from her, pulling out a medium-sized malia envelope from his jacket. Two palm pilots followed as one was slid across the table to Noin.

"Keep this with you at all times. It's part of our cover and contains all of the information you need to know on Divinity. Suspected members, the leader, goals, suspected crimes, psychological profiles, the works."

He watched as Noin picked it up and jerked her head back slightly as her hand curled around the back of the device.

"Now no one but you or myself can access the restricted files on there. To anyone else, it simply looks like business records. It erases itself if the system picks up any type of foreign files."

"Prints and DNA?" Noin confirmed with a smile and a shake of her head. "I was told they wouldn't be ready for another three months."

"Commander Une was...forceful when she spoke with the head of R&D." Wufei said delicately as he slid the contents of the envelope out onto the desk and separated them expertly. "These are our covers. We've already been registered at Heaven's Haven-" The Chinese Preventer could not stop from nearly grinding the name of the resort out from between his teeth, with a look of disgust. "All that has been left of us is to create a background."

"Lucia Khan? Lucia? Who came up with that?"

He couldn't keep the smug smile off his face at his partner's obvious dislike of her new identity.

"I believe that was one of Po's creations." Wufei's expression suddenly became serious. "Lucrezia Noin is believed dead from the One Year War. Chang Wufei is too easily traceable. It is...rational for us to keep as close to our given names as possible so that we will not screw up when it counts."

She gave him a disbelieving look. "And Wufei isn't a bit suspicious?" He shook his head tightly.

"Believe it or not, many Chinese parents aspire to call their male heirs 'dragon'." Wufei chafed at his partner's sullen expression. "Listen, if you can't deal with a simple change in your name I'll simply tell Une we can't work together. If this mission doesn't get completed before the ESUN conferences then they do not take place and the fragile peace we've fought for is in danger. Deal with it."

Whether that had been the right thing to say or not was about to be discovered as Noin looked ready to maim him. Wufei noted, a bit tentatively, that Agent Fire got the same look in her eyes Duo did when you pissed him off proper. Perhaps it was the unique color of their eyes that promised death and mayhem at the rising of their tempers.

"I understand the situation fine, thank you." Noin responded icily. "I didn't realize I was supposed to become instantly enamored with my new identity." Her fiery eyes looked down at the new name with a grimace. "If we're going to pull this off, then I need to like my name or you're going to have to get used to calling me Lu. It would make sense, since nicknames are the kind of thing couples do."

"We are not a couple." Wufei pointed heatedly, feeling uncomfortable but resigned to the fact that he would be spending the next few weeks of his life calling the woman across from him 'Lu' and other various forms of the word.

"No, we're not." He was sure a 'Thank God' was thrown in there, unheard, before Noin continued. "But we have to pretend to be. That means we can't have you calling me Lucia like I've been a bad child and me flinching every time I heard it."

"That doesn't mean I have to like it." Wufei mumbled, not really intending for Noi- Lu, his mind correct hesitantly, to hear it.

"Deal with it." Lu said sharply before snapping her fingers suddenly, leaning over the table to look at her partner. "Better yet, explain to me why Une didn't just have a legitimate couple put on this assignment." She raised a hand, forestalling Wufei's objections. "And don't give me any crap about it being your case or there being a leak in the force. Quatre and Trowa, if anyone, are prefect for this type of thing."

Wufei, a bit irritated at being interrupted, glowered at her. "Perfect they may be but the name of the terrorist cell should tell you everything. Divinity believes that it is their godly right, as beings living above the Earth, to conquer it. Unfortunately for us, they are also very much against the Gay Marriage laws being pushed by Relena in Parliament."

Lu blinked in understanding before a wicked gleam caught her eye. "Yeah, that would be a problem. You know I cannot believe that all five of the Gundam pilots turned out to be gay. There's a sign of fate, if you believed in such things."

Wufei couldn't stop from nearly choking himself to death at his partner's casual words. Granted he only registered the part where she'd confessed to believing him to be gay before nearly swallowing all of his scalding cup of tea.

Instinctively he spluttered away fro the table, not wishing to explain why his new birth certificate had tea stains all over it and looked at Noin in shock.

"I am not gay." He said, his throat horse. Clearing it, Wufei tried again. "I'm not."

Noin simply stared at him, disbelieving. "What? Of course you are. The numbers are against you!"

Wufei growled softly. "What Maxwell and Yuy and Barton and Winner do together have no impact on my sexual orientation. Why would you even think something so logically unsound?"

