Um...I told you I would put up a new one? -cower- I'm sorry. Please don't hurt me. (Also: if you want to nominate which fic goes up next, PM me on Gaia Online. Username is Jeikira.)
Sleeping with the Enemy
Wufei looked around the crowded and overly decorated ballroom with much annoyance as he irritably pushed the ringlets back from his face. He thought it was despicable how the OZ leaders could still enjoy a masqueraded ball while a war was still being waged outside. Shameless! Still, it wasn't like he could expect any better from those Oz mongrels.
"Che!" Wufei gave a small unladylike snort before turning around and attempting yet again to move towards the majestic winding staircase.
Wufei nearly shrieked when after only taking one small step, a hand brushed across his ass. //Did someone just squeeze…?// He whirled around incredulously. Looking about he saw no one suspicious, or even guilty looking; everyone appeared to be enjoying the party and having a blast. He knew that one of those innocent looking men was the culprit, but which one?
Realizing that he wouldn't be able to determine who the culprit was anytime soon, and probably never, Wufei decided he therefore had no choice but to forge ahead. Thus he turned back and stubbornly continued trying to push his way through the crowd.
In Wufei's opinion, there were just too many people, but according to Quatre's rich-people's-rules-book, a crush meant that the party was a huge success. Still, it was a nuisance to Wufei because this made it impossible for him to move through the crowded ballroom, especially as most of the people were taller than him by at least a foot (including the women) and didn't seem to notice him trying to painstakingly inch forward. Literally. Thus, when Wufei was bumped and his fake silicon breasts jiggled, he merely clenched his teeth and muttered under his breath, "I can do this!"
Why the hell had Maxwell had decided to give him 'C' cups anyway? 'A' cups would have been much better suited to his frame. And the dress! It was something Relena Peacecraft would wear, not Chang Wufei! He scowled, glad that half his face was covered by the mask, or dressed as a female or not, someone would surely spot that they had an intruder in the ballroom.
He tried to take another step towards the staircase and was once again bumped.
"Apologies," Someone murmured close to the shell of Wufei's ear, warm breath tickling it. Wufei merely smiled and tittered like the other brainless females around him, which was apparently enough for the man he'd bumped into. And the other pilots wondered why he thought women were brainless fools. He had to copy that information and fast, otherwise this horribly embarrassing mission would all be for naught, and Wufei would not accept that! It wasn't as though his masculinity hadn't already taken a beating this night, if he failed the mission too then… Well, the though just didn't bear thinking about. He wished he'd never pulled the short straw.
The pilot's informant had told them that Pierce Ford, apparently organizer extraordinaire, had, after having become fed up with the pleas (read: nonstop whining) of his fellow generals, made schedules for all of them. The schedule apparently listed every single meeting each general was to attend in addition to the time and location. If Wufei could make a copy of that information, it would be a simple matter for the pilots to get to as many meeting places as each of them could in one night and assassinate as many generals as possible. There was a limitation of one night of course, because after that security would surely go up making it too dangerous for the Gundam pilots to continue the assassinations. Wufei wasn't worried about that, in his mind, every general they killed, would make the war end that one minute faster. Still, he had his orders.
Wufei then gave a little smirk. Oz officials were so stupid. Why anyone in their right minds would want their schedule listed for any assassin to get his hands on was beyond him. Though lately he'd been hearing that the generals had been rather disorganized and some hadn't turned up for important meetings. Senile, that's what they were becoming.
It was possible Wufei thought contemplatively, that instead of going through the trouble of killing the officials, the Gundam pilots could just wait for them to die of old age. Although, if he waited for Treize to die of old age, the Gundam pilots would probably be grandparents themselves. Pity, why couldn't Treize have been forty or fifty, he was way too young to be a general.
Standing across the ballroom, surrounded by a ring of beautiful women, Treize easily used his natural charm to flatter them all at once. He was only paying them half of his attention, the other half of his attention was actually concentrated upon looking around the ballroom. With his height, it was very easy for him to look over the heads of almost everyone there. It was true that there were many beautiful women at the ball, and many of those very same women were standing beside him, but he was after one particular beauty that night.
//Ah, there!// Treize smiled as he spotted the curly dark head in a ruffled dress working her way towards the staircase, she was getting buffeted around and making almost no progress. Treize smirked as he took in her outfit. In Treize's humble opinion, those ruffles were terrible. He idly wondered who had picked the dress for Chang Wufei, it certainly didn't seem like something he would choose for himself. Treize couldn't imagine Wufei being terrible in anything he did, and that included picking women's clothing. Whoever had dressed Wufei had tried a bit too hard to make him seem female what with the ruffled dress, curly hair and overly painted face. Well, from what he could see of the bottom half of Wufei's face, it looked overly painted, and Treize doubted the top half of his face would have fared better. Still, his dragon looked cute, like a little girl playing dress up with her mother's clothes.
"Excuse me ladies." He said charmingly to the ladies surrounding him before moving towards Wufei, ignoring their disappointed faces as he left them. Treize almost appeared to glide through the crowd, his walk made easier by the fact that they instinctively moved aside to let him pass. His presence was so commanding, that other people found moving aside an automatic response. Thus, it wasn't all that long before Treize had reached Wufei's side. Ah, his poor dragon was still getting buffeted around trying to reach that ever elusive staircase.
Treize tapped Wufei on the shoulder and when Wufei turned around in surprise, he offered his most brilliant smile and asked, "May I have this dance?"
Wufei stared. Even masked, Treize was easily distinguishable, his broad frame, auburn hair, and lazy silky voice easily giving him away.
Wufei stared some more, and then like some comedy flick, he whipped his head to the left and then to the right. Treize watched amused, allowing the tiniest of smiles to grace his lips. His dragon really was endearing.
"Me?" Wufei finally questioned with some astonishment as he pointed to himself with the fan he was holding in his hand.
"Yes. You." Treize drawled easily.
Wufei continued to stand there looking stunned and this made Treize wonder whether it was because Treize was standing before him, or because he'd been asked to dance. Probably a mixture of both, Treize eventually decided. Or perhaps Wufei was wondering whether he could kill Treize and still make an escape. Still, if Wufei didn't close his mouth sometime soon, something unsavory would eventually fly in. Or maybe, Treize thought deviously, something savory, depending on whose opinion was asked. Treize gave the tiniest lick of his lips and stared hard at Wufei's delectable mouth.
Actually, while Treize contemplated kissing Wufei, Wufei was thinking about killing Treize. Eventually though, he decided that it wasn't a feasible idea since he wasn't actually carrying any weapons on him (blueprints probably wouldn't make an ideal weapon) and since if by some miracle he did succeed, he probably wouldn't be able to escape afterwards anyway.
Seeming to realize that his chin was hanging somewhere in the vicinity of his chest, Wufei closed his mouth with an audible click. That was Treize's sign to stop staring at Wufei's mouth and return his eyes to Wufei's.
"I'm sorry sir,'' Wufei apologized in a light breathy voice that sent warm shivers down Treize's spine, "I'm afraid I'm not very good at dancing."
Treize gave him another dazzling smile, and using his most charming voice replied, "Ah, but my pretty lady, that's no reason for you not to dance at all." Treize wondered briefly if he'd overdone it, but he ignored it for the moment, and then before Wufei could protest, he took Wufei's hand and led him out to the ballroom giving a signal to the orchestra to play a slow song.
Immediately one started and Wufei was tugged against Treize's chest before he could even say, "Hey now, wait a moment," which was what he was intending to say and was really the reason why Treize had done what he did.
//Hmmm// Treize noted immediately//So that's the point of all the ruffles, it prevents me from feeling Wufei's body at all. Shame, such a beautiful body should not be hidden but flaunted.// Although Treize supposed that while that might be what he wanted, it was certainly not what Wufei wanted. They danced slowly with Wufei completely stiff in Treize's arms.
"Are you alright? You seem a little tense." Treize inquired, feigning concern.
Wufei jerked his head up and gave a nervous laugh. "Ah, I did say that I'm not very good at dancing." But he made a conscious effort to soften in Treize's arms, not wanting to arouse suspicion.
"You're doing well." Treize murmured a minute later in his ear.
This time Wufei didn't jerk. "Thank you."
It occurred to Treize after a few minutes (he'd deliberately signaled to the orchestra to play a long slow song – and if you don't know one, make one up!) that he did not know what name Wufei was using to go with his disguise.
"How rude of me," Treize murmured easily into Wufei's left ear. "All this time I've been dancing with you I have not even introduced myself. I'm Treize Krushanada.
"Treize Krushanada? As in the great general of Oz?" Wufei asked cutely feigning innocence and nearly choking on his own words.
"Not the great general, but yes, the General of Oz." Treize said humbly. "And you are?"
"May Lee." Wufei pronounced clearly.
"Ah, May. A lovely name, and so fitting for such a lovely woman."
//Bah, flattery, how pathetic.// But Wufei prudently kept his thoughts to himself and offered Treize a shy smile, which soon melted off his face when he noticed Treize staring at him entranced.
"Ah, my apologies." Treize murmured to him when he noticed that Wufei was growing uncomfortable. "I was taken aback by your beauty."
"You can only see half my face." Wufei muttered grumpily.
"That's true," Treize replied, "But you have a beautiful smile."
Wufei thought that the reports about Treize being strange was probably true after all. Wufei wasn't blind, he'd seen how he'd looked after Duo had finished with his makeup, and if Treize thought his smile was beautiful, even with the grotesque bright red lipstick, well, in Wufei's opinion, those reports might not be unfounded after all.
Meanwhile, while Wufei was debating the validity of those reports, leaning towards being a believer, Treize was thanking the heavens for the small gift he'd been given.
Treize never thought that he'd have a chance to see Wufei's smile in his lifetime, and to have been given one was so rare! Treize vowed he'd never forget the warmth in his chest upon seeing Wufei's first smile to him. He decided then and there that he would not punish the offender who'd leaked the information after all.
At long last, to Wufei's relief and Treize's disappointment the song ended and Wufei attempted his escape, somehow successfully pushing his way hurriedly through the crowd to make his way to the edge of the ballroom where the people who were not dancing were standing.
"Where are you going in such a hurry?" Treize inquired right beside Wufei's ear, not even having the decency to sound breathless. Ah, perhaps that was why Wufei had succeeded in moving through the crowded ballroom.
"It's hot." Wufei muttered, taking a glass of white wine from a passing waiter and taking a huge gulp.
"It is." Treize noted, "Perhaps you'd enjoy a walk in the garden, there's a nice cooling breeze tonight." He quickly took Wufei's hand and in what was fast becoming a trend, had whisked Wufei out to the garden before he could offer any protests. Of course, Treize being the intelligent man that he was, had long deduced that it was best to take action first and not let Wufei offer any protests.
Treize smiled down at Wufei before tucking Wufei's arm under his and leisurely strolled along the garden path. There was no way Wufei could escape without looking suspicious so he resigned himself to his fate and pretended to look interested in the garden while in his mind he tried to calculate how long it would take him to complete his mission even with the interruption.
It wasn't until they came upon a large open space filled with roses, that Wufei really took an interest in his surroundings. He looked around making a small startled sound of surprise. "The roses are beautiful at night!"
"Yes they are. You've never seen them at night?" Treize questioned, also looking at the roses before turning to drink in the sight of Wufei looking around him in wonderment. He wasn't really paying attention to Wufei's answer. It was true that the roses bathed in moonlight looked beautiful, but compared to Wufei they were nothing.
Treize stared at Wufei standing there bathed in moonlight gabbling about how the moonlight really emphasized the deep red blood colour of the roses and really, how could he resist? How could anyone resist? Slowly he leaned in.
"May." He murmured. Wufei didn't turn around, just continued his spiel about the beautiful blood red roses.
"May," Treize murmured again deliberately letting his breath waft over the rim of Wufei's ear. Wufei turned around startled and Treize swooped, brushing his lips against Wufei's in a soft closed-mouth kiss. This one act demonstrated the greatest show of control Treize had ever had to demonstrate in his entire life! More than anything Treize wanted a passionate kiss, one that was all tongue, and heat and warmth and saliva, but he knew that if he tried that he'd scare Wufei away faster than he could say 'Boo'. So instead he settled for a closed mouth kiss which fueled the fire but actually did very little to satisfy his growing desire. He heard Wufei's intake of breath and he pressed for a moment longer, giving Wufei's bottom lip a light lick before pulling back.
"Forgive me my lady." He said trying and succeeding in looking and sounding contrite. "But you looked so beautiful bathed in the moonlight admiring the roses that I couldn't resist."
Wufei just stared at him shocked…
…And continued to stare at him in shock as the silence dragged on.
Treize smiled at him apologetically and wondered whether he should say something, or whether he should remain quiet and let his little dragon recover from the shock of being kissed by the general of Oz.
Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding Ding...
At that moment, the clock struck ten and it seemed that the bell was all that was needed to break Wufei from his daze. Without a sound he whirled around and took off, stumbling briefly before disappearing back into the crowded ballroom.
"May?" Treize called, but he knew it was useless.
He took a few steps forward standing at the spot Wufei had briefly stumbled and looking down smiled. Wufei had accidentally left a shoe behind. He grinned and picked it up cheerfully whistling. It was a delicate little thing and just imagining Wufei's tiny foot in such a delicate little shoe had him hard in an instant. He groaned and briefly shut his eyes against the pleasure before tucking the shoe into his pocket where it left an interesting bulge.
Inside the ballroom, realizing that he was missing a shoe, Wufei pulled off its partner and threw it into a potted plant. //Damn things are too difficult to walk in anyway!//
The only good thing about this whole fiasco was that he now found himself standing at the foot of the majestic staircase. He slipped quietly up the stairs and walked straight into a footman.
"What are you doing here?" The footman demanded.
Wufei gave a breathy laugh which he'd discovered worked wonders on men. "I'm sorry sir, but I need to use the lady's room." Then he tittered again.
The footman just stared at him. "There's one downstairs. Didn't you see it?"
Wufei shook his head. "It's so crowded down there. And I really need to use the lady's room." He said, and tried to sound cute and desperate at the same time.
The footman looked at him for a moment longer before eventually giving a put upon sigh. "Alright. Just go straight and turn right at the first corridor. The bathroom is on the left." //Guess he isn't interested in my charms. Gay? Or is it my makeup that put him off? Gah! What am I thinking!?!?//
Wufei offered the footman a sickly smile and a small, "Thank you." Before hurrying down the hall while still trying to look polite. Once around the corner he immediately pulled out the blueprints he'd hidden in the folds of his dress and stare at them fixedly determinedly trying to erase his rather inappropriate thoughts. Ah yes, he was here, he traced his index finger along the blueprint, and he had to get there.
He walked straight down two corridors, turned left three times before turning right two times and then he took another staircase up to the next floor. Ta da! Wufei was now standing in front of the room he needed to be at. He gave a self-satisfied grin. //No matter what Duo says, I really am a genius.// Slipping in quietly, he made his way silently to the computer where he booted it up and began to run a password search.
Three minutes later he was in. He sat down in the leather chair looking around the spacious room while he waited for the information to copy. The room was lined with shelves of books and a comfy couch in the middle for reading. If it wasn't because he was in a rush, Wufei would have liked to have taken a peek at some of those books. He shook his head wryly. //Once a scholar, always a scholar.//
It was while the computer was mid-way through copying the files onto a disc that Wufei heard voices outside the door. Immediately he switched off the monitor and slid under the table.
He wasn't a moment to soon either. Almost immediately, he heard the door of the room open and then close, the lock sliding into place. He began fervently praying that the person who entered the room wouldn't notice the whirring of the computer.
"Don't do that." He heard a woman titter. "What if someone sees us?"
"No one's going to come in here. This place is off limits to everyone except us high ranking officers." Was the rumbled reply.
Actually, make that two persons. Wufei had a feeling they wouldn't be noticing the whirring of the computer as it copied files.
Wufei distinctively heard a zipper being pulled down. He could feel his face beginning to burn. He was not a voyeur, he would not look and he would not listen.
He popped his fingers into his ears and sat there in complete silence for a few minutes, but even with his fingers in his ears, he could not block out the sounds of the two reaching their climax.
"Aarrgh. I'm coming." At first he thought that was the woman until he heard an even higher pitched voiced saying. "Yes, yes, yes!"
That was actually quite pitiful, a man's voice going as high as a woman's during sex. He was surprised the woman wasn't turned off. Goodness knows he would have been.
Eventually it was all over and he heard the couple straightening their clothes and whispering sweet nonsensical things to each other before leaving the room. //How pathetic, that hadn't even taken five minutes! They were probably having an affair. Why else would they have been so secretive and in such a hurry?//
Still, it was probably to Wufei's advantage that they were in a hurry. Who knows, with his luck tonight, he wouldn't have been surprised if they'd decided to stay there for a few more hours. Breathing a sigh of relief Wufei crawled out from under the table crinkling his nose at the strong smell of sex which now permeated the room.
Turning on the monitor he was relieved to see that the copying was done. Immediately he pocketed the disc, and turned off the computer before leaving the room.
Getting out proved just as difficult as getting in, he had to put up with people groping his ass, or bumping him, or asking him to dance. It was even worse than getting in actually, because he wasn't wearing shoes, and at last count, over five women in heels and two men in hard shoes had managed to step on his feet. If he'd had his katana with him, he'd have said to hell with the mission and chopped everyone there up. Especially Treize since it was his fault Wufei was missing his shoes!!!
Eventually though, Wufei did manage to get out and he limped tiredly down the driveway. He was glad he was wearing such a long dress, otherwise people would have noticed his shoeless state. It was amazing what women had to go through. Perhaps he'd have to reassess his opinion of them.
"Did you get it, Wu?" Duo asked when Wufei arrived at their house twenty minutes past eleven.
"I never fail." He said smugly. He ignored the way Duo's lips twitched every time he looked at Wufei's face. //I'll make you look beautiful my ass!// He thought sourly shooting Duo a dirty look. That was the last time Wufei trusted that maniac!
"Good." Heero said taking the disc and putting it into the disc drive of his laptop. Unlike Duo, he barely even blinked when he looked at Wufei's face. It appeared as though one of his fellow pilots cross-dressing couldn't even faze the perfect soldier.
"And thank you." Wufei muttered sarcastically.
There was a strange whirling noise which soon turned into a buzzing noise.
As one, without a word, the pilots dived for cover just seconds before the laptop blew up.
BANG. CRASH. BOOM.
When the five pilots reemerged, Wufei and Duo from behind the couch, Heero from behind a table he'd flipped to its side, and Quatre and Trowa from around the doorway, they saw that where Heero's laptop had once been, there was now only a black smear.
Everyone looked at Wufei and he stared at them helplessly.
"Perhaps they knew." Quatre said. He turned to Heero, "Is it possible to encode a virus into a file that will make a computer blow up?"
"Yes." Heero said. "But they'd have to be really good." He clenched his fists tightly. Then he shook his head ever so slightly as though to dispel cobwebs and looked at Duo. "Your informant?"
"I know. We're lucky that Wu didn't get caught, but that rat won't get away with this!" Duo's face was darker than a storm cloud. "Sorry Wu."
Wufei shook his head. "Waste of my time, but we know that it's risky relying on informants and we took that chance. I guess those Oz officials aren't as stupid as they look and sound."
"Hn." Heero said. "But if they know we're after that information, they won't let us get to it. Any other possibilities Chang?"
Wufei shook his head and sank down tiredly on the sofa, it had been a rough night, and all for nothing. "None that I can think of at the moment." //Dammit! We don't even have information on one general. Even one general could make all the difference in this war!//
"Wufei!" Quatre cried suddenly and worriedly. "What happened to your feet?"
Wufei looked down. He'd forgotten about his feet. Now he noticed that his dress had ridden up to reveal that his feet were covered with bruises and were bleeding. "They were stepped on." He replied.
"But where are your shoes?" Quatre questioned as he immediately moved forward producing a first aid kit from mid-air and began to clean up Wufei's wounds.
"I lost one after dancing with Krushanada and then I tossed the other one away. It's probably decomposing in that potted plant as we speak." He snorted amused.
No one else seemed amused.
"You danced with Krushanada?" Heero asked.
"Yes." Wufei replied.
There was a moment's silence. "He didn't recognize you?" Trowa asked.
"He's a fool." Wufei replied.
There was even more silence. Wufei looked up. "What?"
"Was he by any chance taken with you? Did he try anything?" Duo asked.
The blush that suffused Wufei's face was all the answer that they needed.
"I suppose this night hasn't been a complete waste after all." Duo said rubbing his hands together in a satisfied and altogether villainous manner.
"No way Maxwell! I know what you're thinking and I refuse to do it."
"No choice Wu. We have to win this war."
Wufei grimaced and looked at Quatre beseechingly. "Winner, you won't make me do this would you? He could take advantage of me!"
Quatre looked guiltily down at his feet. "Wufei, I…" He trailed off helplessly.
"Anyway, it won't work. He didn't recognize me because I was wearing a mask, do you really think that he won't recognize me without a mask?" Wufei continued desperately after realizing that Quatre wouldn't be of any help.
Duo stepped forward excitedly, "He won't Wufei. Even we didn't recognize you after the makeup was done.
"Because you made me look like a clown."
Duo ignored the interruption and continued enthusiastically. "Look Wufei. If we could do it, we would! Really! But it's too bad, because it seemed like he took a liking to you."
Wufei suddenly looked up with a gleam in his eyes. "You would do it if you could?"
"What?" Duo asked clearly taken aback.
"Let's make this fair then." Wufei continued smoothly.
"Fair?" Duo said now looking suspiciously. Wufei was looking smug, and the smirk emphasized by the bright red lipstick was making him look very scary.
Wufei smiled. "We all dress up as girls, have lunch at the Midnight Cafe where he always has lunch, and the one he chooses is the one who'll have to carry out this mission."
There was silence. "No way!" Duo howled.
"You were the one who said you'd do it if you could." Wufei pointed out primly, crossing his hands in his lap eerily resembling a member of the gender he professed to hate so much.
"It's fair." Heero put in abruptly. "We will do that in two days. I want you all prepared. Properly!"
That was warning enough for all of them. Anyone who didn't do it properly would obviously meet with a very unfortunate end.
Wufei leaned back in his seat satisfied and smirked at a very obviously fuming Duo. "Just think." He said snidely, "If you're lucky, he'll have a hair fetish and pick you!"
And so it was two days later that the five boys found themselves dressed as pretty girls and sitting outside of the Midnight Cafe enjoying their coffees and the beautiful afternoon sunshine.
This time, Wufei did his own makeup and bought his own clothing. He looked quite striking. In fact, they all looked fetching as females and drew a lot of attention from the surrounding men and women. Although it must be noted that it was a different sort of attention that the pilots received from the men than from the women. While the men watched the pilots with adoring eyes, the women stared at them with eyes filled with jealousy.
Quatre shivered at the overwhelming "keep-away-from-my-man-or-I'll-scalp-you" vibes he could feel being emitted.
"It's tough being a woman." He muttered to Duo from the side of his mouth.
"Tell me about it buddy." Duo replied looking around and flicking his hair into the face of one of the women sending Trowa a deadly glare. He didn't need psychic empathy to know when someone was glaring a hole into one of his best friends.
She prudently backed away turning her eyes elsewhere. Her partner continued to stare at Trowa tenderly until his foot was stomped on. Hard.
From behind them, Wufei resisted the urge to roll his eyes. //Honestly, taken in by a pretty face! Some men are totally useless.// Still, who was he to complain, it wasn't like the pilots weren't counting on Treize to be one of those men easily infatuated by a pretty face.
The five were led to a table by an excited waiter and once seated, proceeded with much deliberation to choose their lunch. Trowa, being a vegetarian, ordered a tofu salad. Quatre preferred steamed fish because he hardly ever got to eat fish while he was in the desert. Duo went for the venison having never tried it before. Heero went for the pork having just poked his finger at anything on the menu and Wufei ordered lasagna because truth be told, he actually liked the bolognaise sauce. After establishing what they wanted to eat, the pilots sat quietly waiting for their lunch and Treize's arrival. They looked much like beautiful lifelike dolls.
They sat there for five minutes… and then ten minutes passed. After a quarter of an hour their food was delivered but Treize still had yet to make an appearance.
"Incoming 3 o'clock!" Duo eventually hissed in an excited whisper exactly ten minutes after they'd started eating. He sat up a little straighter in his seat and accidentally dropped his fork in his excitement. Trowa wryly fished it from his glass and handed it back to Duo who carelessly wiped it on his dress.