Lu rolled her eyes at her partner's phrasing before answering. "Logically unsound? Who are you, my philosophy teacher? Never mind." She quickly waved away Wufei's response and continued. "People think you...butter the other side of the bread because you keep turning down Sally. I think half of the reason she's so eager to get you is to prove the office polls wrong and win some cash."

The Chinese Preventer looked exasperated, and a touch angry, as he gathered up his own identification papers roughly. "My dating possibilities do not revolve around Sally Po. I'm simply not interested in her. We do not date because she is not my type."

Lu snorted. "You're a male. She's female and willing. That makes her your type. Unless you're-"

"For the last time, Noin I am not homosexual." Wufei seemed to have lost his mask of calm irritation as he looked at the pretty female Preventer, his expression furious. "I thought we came here to work, not gossip like some-"

"Like some what, Chang? Some air-headed woman?" Noin was suddenly angry as well, sitting forward and staring her partner down. Wufei grit his teeth and replied.

"No, not like some air-headed woman. I've seen more than my share of men gossip excessively in my short time with the Preventers." With a deep, steady breath, Wufei let his angry simmer down and watched his partner do the same. "Shall we just get on with this?"

"Fine." Noin's- Lu's an exasperated voice in the back of Wufei's mind corrected- tone was sharp as she looked at him. "I'll study the information tonight. Do you have any ideas for our background story?"

"I was hoping you would have thought of something appropriate." He replied, looking a bit uncomfortable. Lu bit her lip.

"Trashy romance novels were not one of my favorite types of literature. I only have three and they were-" she grimaced slightly. "- gifts from Sally."

They lapsed into a deep silence, both agents trying to come up with a plausible idea.

Ten minutes later, Lu broke down.

"This is ridiculous! A background story shouldn't be this damn hard to create." She gave Wufei a searching look. "Why don't we just use a real life example?" At Wufei's confused glance she explained. "Why would you, Chang Wufei, not date me, Lucrezia Noin?"

Wufei shot her a look. "One reason maybe that you were officially declared dead nearly five years ago. Another could be that you aren't my type."

Lu huffed slightly. "Well I was enough your type for you to marry me Mr. Khan. Try again."

Wufei furrowed his eyebrows as Lu shuffled through her papers, looking for something exact. She spoke quietly as she searched.

"I'm a military brat, born and bred, but even the thought of something like that would spook Divinity into hiding. Aha!" She gracefully pulled out one a report page and grinned up at him. "Lucia Khan, however, is a free-lance artist on L1. What about you?"

She watched him shuffle his own papers before finding the one holding his job description. Wufei rose an eyebrow slightly, nodding in thought. "Historical writer from a deeply traditional and wealthy Chinese family on L4."

Lu grinned victoriously. "Not only do we come from different social backgrounds but our personalities should be a bit inclined to clash. Horribly."

"Then what would possess us to even consider entering into marriage with each other? We'd have no common interests or experiences to join us." Wufei pointed out, a bit frustrated with the whole thing. He had a bad feeling this would end up sounding like one of his partner's 'trashy romance novels' anyway.

His fears were confirmed as he watched Lu wince and mutter something that sounded suspiciously like 'damn Romeo and Juliet' before sighing.

"Looks like we're going to have to play the whole 'star-crossed lovers' bit. Two people from opposite sides of society, drawn together by true love and being torn apart by their disapproving families and varying views."

She sounded vaguely disgusted, and for once Wufei agreed with her. This was turning out to be a very bad day. He gave her a considering look.

"Do you think you can pull off eccentric, starving artist? What would we do if someone asks for a drawing?"

Lu shrugged. "I have a bit of talent in the arts as it is, so it shouldn't be a problem. I'll just say I do watercolors or...children's books and that'll be that."

Whatever the Chinese man was going to say was cut off by a shrill beeping coming from his breast pocket. He pulled out a tiny beeper with a frown before downing his now cold tea with a grimace.

"I have to be seen at the gym in forty minutes, to keep up appearances of being on-leave. Wait half and hour and then follow me out of here."

Lu gave him a nod as she watched him rise, tucking his papers in his jacket and his palm pilot in with his beeper.

He stopped at the door for a moment, suddenly unsure what to say. Instead of calling out a polite parting, Wufei couldn't stop his rough remarks.

"And for God's sake do not be late tomorrow."

Then he left Lu sitting in the room, glaring hotly at his cowardly retreat.