"Duo!" Quatre hissed.
"Oh yeah. I'm a girl." Duo muttered. He then wiped his fork on the napkin instead, but since he'd already cleaned it on his dress, that kind of defeated the purpose.
Deciding to ignore him, the other pilots looked discretely to Duo's left where they saw Treize approaching with a man following closely at his heels. The man looked like an overly enthusiastic puppy going on his first walk.
Treize sat down at his usual place registering the murmur of conversation around him.
The owner of the cafe immediately hurried over, gait unsteady. "What can I get you today Treize?"
Treize looked up and smiled. Agnus had been one of his personal soldiers until a stray bullet crippled his right leg. After that Treize opened this cafe for him since he refused to go into retirement. "You have a lot of customers today." He noted even as he took the menu from Agnus and began to absently peruse it. He didn't really need to look at it, he came here to eat practically every day. Still, one never knew if one might find something new. Ah, he was in luck, there was a new pasta dish on the menu.
"Yes." Agnus replied gesturing slightly to one side with his right hand. "It's all thanks to those beautiful women. They're drawing the men in like honey does bees." He leaned forward and whispered to Treize conspiratorially. "I've had more customers this past half hour than I've had the entire day!"
Treize looked amused even as he turned to look at the ladies. Hmm… They were gorgeous. "Ah, I see. They are certainly very beautiful women. If this is the response you get, then you should try to get them to come here more often. I'll have a cappuccino please and the Alla pana thick cream pasta dish too."
"Right away." Agnus replied cheerfully. "They are lovely, but they are way out of my league. A man's got to know where he stands in life."
Treize chuckled. "Like the old saying goes, you'll never know unless you try. You might even be the type they like. Short, blonde, adorable freckles…"
Agnus just gave an amused snort in response before hurrying off to make the pasta. "Can't keep the great Krushanada waiting you know." Agnus said as he departed.
"They are very attractive aren't they sir, would you like any of them to join you for lunch?" His aide asked him. "I could invite them over, I'm sure they'd be delighted to have caught the General of Oz's attention."
Treize looked bemused but decided not to take his aide up on his offer. "I'm fine. Why don't you give me those file you wanted me to look at instead."
"Of course sir." And with the efficiency of a devoted man, Treize's aide produced the files for him. Treize murmured his appreciation and taking the files began to read them. He briefly noticed his aide leave his side, presumably to collect his pasta, but paid him no mind.
Meanwhile, back at the pilots' table…
"He's not even looking over here." Duo hissed. "Are you sure he made a move on you?"
"Yes." Wufei hissed back.
"Maybe we're too dressed up." Quatre said worriedly.
"Oh you think he's going to like a geek?" Wufei asked sarcastically, feeling frustrated at the thought that their plan might fail. "Maybe we should have all gotten glasses and gained four pounds so we look like this." He said putting both his hands out for emphasis and unfortunately knocking the tray a man was carrying past their table.
All of the pilots watched as the man struggled desperately to regain the balance, but they knew it was a losing battle, and sure enough, five seconds later, the plate of pasta toppled to the floor, splashing Wufei with pasta sauce on its way down.
"Sorry! Are you okay?" Wufei asked jumping up while pushing his hair from his face and trying at the same time to help clean up the mess he'd inadvertently made.
"No, no. Let me do it." The man said. "A pretty lady like you should be more worried about cleaning your dress."
Looking down, Wufei realized that his dress had indeed gotten dirty and that it was his duty as a female to act much more worried about it than he really was.
Sitting at his table and looking up briefly from his files at the commotion, Treize paused with his cappuccino halfway to his mouth. He stared closely at the woman with the dark hair who was brushing herself off. That gesture with her hair just now seemed oddly familiar. His stared some more and his eyes widened imperceptibly. Hmmm, the height, the coloring, the gestures. How stupid of him not to have noticed it sooner. What was his dragon playing at now? Looking at the rest of the table, with some difficulty he worked out who each pilot was. They'd done a brilliant job. If he hadn't recognized his dragon, he'd never have recognized the others. And it was only though sheer luck that he'd recognized his dragon too.
"I'm going to the ladies' room to clean up." Wufei eventually muttered once he realized that just wiping with a napkin was not going to get rid of the pasta sauce stain. He offered the man still trying to clean up the mess on the ground an apologetic smile before he turned and left.
Oh yes, that was definitely his dragon all right. The other pilots noticed him looking their way and all gave him bright smiles. He smiled back at them. Perhaps he might join them after all…
He stood up and in three easy strides had crossed to their table.
Arriving there he looked down at his aide who by now had managed to scrape all of the fallen pasta back onto the plate. "Why don't you go see if Agnus can make another?" He said.
"Yes sir." His aide cried jumping to his feet and hurrying off.
Turning his attention back to the pilots, Treize offered an apology, "I'm sorry about that. My aide can be terrible clumsy at times, but he does his work well and he's very enthusiastic."
"No, it's not his fault at all." Quatre hastened to assure him. "Our friend accidentally bumped him."
"All the same," Treize said. "Let me make our apologies by paying for your lunch."
"You're too kind." Duo simpered. Trowa tried unsuccessfully to hide his smirk and was given a warning look from Heero.
"Not at all." Treize smiled at him. "Is your friend okay? She wasn't scalded by the pasta was she?"
"No. She's fine." Quatre said. "Just a little upset that her dress is ruined." Quatre didn't really like to lie, but in a situation such as this he really had no choice. //Forgive me Wufei.// He offered a mental apology.
"Is that so?" Treize said. "Then perhaps I can make it up to her. Maybe take her shopping to buy her a new dress." He noticed the way all of their eyes seemed to gleam and he could almost feel them breathing sighs of relief.
//Hmm… What's this?// Treize wondered if perhaps they weren't trying to get closer to him. //None of them want to do it? Am I that unappealing?// He gave an internal devilish smirk and decided to torture the pilots a little.
"You are all beautiful women." He said sitting down in Wufei's vacant seat and smiling at Quatre. "May I know your names?
"Oh." Quatre gave a self-conscious giggle. "My name is Quira, the one sitting to your right is Diane, besides her is Trina, and next to Trina is Helen. Our friend, the one who's gone to the bathroom is May."
"May?" Treize said feigning surprise. "I believe I may have met her at a party a few days ago."
"Oh, is that so." Quatre said nervously his hand fluttering to his throat. "That must be fate."
"Maybe." Treize said looking at Quatre's throat. "That's a lovely pendant. It's a very rare one isn't it?"
"Yes," Quatre replied. "It's one of its kind."
"It's beautiful like you are."
Quatre looked panicked even as he began to blush.
Treize was sure he saw Heero shift slightly and was it his imagination or was Quatre's chair sliding closer to Treize?
Treize turned his charms on Duo next. "Your hair is so lovely my lady. I don't believe I've ever seen such a beautiful chestnut colour before.
Duo looked embarrassed. "Yeah, it's difficult to grow so long."
"I adore long thick hair like yours." He murmured giving Duo a sultry look.
Duo stared at him wide eyed even as a pink flush began to spread across his cheekbones.
"Yes." Quatre put in hastily. "She washes it every night and it's even softer than you'd imagine. You should touch it."
"Oh, I couldn't." Treize balked.
"She won't mind." Heero intervened. "In fact, she likes people touching her hair."
Treize turned to Duo with a gleam in his eyes. "Is that so?"
"Ah y.yeah." Duo stuttered.
Treize reached out and touched the ends of Duo's hair. "Yes, it really is soft..."
Wufei was halfway to the ladies' room when he realized his dilemma. He was a man and he certainly could not go into a place sacred for females, but in his current outfit, neither could he go into the men's room either. Turning around with a little sigh, he made his way back to the table. Perhaps he could tell them that the stain wouldn't wash out and make a quick escape home.
Turning the corner Wufei saw Treize stroking the ends of Duo's hair. Immediately he stepped back.
//Ha, ha. It looks like Duo's going to get his wish fulfilled after all.// Wufei smirked and curiously turned his head slightly to the left when a quick movement caught his attention. He stared in anger for all of four seconds. Their informant! Oh the little rat wasn't going to get away! Apparently he'd seen Wufei too, because he was taking off in the opposite direction as fast as his short legs could carry him. Wufei took off after the informant and within moments had completely forgotten about his friends.
Meanwhile Treize was absolutely delighting in torturing the pilots, though he wondered why Wufei was taking so long. He looked at Trowa who was his current target. "Your friend has been gone so long, are you sure she's alright?"
"I'll go check." Duo said immediately and took off.
Treize raised an eyebrow.
"She's probably just worried." Quatre said attempting to explain Duo's strange behaviour, and rather unconvincingly at that too. Treize personally believed that Duo was scared Treize would turn his attention back to him again. He suppressed a smirk.
Duo came back less than a minute later after checking the toilets, having, unlike Wufei, no qualms about entering the ladies' toilets.
Everyone looked at each other surprised, Heero's expression grew dark.
"How can she just be gone?" Heero demanded, only remembering at the last minute to pitch his voice so that it would resemble a girl's voice. It came out as a half squeak.
"If you're looking for your black-haired friend, I saw her running down the road not more than two minutes ago." Said the enthusiastic waiter who'd served the pilots their lunch earlier and was now standing besides them helpfully.
"Running down the road?" Quatre repeated sounding more than a little scandalized as he remembered the tiny little number Wufei was wearing. He fervently hoped Wufei wasn't flashing poor innocent bystanders.
"Yes, it seemed urgent." The waiter replied.
"Do you think she's alright?" Treize inquired concerned.
"She probably just realized that it's getting late and she's about to miss her favorite soap." Heero said. And if Wufei had been there he'd have gutted Heero for even daring to suggest that Wufei did such a feminine and pointless thing. "So…" He trailed off and looked at Treize expectantly. Choose one, his eyes practically screamed.
Treize looked down at his watch and gave a feigned start of surprise. "Oh dear, you're right. It's getting late, and here I am preventing you lovely ladies from finishing your lunch."
Here Treize stood up. "I really shouldn't be detaining you longer than I have been. You've all been such lovely company and I hate to leave like this, but I've just remember that I have a meeting I must get to."
He moved around the table and began to kiss all of their hands in turn. "It was lovely meeting you ladies." He said as he eventually made it back to Wufei's empty seat.
Then he gave a slight wave of his hand and Agnus came hurrying over. "I'm leaving Agnus, please put these lovely ladies' bill on my tab."
"Oh?" Agnus replied. "But you haven't had lunch yet. Just have a bite before you go."
"I'd love to." Treize said regretfully, "But I really must go. Perhaps another time."
"I guess." Agnus replied sounding rather regretful too. "I'll take care of the bill."
"Thank you." Treize smiled at Agnus before turning back to the pilots and giving a slight bow of his head.
"Wait!" Heero called desperately.
"Yes?" Treize asked with an easy smile.
There was silence. "Ah, you really have to go?" Heero questioned.
"Unfortunately." Treize said. "But I look forward to seeing you ladies again."
And then he offered them all a dazzling smile before he got in his car followed by his harried aid who'd only just finished collecting the files Treize had left behind at his table.
"That went well." Duo said.
"You think?" Heero asked sarcastically. He looked annoyed.
"He's a flirt, just like Wufei said." Quatre replied.
"He wasn't too busy until he found out that Wufei wasn't coming back." Trowa observed.
They all stared at him. "That means we still have a chance?" Duo asked in wonderment.
"Maybe. We still have to find Wufei." Trowa replied.
"I'm gonna kill that guy." Duo vowed, "Running off on us like that. C'mon, let's get out of here."
Treize was on his way back to his office, and was only five streets away from the Midnight Cafe when he saw Wufei from his car window, limping down the street looking all the worse for wear. Treize could see that he was holding a shoe with a broken heel in one hand.
"Stop the car." He immediately told his driver sitting forward in his seat. The driver slammed on the brakes and Treize put out a hand to brace himself. Then, not even bothering to wait for the driver to open the door for him, he got out of the car.
"Your meeting sir!" Treize heard his aide call from behind him, but he ignored him with practiced ease and hurried over to Wufei.
"Are you okay?"
Wufei looked completely startled to see him having believed that Treize was still back at the cafe with the other pilots. "What are you doing here?"
"I saw you as I was driving past. Perhaps I could offer you a lift home." Treize offered.
Wufei panicked. "No. I'm fine. My home is close I can walk."
"It's really not a problem." Treize insisted.
"I don't want to disturb you." Wufei insisted harder. Actually, he'd have liked a lift home – these shoes could be used as torture devices – but doubted the wisdom of leading his greatest enemy to their hideout. Also, an image of their house popped up in his mind and he realized that one look at such a masculine setting would immediately blow his cover.
"Then perhaps allow me to buy you a new pair of more comfortable shoes." Treize offered insistently.
"That way I'll feel better knowing you'll get home comfortably then." Treize continued, obviously not going to be put off by anything Wufei could say.
"No, really, I'm fine." Wufei stressed. "I'll just take off my other shoe and walk home."
"I really can't allow you to do that." Treize pressed, "The gravel will dig into your feet."
Wufei sighed, seeing no way of getting out of it. He really could not allow Treize to see where he lived. "Alright," He finally said, "If it isn't really too much trouble, I'd appreciate it if you could buy me a pair of shoes."
"No trouble at all." Treize refuted, "Especially not from someone as beautiful as you." And he smiled at Wufei's blush before snapping his fingers to summon his aide. Within minutes, the man set off, all of his attention focused on buying the best pair of size five shoes he could find.
Treize looked down at Wufei's feet as he sat down on the bench beside him. Yes, they really were as small and delicate as he'd imagined. He looked away knowing it'd do him no good to let Wufei see him get hard. It was impossible to believe that he'd be the sort of man to have a foot fetish, yet strangely enough, there was just something about Wufei's feet that had him hard in an instant.
To distract himself he decided to focus on other not-so-dangerous thoughts. "So where did you go during lunch? Your friends were worried."
"My friends?" Wufei stared at him feigning puzzlement remembering that he hadn't been at the table when Treize introduced himself to the other pilots.
"Yes." Treize said. "The lovely ladies you were eating lunch with. I met them when I made my apologies to them for my aide's clumsiness. I actually didn't realize it was you whom I'd danced with at the ball a week ago until your friends told me your name. When I realized, I wanted to speak to you but you didn't come back from the bathroom." Treize had adjusted the truth slightly.
"Oh! Ah…" Wufei responded hesitantly.
"I hope I didn't offend you that night." Treize continued smoothly.
Wufei hesitated again. "No… I was just a little surprised."
"That's good." Treize said thoughtfully, "So, where did you hurry off to during lunch?"
Wufei looked around rather desperately, "Um, I'd taken out my handkerchief to wipe my forehead, but the wind caught it, so I ran after it."
Treize smiled. "And did you get it back?"
Wufei shook his head. "No…"
Trouping down the street and still muttering obscenities and things like, "What I'll do to that bastard when I get my hands on him…" Duo stopped suddenly and jumped backwards around the corner he'd just rounded. "Hey isn't that Wufei and Treize?"
Quatre banged into Duo's back but Heero and Trowa with their quick reflexes didn't. They all peered around the corner.
"He's got a broken heel." Trowa observed.
"Treize doesn't look like he's late for a meeting. He probably doesn't even have one." Quatre said sulkily, obviously annoyed at having been given the brush off.
They all watched with interest and strained to hear what was happening.
Treize pulled out a handkerchief, "You've got dirt on your nose and your hair has come out. Since you've lost your handkerchief, why don't you use mine? It's clean." He ignored Wufei's hand and brushed the smudge of dirt off Wufei's nose before fixing his hair and ignoring the way Wufei was valiantly trying to push his hands away.
"Oh he's smitten." Duo said.
"I agree." Heero said calculatingly.
"Why are they just sitting there?" Quatre asked curiously.
"Who knows." Duo replied.
At that moment, the aide came back carrying three bags, and upon opening them, revealed three pairs of shoes.
"Wheew." Duo whistled, "The rich sure act differently. I mean, one pair of shoes would have been enough for me."
"That's to make sure Wufei can pick the ones he likes most." Quatre said surely. "If there's only one pair, Wufei may not like it, or it might not suit with his outfit."
"When has Wufei ever cared about his outfit?" Duo asked.
"Treize doesn't know that." Quatre pointed out.
"Yeah, yeah." Duo said waving his hands carelessly.
"He'll choose the green ones." Duo said confidently.
"Yellow." Quatre put in.
"The blue ones." Trowa interjected.
They watched as Treize offered Wufei the shoes.
Wufei reached for the simple blue ones.
"Damn!" Duo and Quatre said together.
"The other shoes are too feminine." Trowa smirked.
All three pilots noted, but did not voice, the fact that the dark blue shoes Wufei chose completely clashed with his light green dress.
"I can put them on myself." Wufei said hastily, seeing Treize kneel down.
"I would like to do it for you." Treize replied, sliding one hand down Wufei's calf and lifting up his leg, before sliding the left shoe on and doing up the strap. Wufei look away embarrassed at the way Treize's hand seemed to linger at the base of his foot and started when his eyes landed on four pairs of eyes watching him intently from around a corner. He flushed bright red.
"Are you alright?" Treize asked from where he was kneeling by Wufei's feet now doing up the right shoe.
"Yes." Wufei replied, hurriedly turning back to Treize. "Thank you for the shoes, how much do they cost?"
"Let's just count them as repayment for my aide dirtying your dress." Treize said.
"Oh." Wufei nodded. "Thank you then." Though Wufei doubted that the dry-cleaning would cost even a twentieth of what these shoes probably cost. They were so soft he barely even registered that he was wearing them.
"Pleasure." Treize replied. "Are you sure you'll not let me take you home?"
"Yes I'm sure. I'll be fine. In fact," Wufei emphasized, "Now that I have these comfortable shoes, I'll be more than fine."
"Hmm….? Well then, if you need anything, please don't hesitate to call me." And Treize pressed his business card into Wufei's hand. On the back of the card were some scrawled numbers. Wufei noted that Treize had rather firm writing and believed that this probably reflected his character.
He smiled weakly as Treize kissed his hand in a long lingering kiss which had him blushing and fighting the urge to wrench his hand away and punch the overly-comfortable man on the nose. Then like the good little girl he was pretending to be, he watched as Treize and his aide returned to the car. He waved and continued to watch as the car took off. Once he was sure that it was out of sight, he hurried over to where he'd distinctively seen four pairs of spying eyes.
"What are you four doing!" He exclaimed.
"I think we are the ones who should be asking you that." Quatre said self-righteously.
"Me?" Wufei looked surprised.
"Yes you!" Duo said jabbing Wufei in the chest. "Where did you run off to in the middle of lunch? We could have reeled him in!"
"I was chasing our good-for-nothing informant!" Wufei growled outraged.
That seemed to quiet them all down somewhat.
"Did you catch him?" Trowa asked quietly.
"No." Wufei answered miserably. "My heel broke."
There was a strange silence, only broken a few seconds later by a strange snorting sound.
"Sorry." Duo said tears running down his face. "But, it just occurred to me that that's probably gotta be the most feminine thing we'll ever hear Wu say in his lifetime. Ha, ha. He sounded just like those weak little onna's he's always going on about."
"Maxwell. That's enough." Wufei growled.
Duo continued laughing.
"Ugh!" Wufei said, before turning and storming off in the direction of their house.
"PMS." Duo whispered to the others.
Arriving home, they all cleaned themselves off and sat down in the lounge room to discuss their plans.
"Since you are the only one who managed to get his phone number, you will have to carry out the mission. You will meet up with him, and find out what you can." Heero said.
"I understand." Wufei replied stiffly. "I will not fail my duty."
"Oh please." Duo said dismissively, "As if it's going to be so hard to spend time with a rich, handsome, powerful man, who's so obviously devoted to you."
"Oh?" Wufei replied, trying to fight down the blush. "I don't see you offering yourself up for the job."
"He'd like to." Quatre put in, "He was blushing all though lunch."
"I was not." Duo shouted. "My fair skin sunburns easily is all!"
"Right." Quatre said in an I-don't-believe-you-but-I'll-agree-for-the-sake-of-peace voice.
"How about you?!" Duo demanded. "You could hardly get out two words without getting all nervous after he complimented you."
"I could too!" Quatre insisted loudly even as his face began to light up.
"That's enough." Heero said cutting short their argument. "We have achieved our primary objective. We will proceed to the second part of our plan."
"There's a second part to our plan? How come I never heard about it?" Duo asked. He looked at Quatre.
Quatre just shook his head in confusion. "I don't know about a second part either."
"That's because there wasn't a second part." Trowa said gently to the two confused pilots. He looked at Heero. "So what is the second part then?"
"We have to set up the proper feminine environment."
//Heero picked up on that? I guess he really is always a step ahead!// Wufei thought in wonderment. His musings were cut short by the sound of clapping hands. Turning his head curiously, he started at Duo and Quatre, the ones responsible for the frightening sound.
"This is going to be so much fun!" Quatre cried enthusiastically as he clasped Duo's hands excitedly.
"Hell yeah!" Duo answered giving Quatre's hands an answering squeeze.
Wufei stared at them horrified before groaning and burying his face into his hands, but he didn't miss the wary look that crossed Heero's face.
"No way Maxwell!" Wufei protested cringing.
"Why not?" Duo demanded. "This is perfect!"
"It's pink!" Wufei hissed. "How can you not see that it's pink? Or have you just gone blind in your old age you idiot!"
"Yeah it's pink." Duo replied. "But you're a girl. All girls have pink beds. Besides, the frame's brown, surely that's good enough."
Wufei noticed one assistant stare at them strangely and was it his imagination or did she just stare really hard at his crotch? He sighed exasperated. "We are not modeling me on Relena. We are going to go for a more normal look for the room. Please Winner!" Wufei beseeched as he turned to Quatre. "Tell him."
"Wufei's right." Quatre said gently to Duo. "Pink doesn't suit him at all. On the other hand, this peach is perfect for the canopy and it'll do wonders for his skin tone!"
"Hell yeah!" Duo crowed.
Wufei threw up his hands and gave up.
And so that was how Wufei later found himself with a four poster bed sporting a peach canopy set in the middle of his sunshine yellow bedroom.
He cursed his overly submissive behaviour. //Dammit, I should have fought for my rights!//
All of the furniture in his bedroom was white – including his vanity table. He'd protested valiantly about having a vanity table until Trowa pointed out that all girls had vanity tables.
Set about on various pieces of furniture were girly accessories: Makeup on the vanity, a pink lampshade beside his bed, a light-blue pillow on his chair, hell, even his alarm clock was an atrocious pale purple. Looking around at the sickeningly bright and colourful room, Wufei found himself wanting to cry for perhaps the second time in his short life. The first time he'd wanted to cry was when he'd drawn the short straw which started this whole fiasco.
Wufei really didn't think that a girl's bedroom would look like this. In Wufei's humble opinion, Duo and Quatre had gone overboard with the stereotype, but who was listening to Wufei anyway?
Still, it wasn't like he was going to be the only one to suffer, the whole house now had feminine touches.
Wufei did try to tell the other pilots that they didn't even need to redecorate, after all, he could just keep Treize from coming to their house.
But Heero's reply had been. "Even if Krushanada never comes here, we have to be prepared for every eventuality."
God, that guy was such a perfectionist.
So now there were flowers in every room, all of the old furniture donated anonymously to charity and new feminine furniture bought. Wufei had thought Quatre was crazy when he suggested feminine furniture, Wufei didn't even know there was a difference!
//Oh but how I know now.// Wufei thought somewhat hysterically. //You really can get feminine furniture!//
At least Wufei wasn't the only one suffering. Heero looked ill too. The only people having fun were Trowa – smirking at Wufei and Heero's pain, and Quatre and Duo who were having fun redecorating. Wufei always thought there was something girly about those two.
Wufei told the other pilots that it didn't make sense that there was one girl and four boys living in the house and yet the house looked like it was inhabited solely by girls.
"It's simple." Quatre explained, "Girls like redecorating and boys don't care as long as there's food on the table and a warm bath waiting for them when they come home."
//What the F#$?// Well, who was Wufei to argue with such logic.
Though it had all been rather stressful, thinking back, there was one memorable moment.
At the beginning, when the redecorating began, and Heero started to get an inkling of what type of monsters he'd created in Duo and Quatre, he'd tried to bail by suggesting that the other four pilots buy the house next door to Wufei and monitor the progress from there. The bastard! What happened to the 'friend in need' bullshit?
Luckily Quatre shot down that escape plan. After all, he reasoned, it was still safer to be together and they had to be there in case Treize tried anything. Wufei felt a great depth of gratitude towards Quatre. If he had to suffer, then that damn bastard Heero was going down with him. Humph!
Next the pilots came up with a plan to explain the absence of the four female friends Quira, Diane, Trina, Helen and the sudden introduction of four male housemates Quincy (Duo still laughed every time he heard that), Drake, Trent and Howard (Duo had rolled around on the floor hysterically saying Heero looked nothing like a Howard).
"Howard, Howard." He'd even resorted to playground teasing until Heero threatened to break his nose.
That quieted him down enough to come up with their cover story. "I know!" Duo cried. "We'll just say they were exchange students and you were having a farewell lunch and now they've gone back to their country. The four of us on the other hand are childhood friends from the country town Merdindie. That's why we're living together, we're practically siblings."
That was a particularly memorable and poignant moment, after all, the four boys were very close. Wufei had unfortunately ruined the mood though by saying, "That's rather incestuous," While looking pointedly at Quatre and Trowa and then Duo and Heero. He'd earned himself four very hard glares which, if he'd been a lesser man, would have had him quivering all of the way down to his little Chinese slippers. Fortunately for him, he was a stronger man than that.
Regardless, they managed to get through that saga and eventually they were ready. The big day finally arrived. It'd taken them a week to transform the entire house, and also, 'to let Treize stew' as Duo put it.
Wufei took a deep breath and sat down beside the phone picking up the receiver. He felt slightly claustrophobic as he had Duo on one side of him and Heero on the other. Quatre was crouched in front of him and Trowa was leaning over his shoulder. He flailed his arms about wildly. "Can I get some air here?" He asked sarcastically. There was a moment's silence, and then the other pilots all leaned in closer.
//Eww. Who's been eating garlic?//
"Phone him." Heero commanded.
Wufei just sighed and pulled out the business cared, flipping it over and dialing in the numbers written on the back.
The phone was answered on the second ring. "Krushanada speaking." Treize's throaty timber sent a little shiver down Wufei's spine.
"Ah… It's me." Wufei said.
"I mean, it's May." He hastily added in case Treize didn't recognise him. //Oh smooth, real smooth.// Out of the corner of his eyes he could see Duo rolling his eyes. Wufei glared at him.
"Hello May." Treize replied, "I've been hoping to hear from you. To what do I owe this pleasure?"
"Um… You said that I could call you anytime." Wufei squeaked, and then coughed.
"Of course!" Treize interjected.
"And I saw that there was a play showing this week." Wufei hastily continued, voice no longer squeaky. "And I…" He trailed off feeling his face redden, unsure of how to go about inviting Treize out without making an utter fool of himself. //How mortifying!//
Beside him he saw Heero's hands twitching like he wanted to grab the phone from Wufei and finish the job himself.
"Yes, the Sydney Small Theatre House Play. Perhaps you'd like to go with me?" Treize offered. "Nothing in this world would make me happier than if you allowed me to take you to watch that wonderful performance."
"Really?" Wufei asked surprised while breathing a sigh of relief.
Duo gave him a hard nudge. "Ah, I mean…yes!" Wufei exclaimed. "I'd love to."
"Lovely." Treize replied. "It's only showing on the one Saturday. I shall secure the tickets and pick you up at five. And after that, perhaps dinner together?" Treize enquired smoothly.
"That would be nice." Wufei murmured embarrassed and wondering whether Treize was irritated Wufei was pushing his presence on him like this. God, Treize probably thought he was a gold digger. Wufei felt so ashamed. But no, this was for a greater good.
"That's great." Treize said, and then he continued apologetically, "I'm afraid I don't have your address though."
"Oh." Wufei uttered startled. Then quickly added, "It's 119 Marriat Street, Austin." In the background, Wufei could hear scribbling.
"Alright, I look forward to seeing you then. Until we meet again, I'll say goodbye my lovely lady."
Treize waited until he heard the dial tone before sliding his mobile closed. He gave a little smile, Chang Wufei was practically throwing himself at Treize's feet. If Treize hadn't known better, he'd have thought Wufei was eager to get into the great Treize Krushanada's bed. As it was, Treize thought, it was probably the rather more unfortunate case of Wufei wanting to get into his brain. Now if that wasn't just a blow to his ego. No matter, as long as he got to spend time with his dragon, it didn't matter what Wufei wanted.
From the first moment Treize saw Wufei aboard the ship standing there like some glorious god and he'd seen how honourable Wufei was, Treize wanted him. After their dual, rather than killing him, Treize just wanted to pin him to the ground and make love to him, but Treize had been wise enough to know that that would break the amazing boy. So he'd let him go instead, ignoring the ach in his heart upon doing so. If prior to his meeting with Wufei anyone had told him he'd fall in love at first sight, he'd have laughed. As it was now… well… it was certainly no laughing matter.
And now, like some amazing gift from heaven, here was his chance to show Wufei just how amazing he was. Oh yes, he'd make Wufei fall in love with him.
Treize grinned. He had to go secure those tickets immediately. He'd have to pull some strings of course, it wasn't that easy to get tickets to the one-performance-per-country-Sydney-Small-Theatre-House-Play, but he was the great Treize Krushanada and for Wufei he could do anything. Excitedly he strolled off in search of his secretary.
"You did it." Duo crowed as soon as Wufei got off the phone with Treize.
"Of course." Wufei answered haughtily. "What did you expect?"
"Don't you take that high and mighty tone with me!" Duo growled. "I thought you were going to blow it for sure."
"As if." Wufei scoffed. "I was just playing innocent so that he'd take the bait."
Duo rolled his eyes. "Whatever."
Wufei scowled at him.
"It doesn't matter." Quatre hastily put in before an argument could break out. "We've achieved what we set out to do, now all we have to do is wait until Wufei goes out with him and gets some information."
"I'll do my best." Wufei said.
"No." Heero intoned. "You'll get the information."
"Heero!" Quatre cried scandalized. "It might take some time, otherwise Treize could get suspicious."
"That's true." Trowa put in. "We've put in this much effort already, we can afford to be patient."
Heero scowled. "Just do what you think needs to be done." He told Wufei.
"Understood." Wufei replied.
There was a silence.
Duo sighed again. Louder this time and with more 'oomph' added to it.
//Don't take the bait.// Wufei thought mentally, but what god ever listened to Wufei anyway?
"Duo?" Quatre asked turning his head to stare curiously at his friend.
Duo gave a pitiful sniff. "Our little Wufei's all grown up and going on his first date – And with a man no less!"
All of the pilots stared at Duo in silence.
"How am I going to feel when he wants to leave home?" Duo cried dramatically burying his face into Quatre's shirt.
"There, there." Quatre patted him soothingly, "I'll always be here with you."
"Maxwell," Wufei snarled, a vein twitching prominently on his forehead. "You…!!!" //Why the hell did the space heart have to open his big mouth?//
"Oh look," Duo cried dramatically. "He's talking back now too. He never used to be like that."
"Actually." Trowa quipped joining in the game. "He's always been like that."
"My poor little boy, where, oh where, did I go wrong?" Duo cried loudly at the heavens.
"I'll show you where you went wrong!" Wufei muttered unsheathing his ever-present sword with a gleam in his eyes.
However, before he run Duo through, Duo called out, "Come to mommy," and neatly avoiding the sword, pulled Wufei into a crushing bear hug of which Wufei was unable to break free, though try he did.
Wufei's sword dropped to the ground when the crushing hug began to numb his arms.
Quatre wrapped his hands around the both of them and there they stood in the middle of the room in their little family hug. Unwanted on Wufei's part, but unfortunately he was unable to struggle free. Whoever listened to Wufei anyway?
Trowa just stretched back amused and watched the play of muscles across Duo's arms and back as he strained to hold Wufei in place. Wufei was still trying valiantly to break free.
Ah, ever since this whole fiasco started, life had just become that so much more interesting. He peeped slightly to one side, even Heero had pulled his attention away from his laptop to stare in fascination at the drama being played out.
Yes, life just couldn't get any better.
He was wrong, life just got so much better! Trowa watched Duo's antics amused, a small smile tugging at the corner of his lips.
"It's Saturday, it's Saturday! It's nearly time!!!" Duo cheered as he danced around the room waving his arms and kicking up his heels like a child.
"Calm down Duo." Quatre fretted from his seat on the couch. "You'll just make Wufei more nervous on his first date." He glanced an anxiously at Wufei.
"It's not a first date." Wufei growled clearly irritated. "It's a mission." He crossed his arms annoyed.
"Yes, yes." Quatre replied absently, hand straying up to clutch at his pendent. He took a deep breath and looked like he wanted to say something, but then he let it out again.
Wufei and Duo looked at him oddly. "Winner?" Wufei raised one eyebrow in inquiry.
Quatre gave a strained smile which relaxed when a familiar presence settled beside him and warm fingers untangled his hand from his pendant. He smiled up at Trowa and gave him a quick kiss before turning back to Wufei. Trowa always gave him the strength to do what he needed to do. And this was definitely something he needed to do.
"Wufei. I want you to listen to me very carefully." He started, voice stern.
Wufei leaned forward at the uncharacteristic serious tone in Quatre's voice. "Have I forgotten something? I won't fail this mission. Don't you worry Winner." Wufei stated immediately.
Quatre quickly shook his head. "No! It's not that," He refuted. "Um… Listen Wufei, I'm not sure how many dates you've been on…"
"So, I'll assume you haven't been on any..." Quatre hesitated.
"Calm down." Duo said quietly from beside Wufei. "This sounds serious."
They turned their attention back to Quatre. Quatre flushed bright red and then got out quickly in one breath. "I don't know if you realize but there are rules for when you date so I'll just quickly run through them –"
"Quickly is right." Duo muttered as he strained to decipher Quatre's run-on sentence.
" – you can kiss on your first date but only a peck the French kissing shouldn't happen until the third date and you absolutely must not let him grope you until your fourth date and definitely no sex until your fifth date or he'll think you're easy and you wouldn't want that would you and if he does something you don't like or tries to force himself on you even though you've told him no so many time..." Here Quatre paused for breath and pulled something from his pocket.
"Is that a stun gun?" Wufei managed to get out weakly.
"Yes!" Quatre cried earnestly. "And remember, no sex without protection!"
There was a strange silence, and then Duo and Wufei fell over sideways on the couch, stacked together like a fallen row of dominoes.
Heero moved forward and pressed his fingers against first Wufei's neck and then Duo's to check their pulses. "They're still alive, but unconscious." He eventually reported monotonously.
"Maybe I overdid it." Quatre looked worried. He shook his head and tucked the stun gun into Wufei's handbag. "I had to say it!" He declared stubbornly.
"Of course little one." Trowa soothed stroking Quatre's hair gently. "Of course."
Quatre leaned into his lover grateful for his support.
And thus the three still conscious pilots watched the two unconscious pilots for five whole minutes.
//With his mouth closed and no frown on his face, Wufei looks very much like the woman he's pretending to be.// Quatre thought absently.
//Duo looks younger when he sleeps.// Was Trowa's thought.
Meanwhile, Heero was thinking. //Those two fools. Fainting over something insignificant like that! Pathetic! I didn't even faint!!! Hn.//
"Wake them up." Heero ordered eventually after glancing for the fifth time at his watch having long since finished his internal ramblings.
Quatre resumed his seat on the couch and Trowa leaned forward to gently pat Wufei and Duo awake. They both came to consciousness groggily.
"Shit Qu." Duo muttered once he was coherent. "Give a guy some warning next time will you?"
"Sorry." Quatre replied contrite. "I won't mention it again."
"Ugh." Wufei mumbled. "I hope not. Anyway! This is a mission. I won't let him grope me or even have sex with me! Well, not unless I want him to discover my identity anyway!"
Quatre's mouth parted in shock as he realized something very, very important.
Duo gave an enormous grin, showing more teeth than anyone cared to see.
"I think Quatre got too caught up in his role." Duo's teeth gleamed bright white in the artificial light. "Forgot that widdle Wufei is a boy not a widdle girl." Duo used baby talk to address Wufei and tried to tickle his chin.
Wufei smacked his hand away.
Quatre flushed pink and eyed Wufei nervously. Wufei looked ready to maim someone.
//Preferably Duo.// Quatre thought anxiously.
"Enough." Heero barked as the doorbell rang. Immediately Duo leaped off the couch and checked himself in the mirror to make sure all of his hair was still safely hidden beneath the cap. Once assured that all was in order, he rushed off to open the door.
"Hello." The pilots could hear Treize say. "I'm here to pick up May."
"Hi." Duo responded heartily. The other pilots winced. "Come in and meet the rest of the family."
"Family?" Treize inquired as he followed Duo into the house.
"Course." Duo said. "We can't let our little sister go on a date without checking out her partner first."
"I understand completely." Treize replied.
Upon entering the room, Treize's eyes immediately landed on Wufei and a warm smile blossomed on his face. "You look beautiful." He complimented.
"Thank you." Wufei mumbled, blush lighting his face.
"Now." Duo said, clearly interrupting their moment. "Let's introduce you to the rest of the family."
"Ah…" Treize said. "You're siblings?"
"Of course not." Duo chortled. "Do we look alike? We come from the same hometown, we're childhood friends. Almost siblings in my opinion. Anyhow, I'm Drake. Over there the redhead is Quincy, the one next to him is Trent and next to Trent is Howard." Duo was unfortunately unable to prevent the snort that came after introducing Howard, but he quickly turned it into a cough.
Treize smiled politely at them all. "I'm pleased to make your acquaintance." He tried not to stare at them too long. They'd all once again undergone a radical makeover. No wonder his men always had so much trouble finding them. Quincy or Quatre now had red hair instead of blond and his eyes were green instead of blue. Trent or Trowa had his hair back in a cowlick and there were two bright green eyes staring at Treize, which frankly unnerved him to a great degree. Drake or Duo had his hair hidden under a cap and Howard or Heero had straight hair which fell about his face sleekly. The changes truly were astonishing.
"We expect her back by ten." Quatre said.
"Of course." Treize replied easily. "I wouldn't dream of keeping her longer."
"Oh wouldn't you?" Quatre questioned suspiciously.
"Well, we really should be off." Wufei hurriedly interjected standing up and moving over to Treize. "We don't want the play to start without us." And he ushered Treize out the door.
Treize smiled at the other pilots and offered a farewell on his way out the door.
Outside Treize opened the car door for Wufei, but when he turned around he noticed that the other pilots had followed them outside and were now lined up beside his car. He looked at them amused before sliding into the driver's seat and starting the engine.
"Ready?" He asked.
Wufei nodded and avoided looking at the pilots lined up beside the car. //With them escorting me out like this, it feels like a date!//
Treize put his foot on the accelerator and the jaguar eased into the traffic. "Your almost-brothers are interesting aren't they?" He questioned, making small talk.
"Yes." Wufei murmured and muttered under his breath, 'that's the polite way of putting it.'
"I beg your pardon?" Treize asked, although he'd heard it very clearly.
"Oh nothing." Wufei replied innocently.
"I hope I haven't inconvenienced you." Wufei shifted anxiously.
"No you haven't." Treize replied waving Wufei's worries away. "It's like I said. It's all my pleasure."
"Oh." Wufei murmured, and Treize found his blush endearing.
"So, tell me a little about yourself." Treize turned and smiled at him.
"Well," Wufei started. "It's like Drake said. I come from a little country town called Merdindie…"
And so Wufei told Treize all about himself (all made up of course) and Treize asked him some questions about whether he had siblings and what his parents were like. Once they'd exhausted the topic of Wufei's family, they moved onto other topics. This relieved Wufei a great deal because he could then answer the questions truthfully.
Wufei was pleasantly surprised to find that he and Treize really did have a lot in common.
They both liked scientific books. "I love discovering new things." Treize said.
"Me too." Wufei agreed enthusiastically.
They both loved animals. "They shed awfully so." Wufei said. "But they're intelligent."
"And playful." Treize put in.
And they both hated champagne. "Wine is so much nicer." Treize smirked.
So it was a relaxed Wufei that emerged from Treize's car when they finally arrived at their venue. He was rather excited, after all, this would be his first time going to a play, it wasn't like L5 had such entertainments, plays being considered too frivolous.
Treize sensing Wufei's excitement looked down and smiled. "Shall we proceed then?" He asked offering his arm to Wufei.
Wufei nodded, eyes sparkling and placed his hand on the crook of Treize's arm.
Entering the theatre they were directed to comfortable plush red seats located right at the front of the theatre. There they were served wine and appetizers while they waited for the curtains to rise. Wufei was almost giddy with excitement, and finally after ten minutes, the curtains did rise.
Wufei loved the play. It was actually a parody which made fun of people who'd lived during the twentieth century. Wufei particularly like the one about Mark Philippoussis the Australian tennis star.
"Argh!" Wufei watched the actor who was supposed to be Mark Philippoussis cry. "I've hurt my leg."
"I haven't served yet!" His opponent yelled from across the court exasperated.
"Oh right." The Mark imitator said. "Go on then."
"Argh." He cried after hitting the ball. "I've hurt my arm. I'll have to withdraw due to injuries."
"I'm leading 5-1." His opponent howled.
Wufei laughed so hard tears came to his eyes.
Finally, the curtains came down for the mid-way-scene-change break. Wufei turned excitedly to his partner. "There were some really interesting people who lived during the twentieth century weren't there?" He asked enthusiastically.
"Yes." Treize replied wryly. "I'd liked to have met some of them, they seem to be real characters. You're enjoying the play?" His eyes twinkled. He hadn't missed the way Wufei laughed through most of it.
Wufei nodded his head enthusiastically. Truth be told, he really was enjoying it. It was such a novel experience going to a play and he was determined to enjoy it. Although at the last minute he remembered that this wasn't a date, it was a mission.
"So tell me about your work. It sounds fascinating." He said to Treize after a moment's pause, reluctant to begin such a serious topic when he'd been having such a great time.
"Oh believe me, it's not as fascinating as you think. In fact, it's all highly overrated." Treize grinned at him amused. "Everything's a bit of a joke right now."
"How so?" Wufei asked curiously.
"Well…" Treize said pursing his lips as he thought. Wufei found that action rather cute.
"The officer who normally trains our new recruits has retired and we're still waiting for the new one, Greg Mackintyre to come in. He's supposed to be the best at this job. With him training my new recruits, the war will soon be over and we can all live in peace. The only problem is that apparently he can't cut his holiday on the Valiene Islands short. He has a beach house there you know. So we still have to wait another week before he'll come. The longer we wait for him, the longer the war continues and the more lives it is that will be lost."
"I long for the day when the war is over." Wufei sighed.
Treize smiled at him gently. "That peace will be here sooner than you think."
"I hope so." Wufei replied even as he filed all of the information away.
And then there was no more time for words, because the curtains were once again being raised and the play resumed with another humorous scenario and Wufei once again found himself immersed.
Emerging from the play house, Wufei turned to look at Treize. His faced was flushed and his eyes sparkled. "What now?" He asked.
Treize drank in the sight. "Now we have dinner." He replied opening the door to the passenger side of the car for Wufei."
"Thank you." Wufei said as he climbed into the car.
Treize drove them to a restaurant overlooking the entire city and there Wufei ate the most delicious seafood he'd ever tasted in his entire life.
"Hmm…" Wufei moaned as he had yet another mouthful of oysters.
Then he looked at Treize whose fork was suspended above his own meal and was staring at Wufei entranced. "You're not eating?" Wufei asked.
Treize shook his head slightly as though to clear cobwebs, though in this case, it was to dispel the rather erotic pictures of Wufei he'd managed to conjure in his mind. "Of course I am." And he deliberately popped a king prawn into his mouth, eyes never leaving Wufei's face.
"Good?" He asked when he saw Wufei have another mouthful.
"Wonderful." Wufei sighed.
"It's all freshly caught and then served within the hour you know." Treize informed Wufei as he sipped on his wine. "That's how they get it to taste so good."
"Mmmm…" Wufei mumbled not paying Treize too much attention. //These are delicious!//
//Holy Hell.// Treize stared at Wufei. //If that's what he's like eating, what would he be like in bed?// He shifted uncomfortably in his seat.
Wufei moaned again.
Treize hastily swallowed. //Wufei is just too sweet. I'd better hurry him home before things get out of hand.//
"Dessert?" He asked with a slightly strained voice and yet with some relief when he saw Wufei swallow the last oyster.
Treize just prayed Wufei would say no. He didn't think he'd make it through dessert.
Wufei shook his head regretfully. "I'm stuffed." He then looked at Treize's plate of which only half had been cleared.
"What about you?" He asked.
"I'm fine." Treize answered. "I'm full."
"You don't eat much." Wufei said doubtfully.
Treize chuckled. "I'm trying to watch my weight."
"For real?" Wufei stared at him shocked.
Treize grinned even as he waved his hand for the bill. "No."
The drive home was peaceful, the calming silence broken only once by Wufei asking. "Did you enjoy today too?"
Treize chuckled. "I don't think I've ever had a more enjoyable day." //Or a more painful one.//
"Ah." Wufei said.
"It was lovely." Treize said. "I'd like to do it again sometime."
"Oh." Wufei blushed prettily and Treize very nearly groaned aloud. As it was, he stepped a bit harder on the accelerator. If Wufei noticed, he didn't say anything.
Arriving at Wufei's home, Treize opened the car door for him and then walked him to the front door. "I had a really good time. Is it okay if I call you?" He asked.
"Yes!" Wufei answered, then feeling embarrassed about his rather over-enthusiastic response, he mumbled. "Um. I'll just give you my phone number." He opened his small purse and seeing the stun gun sitting on top, hurriedly slammed it closed again. //How in the hell did that get in there?!?// He looked up embarrassed and saw Treize's lips twitching.
"I don't have a pen." He said lamely feeling his face turn seven shades of red.
Treize tried very hard, really he did, but he couldn't help the soft chuckle that escaped. "Just tell me," He said, lips in a soft smile. "I promise I'll remember it."
Wufei hurriedly recited the number.
"Right." Treize stated. "I've got it." And still with that half smile, he leaned down to give Wufei a goodnight kiss.
His mouth was only an inch away from a very still and silent Wufei when the front door jerked open.
Wufei jerked back and Treize bit back a curse. //So close!//
There standing in the open doorway was Quatre.
"Oh ho." Quatre chirped. "You're back early. I was just going to step outside for some fresh air. Thank you for bringing her home safely." Quatre continued not giving Treize and Wufei a chance to say anything. "It's getting late I'm sure you must be tired…"
And Wufei found himself hustled into the house and the next thing he knew Treize found himself in his car.
Treize stared at the house in some shock. All was silent. Wryly, he pulled into the traffic, but two streets down he pulled over and slammed his fists into the steering wheel.
Damn. He'd been so close to tasting those luscious lips again. He'd been dreaming about this date all week, thinking that at long last he'd get to taste that soft, sweet mouth again. Damn! He groaned and rested his face against his hands on the steering wheel. //Hell, at least give me a small reward for my efforts, Winner!//
"How was your date?" Quatre questioned.
"Fine." Wufei answered sourly. It wasn't like he could blast Quatre for the interruption because then the other pilots would think that he wanted the kiss. He stomped his way into the living room.
"Uh, oh. Someone looks pissed. Interrupt something Qu?" Duo chirped.
Wufei glared at him. "No!" He shouted.
Quatre smiled easily. "Of course not. Wufei himself says so."
"Did you get anything?" Trowa asked.
Suddenly Wufei forgot all about his irritation. "Yes." He replied excitedly and then proceeded to tell the pilots all that he'd discovered.
"We're so in luck!" Duo said gleefully. "Great job Fei."
"It's WUFEI." He replied automatically, but his heart wasn't really in it. He felt guilty for the deception to Treize, but reminded himself that it was all for a greater good. Still, there was a part inside of him which felt very guilty. //I guess I didn't expect him to be so charming.//
He stood up tiredly, "I think I'll clean up and go to bed." He told the other pilots. //I never realized lying could be so difficult either. No wonder Duo has that motto.//
"Of course." Quatre replied. "Good night Wufei." Wufei got variations of that from the other pilots as he made his way out of the room.
Duo waited until Wufei was gone and they heard the shower running before asking Quatre curiously. "Why'd you interrupt them?"
The cheerful smile dropped from Quatre's face. "I'm scared he'll get too involved."
The other pilots looked at him blankly.
Quatre sighed exasperated. Sometimes they could be so dense. "It's unfair that we pushed Wufei into this. I don't want him to get hurt just because he accidentally fell in love with Treize."
Duo wet his lips and then asked, "What about that speech you gave earlier, the one about dates and kissing?"
Quatre looked at him, eyes blank. "I can't always be there to stop him. I can only do what I can. I just wanted to prepare Wufei for any eventuality."
No one said anything. Finally Trowa stood up and pulled Quatre into a hug. "I never thought of the possibility that Wufei might get involved." He admitted.
Duo joined them. "Neither did I."
Heero placed a hand on Quatre's shoulder. "He'll be fine."
"I hope so." Quatre murmured. "I really hope so."
"All done?" Quatre asked when Heero and Duo returned three days later tracking mud and water all over the hallway tiles.
"Yep." Duo chirped. "Pushed him under and held him down. No one's gonna think it was anything but an accident."
"Are we really doing the right thing?" Quatre questioned worriedly for the fiftieth time.
"Qu!" Duo cried exasperated. "You were with us when we looked up his records. He's filth. You know we wouldn't kill anyone who doesn't deserve to die."
"That's true." Quatre nodded thoughtfully, lips turned down slightly. Then his face cleared and he clapped his hands. "Okay then, off to the shower you two before you start tracking mud and water all over the rug. Hop to it." He said shepherding them towards the bathroom.
"We need some clean clothes." Duo protested even as he followed Heero to the bathroom.
"I can get that for you." Trowa intoned quietly.
"Thanks Tro. You're a real pal." Duo called before Heero closed the door behind them and his voice was cut off.
Quatre sighed exasperated. "I'd better go make them some warm soup before they get themselves sick. Goodness knows they don't take care of themselves."
"I'll help you." Wufei offered following him into the kitchen.
Inside the kitchen there was silence for a few minutes while Quatre chopped the potatoes and Wufei peeled the carrots. Then the silence was broken by Quatre's worried voice.
"Are you okay?"
Wufei looked at him for a moment and then nodded, not bothering to pretend he misunderstood the question. "Yes. After all, this is the whole point of me gathering the information. Even if it's only one person, it might be all that's needed to make the difference in the outcome of this war."
"That's true." Quatre said, and then continued anxiously. "Please don't push yourself Wufei."
"Push myself? How?" Wufei snorted. "Dates are hardly taxing."
"I mean." Quatre said choosing his words carefully. "Don't push yourself to do anything you don't want to do. There are always other ways we can get our information."
"Like how?" Wufei asked sarcastically, voice biting. "By using unreliable informants?"
There was a stifled silence.
Wufei sighed. Really, he hadn't meant to bite Quatre's head off.
"I'm sorry." He apologized. "It's just that I don't like deception, but I will be fine! I have to bring peace back to this world, and I'll do whatever necessary to achieve that."
If anything, Quatre looked even more worried. Finally he sighed. "Just promise me you'll pull out if it comes to that."
"I promise." Wufei assured him. "Now hurry and put those potatoes into the water."
It was quite an obvious attempt at changing the topic, but Quatre allowed it anyway.
It was seven o'clock that evening when the phone rang. Immediately all of the pilots tensed up, understandably so since the only other person who had their phone number was Treize.
The pilots moved towards the phone and Wufei picked it up.
"Hello." He breathed.
"Hello May." Treize's voice came warmly over the line. "How have you been?"
"Good, thank you. And yourself?" He realized that he sounded embarrassingly polite, but really, what did a girl say after the first date? He wasn't quite sure.
"I'm fine too." Treize sounded amused. "I was wondering whether you'd like to go out with me this Friday. Maybe go to the museum and look at the exhibitions?"
Wufei was suddenly excited. The museum! It was always more enjoyable going to something like that with another person. "I'd like that." He said enthusiastically while something in his stomach leaped and hopped about.
"Good. I'll pick you up at eleven. That way we can have lunch before we go, how does that sound?"
"It sounds great." Wufei answered and then he listened some more. "Okay, goodbye." He replied to Treize's farewell.
"What time's the date this time?" Quatre asked once Wufei put the phone down.
Remembered his last disastrous date's beginning, he promptly replied, "11.30 am." //It's better if they don't see me off, that way I feel less like...//
"A lunch date this time." Trowa noted.
"Find out what you can." Heero put in.
"Oh for crying out loud!" Duo exploded. "I think he knows that without you telling him!"
"Of course." Wufei interjected, hurriedly cutting Duo off before he could really lose his temper. "I'll do my best."
Heero just looked insulted.
Quatre rolled his eyes and pattered off to clean the dishes and Trowa followed him to help. Eventually, with a bit of persuasion, Wufei managed to get Duo to go help them too.
Left alone in the lounge room with Heero, he wondered what to say. Eventually he decided to say what was on his mind. "I won't forget my objectives." He bit out curtly to Heero.
"I know." Heero answered immediately.
Wufei looked at him surprised. If that's the case, why did he consistently remind Wufei?
"But just in case, I want you to remember that this is about the mission. Personal feelings shouldn't needlessly get involved."
//Of course,// Wufei thought sarcastically. //Just in case.//
"I understand." Wufei answered stiffly.
Heero stood up and walked to stand next to Wufei, towering over him as he sat on the sofa. "I'm not as heartless as you think." Heero muttered.
Wufei jerked his head up to stare blindly at the fireplace in front of him.
Heero stared at the top of Wufei's head, all that he could actually see from his position. "If you think you're going to fall in too deep, get out. I don't want you to be hurt either."
Wufei lifted his head in surprise, but Heero was gone.
Which actually left Wufei feeling like he'd had a rather surreal experience. He could understand Quatre being worried, that was his nature… but for Heero to have expressed concern? Wow! That really didn't seem right. Then again, there must have been something in Heero to make Duo fall in love with him. Perhaps it wasn't the great sex like Wufei originally thought, but it was this. Heero never expressed concern, so when he did, it really made a guy feel special. Duo really was a rather lucky bastard. Wufei thought about it carefully. Or else, Duo was a really masochistic one.
Wufei felt it was rather lucky he didn't get butterflies when he was around Heero, not like when he was with Treize, otherwise he'd –
Wufei cut off his thoughts abruptly. Butterflies when he was around Treize? Shit! When did that start happening? Sure, he'd noticed feeling nervous on the phone, but even before that, at the front door, when he'd thought Treize was going to kiss him, he'd felt the same thing. Hell, it wasn't even butterflies, it felt more like a herd of horses using his stomach for racing practice.
Shit, he was probably already in too deep already. //Should I withdraw now?// Wufei stared thoughtfully at the wall. He didn't think he could do it. //I'm doing it for peace.// He told himself firmly, ignoring the fact that it was only half of the truth. Then with a skill a normal person would envy, he firmly closed his mind on his new discoveries and hurried off to bed. "I'm doing this to bring about peace." He chanted and eventually he fell asleep with that one half-truth still running through his head.
It was eleven on the dot when Treize rang the doorbell and he was pleasantly surprised to see Wufei open the door almost at once.
"I'm ready to go." Wufei announced.
Treize raised an eyebrow but led Wufei to his car anyway. Once they were back in the traffic flow, Wufei turned to give him a conspiratorial smile. "I told my friends you'd be picking me up at 11.30 am."
Treize roared with laughter. "You didn't want them to see you off again?" He jokingly asked.
Wufei smiled. "Oh? You did? I can always invite you in after our outing."
Treize chuckled. "I think I'll pass this time."
Wufei just looked smug.
They went back to the Midnight Cafe to have lunch, after all Treize said, 'that's the place where we were reintroduced. Well not technically, but we can hardly have lunch by the roadside', to which Wufei quite agreed.
"Amazing." Wufei expressed when he looked up at the majestic dinosaur bones towering over him. They had apparently been discovered hundreds of years ago and amazingly survived the numerous wars since then.
"These dinosaurs are positively ancient." Wufei said as he moved on to stare at the bones of a pre-historic fish.
"They most certainly are." Treize agreed amused.
Next they moved onto the mummy exhibition and Wufei couldn't help but feel a shiver go up his spine when he saw the mummified figures. To distract himself, and also because he remembered that this was a mission, he asked Treize about his new trainer.
"Is your new trainer as good as you said he'd be?"
"New trainer?" Treize made a small murmur of dissatisfaction. "The fool managed to drown at his beach resort. His body floated up on the beach scaring quite a few people. He was rather bloated with water. A nightmare for children I was told."
"Oh." Wufei uttered surprised. After all, while he'd known the trainer had drowned – courtesy of Heero and Duo – he hadn't known that he'd washed up on the beach. "I'm sorry to hear that." He offered.
"Yes. Rather." Treize said pensively. "We've had to engage the help of another man. He's good in the field, but his teaching skills leave a lot to be desired. Still, beggars can't be choosers."
"Yes." Wufei said with a small voice, staring down at his feet.
Treize looked at him. "Don't worry about such things sweetheart." Treize really hated to see his dragon so despondent. Really, someone as young and innocent as he shouldn't have to fight in this war. A little teasing would make him feel better.
Wufei jerked his head up at the use of the word sweetheart and found Treize looking at him amused.
"I'm sure Oz can manage without him. He was rather pompous so I didn't want to work with him anyway. And," He said leaning closer to Wufei, "It's not as bad as it appears to be, and I shall tell you why."
Wufei looked at him curiously.
"We'll be getting a new strategist in soon. He's actually a very high ranking man, almost as important as me." Here Treize grinned at Wufei.
"And I really don't believe those two men would have gotten along, because Fitzgerald is even more pompous than Mackintyre. Once he's established at Oz, he expects to have five bodyguards with him at all times. It is certainly amusing because right now the security at his house is positively lacking. From that you'd think he didn't care about such things. Hm… Maybe he just wants to look impressive. What do you think?" Treize asked Wufei.
"You don't even have five bodyguards." Wufei stated.
Treize chucked. "Exactly, that's why I really don't think those two would have gotten along." And then he grinned at Wufei and looped and arm around Wufei's waist to guide him to the next exhibition.
"That painting," He said indicating to one hanging on the wall. "Is actually a brilliant copy of the Mona Lisa."
Wufei's eyes rounded. "A copy?"
Treize grinned at him. "Yes. The real one's hanging in my office at Oz headquarters."
Wufei stared at him shocked. "You're lying."
"No I'm not." Treize protested, sounding injured at Wufei's disbelieving words. "I'll give you a tour one day and show you. I really do have the original in my office."
Somehow Wufei knew Treize wasn't lying. "Really Treize." Wufei said with an amused snort and then his hand came up to cover his mouth in shock. He also noticed that Treize was staring at him hard.
"I'm sorry." He said in a small voice. "That was very impolite of me to use your given name without your permission first."
Treize swallowed and then gave a husky laugh. "Well that makes us even then. I shouldn't have called you sweetheart without your permission first either. Forgive me?"
Wufei just stared at him. How was it, that Treize always knew how to make him feel better? He gave a small smile and a nod.
"Wonderful." Treize said. "I like it when you call me by my first name, it feels… intimate." He eventually breathed and watched in delight as Wufei blushed a beautiful bright red and hurried off to the next exhibition without him.
It was five long hours later when the two finally finished their tour of the museum, so busy had they been exclaiming over every single little thing they found there.
"It was brilliant." Wufei said, barely managing to cover the yawn which attached itself to the end of his sentence. He looked embarrassed.
"Hmm…?" Treize teased amused. "I hope that yawn's not trying to tell me I've been boring company."
"No!" Wufei exclaimed. Damn, he'd been having a lot of these embarrassing outbursts lately. "I really had fun." He said shyly looking elsewhere but at Treize face.
"I was joking." Treize answered lightly. "I enjoyed our outing today too. Now, shall we get you home before you fall asleep on your feet?" Once again, sliding his arm about Wufei's waist, he guided him to his car.
It was possible, Treize thought absently to himself as they walked, that he had a waist fetish as well. There was just something about Wufei's dainty waist that made Treize want to slam him down to the ground and have his wicked way with him. Which made Treize wonder why he was torturing himself time and time again by voluntarily sliding his arm around Wufei's waist. He surreptitiously eyed Wufei's feet. Okay, a foot and a waist fetish. Mother of God, what next, a finger fetish? Of course that was possible, Treize thought as he eyed Wufei's slender fingers. It brought a flush to his cheeks thinking about what those hands could do.
Inside the car Wufei watched the passing scenery with a sense of calm. It had been a wonderful day, and he'd also managed to get some more information from Treize. At that thought, he looked guiltily at Treize. This whole thing was just a lie. He was a boy, not a girl, and he was picking Treize's brain and the poor man had no idea he was being deceived so. Wufei stared at his clenched fists in his lap.
One large hand found its way into his lap and covered both of his. "What's wrong?" Treize asked.
"Nothing." Wufei replied unclenching his fists. "Just a little tired." It wasn't completely a lie; after all, he was a little tired.
"You'll be home soon." Treize consoled him.
Wufei felt a little sad that his outing was coming to an end, he hadn't been lying when he said that he'd enjoyed it.
He was so busy staring at Treize's large hand covering both of his and feeling disappointed, that when Treize pulled over he was surprised. Home already? He looked around and discovered that they were actually a street away from his home.
"Treize?" He asked confused.
"Ah. Forgive me." Treize gave a small self-conscious laugh. "I wanted to give you a proper good-night kiss."
Wufei looked out of the window. "It's not night." He pointed out.
"You really won't give me a good-night kiss?" Treize asked somewhat plaintively.
Wufei looked back at him to find Treize looking at him with a small smile quirking the corner of his mouth.
Taking a deep breath, and with the horses stampeding through his stomach again, he shyly nodded to give his permission.
Treize smiled and leaned forward to kiss him, one hand coming up to guide Wufei's chin.
When his mouth finally settled over Wufei's, Treize groaned. The boy tasted so sweet. He immersed himself fully into the kiss, nipping gently at Wufei's full bottom lip, aware that this wasn't even a normal goodnight kiss. His tongue slid out soothing the sting of the nips and when Wufei's lips parted with a little sigh, he slid his tongue inside with relish. He tasted every corner of Wufei's mouth, tongue working fervently along Wufei's, rubbing hotly, wetly, slickly, probing deeper, searching for more of Wufei's unique flavor. He felt Wufei's fingers bunching the material of his shirt-front but was too lost to care that it would crease. One arm slid around Wufei's waist attempting to pull him closer.
With a gasp, Wufei pulled back, breaking the kiss.
Their ragged breathing filled the air as they stared at each other. Wufei was wide-eyed and Treize's eyes were filled with adoration.
//Well there goes Quatre's rules.// A tiny voice whispered in Wufei's mind. //Wasn't French kissing supposed to happen on the fourth date? No, it was the third date. Oh who the hell cares anyway, no one in this day and age follows those rules. Well, maybe with the exception of Trowa because he adores his kitten so much.//
"Beautiful." Treize whispered to Wufei, one hand stroking Wufei's cheek. He wanted to tell Wufei that he was everything a man could dream of, but he was all too aware that that would make Wufei remember who he was supposed to be pretending to be, so Treize deliberately didn't say anything.
"Shall I take you home now?" He asked Wufei.
Wufei nodded. "Yes." He croaked. He then quickly cleared his throat. "Thank you."
//You nearly went too far Wufei!// He berated himself. //If he'd pulled you any closer he'd have realized immediately that you're male.// After all, even though Wufei had fake breasts, in his current attire, there was no way he could hide the fact that he had male anatomy, or that that part of him was currently very excited. He held his handbag closer to himself.
"Was that a 'Yes thank you'. I should take you home? Or was that a 'thank you' for the kiss?" Treize looked amused even as he concentrated on the road.
Wufei looked scandalized. "It was 'yes thank you, you should take me home'."
"A man can only hope." Treize teased as he stopped the car in front of the house and then walked around to the passenger side to open the car door for Wufei.
Once Wufei exited the car, Treize walked him to the front door.
This time, they'd only just arrived when Duo appeared carrying a garbage bag in his hand.
"You're taking out the trash early." Treize remarked feeling decidedly cheerful since he'd already gotten his goodnight kiss.
"Yep." Duo chirped. "Have to, or Quincy'll have a coronary."
"Ah. Of course." Treize replied. He gave Wufei a little wink behind Duo's back. "I'll call you." He promised, and then after kissing Wufei's hand, he got back into his jaguar and drove away.
"How was your date?" Duo asked.
"Fine." Wufei replied. "I got some more information." And he hurried inside, noticing that Duo followed him still carrying his garbage bag. //Taking out the garbage my ass!//
Once inside, in what was fast becoming a ritual after his dates, Wufei told the other pilots all that he'd learned, and then left to clean himself up.
"At this rate." Duo cackled gleefully. "We're going to take out the entire Oz organization. If I'd known all it took was a pretty girl to make Treize talk, I'd have done this sooner."
"The General of Oz is an idiot." Heero grunted.
And that effectively ended their conversation for the night, so startling was that revelation.
The pilots were watching the news two days later, when a news flash came up.
"Daniel Fitzgerald," the channel 23 reporter stated, "One of Oz's well-known officers was killed in his own home less than 16 hours ago. All of the valuables were taken and this has prompted investigators to believe that he interrupted a burglary in progress. We will provide you with updates later in the day when more information is received."
Quatre leaned forward and turned off the television set. "Where are all of the valuables?"
Duo turned to Trowa. "Yeah, I didn't see you and 'Ro bring anything home."
Trowa smirked. "We sold it all on the black market and then anonymously donated the money to charity."
Quatre clapped his hands in delight. "Well done Trowa."
"Hey, Heero helped too." Duo protested.
"Of course." Quatre replied. "Well done Heero."
Heero grunted, obviously unimpressed by the praise. He already knew that it was a job well done.
Wufei stared at the blank television screen thoughtfully. "Will Krushanada be suspicious?" He asked.
"Nah." Duo replied. "The deaths have all looked like accidents."
Duo then thought about it a little more. "All the same, when you go out with him today, if he looks suspicious, get the hell outta there. Might be that ol' Treize doesn't believe in coincidences."
"That's right Wufei." Quatre said clasping his hands together and leaning forward in his seat. "It shouldn't look too suspicious yet, but in the event that he does suspect – leave."
Wufei nodded slowly. "I understand."
"Maybe we should tail them today." Duo said worriedly. "Just in case Treize tries something and Wufei can't handle it."
"Maxwell." Wufei stated calmly. "I'm more than capable of taking care of myself. If anything happens, I'll give him the slip."
"Are you sure Wu?" Duo fretted. "Because we can – ."
Wufei cut him off. "Absolutely not! I will not be able to act normally if I know you're watching my every move!"
"Act normally. Ha, ha." Duo laughed.
Wufei rolled his eyes.
"Hey, you know, you can't act – ." Duo started to say.
"He's right Duo." Quatre quickly cut in seeing Wufei's hands shift imperceptibly to the left. He didn't want to see Wufei's ever-present sword unleashed on poor unfunny Duo.
Then he turned to Wufei and said firmly. "You will call us if you need anything."
Wufei humphed. "Of course."
After that conversation, Wufei disappeared into his bedroom to prepare for his outing. The opera, yuck, he really had no idea why Treize wanted to go there, it just didn't sound appealing to Wufei at all.
//Still, I guess it'll be a new experience.//
Pulling out his lipstick, Wufei carefully began to apply it to his lips.
When Wufei emerged from his bedroom half an hour later, he was surprised to see the other pilots still sitting where he'd left them.
"What are you all still doing here?" He questioned.
"Oh, just waiting for Treize to arrive." Duo replied nonchalantly.
"He won't be here for another half an hour." Wufei fibbed.
"Whatever you say Wu." Duo answered.
"Are you implying Maxwell – ." Wufei started.
"I'm not implying." Duo interrupted. "I'm saying that he'll be here in five minutes." He gave Wufei a cheeky grin.
Wufei sat down with a huff. That was the problem with living with people who were too intelligent. They actually learned from their mistakes.
"It's alright Wufei." Quatre said giving him a calming smile. "We'll stay here when Treize comes. We won't embarrass you."
Wufei looked surprised. "I'm not embarrassed of you." He protested, hurt that they'd even thought that.
Quatre looked taken aback. "But you don't want him to see us."
"That's not it." Wufei muttered. He sighed realizing that he'd have to explain or the other pilots would just misunderstand. "It's just that when you see me out the door, it feels more like a date than it does a mission. I don't want that."
There was a moment's silence. Looking up, Wufei realized that Quatre was looking first confused, and then embarrassed.
"I'm sorry Wufei." Quatre mumbled in a small voice. "I shouldn't have thought that of you."
"Never mind." Wufei grumbled. "I'd have thought the same thing."
The doorbell rang at that moment before Quatre could respond.
"All right then." Duo chirped. "We'll say ciao here. Go and enjoy your mission."
Wufei stared at him. "You're an idiot Maxwell." He said affectionately even as he walked out and gave them all a little wave.
"Have fun on your mission." He heard Trowa call which caused Wufei to stumble briefly in the hallway. He gave a small smile. Really, he should never have told them.
Arriving at the opera, Wufei looked around him entranced. Everything was so elegant. He accepted Treize's arm and followed him to their box. Sitting down he looked around in wonderment, the entire ceiling was covered in crystals.
"It's beautiful isn't it?" Treize murmured from beside him.
"Yes it is." Wufei breathed.
Before Treize could say more, the two were offered refreshments and strange little eyeglasses which had Wufei staring at them curiously.
"That's so you can get a closer look at the stage." Treize informed him.
"Hm…" Wufei nodded and put them to his eyes. He looked at all of the people below him now magnified by the little glasses.
He took them away from his eyes and found Treize watching him amused. He flushed.
Treize grinned at him before picking up the eyeglasses to look below him too.
"Look May." He murmured. "That lady's hair looks like a bird's nest."
"Treize!" Wufei hissed, scandalized. He was glad that there was no one else in the box with them to hear Treize's comment.
"Have a look." Treize urged him.
Picking up his eyeglasses, Wufei peered below. And then he burst into laughter which he tried desperately to stifle with his hands.
"I'm right aren't I?" Treize asked even as he lowered his eyeglasses amused.
Wufei nodded from behind his hands, his eyes glittering with his mirth.
Treize winked just as the lights began to dim and the curtains rose.
The first performer appeared on stage. She was a large woman and heavily made up. Taking a deep breath she filled her lungs with air.
Treize gave Wufei a small smile before settling back into his seat to watch the performance.
The women began a rendition of "Stranger Than You Dreamt It" which Wufei thought was a rather fitting song for what he was feeling at the moment.
The first song Wufei found enjoyable because he could relate to it, but the second song…
Well, Wufei sat there and tried his hardest, really he did, but for some strange reason, the man's high pitched voice was making him feel sleepy, which was an extremely odd thing. His eyes lidded. //I must stay awake.// He told himself.
Treize turned to Wufei twenty minutes into the performance to ask him how he was enjoying it and was surprised to find Wufei fast asleep.
//I guess that's my answer.// He thought somewhat ruefully.
He leaned forward. "Wufei." He whispered gently.
Wufei continued to sleep, even going so far as to make a cute snuffling noise.
Treize smiled. He should have known his dragon wouldn't like this sort of thing, it really didn't suit his personality at all. He shook his head at his idiocy for suggesting the opera and reaching over, lifted Wufei into his arms.
Standing up, he headed to the doors and soon he was in the foyer. He "shushed" the startled manager who'd come running up to him to ask him if everything was alright.
"It's fine." Treize assured the manager in a whisper before making his escape with Wufei still sleeping peacefully in his arms.
Walking two blocks and ignoring the odd looks people were sending him, he soon arrived at a beautiful river which had an overhead bridge for the vehicles. Treize was glad that the bridge was high up enough that it didn't ruin the peace of the river below. He didn't want his dragon waking up from the sounds of the cars. Settling down on the grassy slope he cuddled Wufei closer and waited for Wufei to wake up.
Wufei woke half an hour later, sitting up sleepily and looking around him confused. When his eyes settled on Treize he jerked awake and took a proper look at his surroundings.
"We're not at the opera anymore." He said intelligently.
"No we're not." Treize smiled. "You looked so cute sleeping, I didn't want to wake you."
Wufei looked mortified. "I'm sorry." He said in a small voice even as he scrambled from Treize's lap.
"Don't be." Treize replied. "Not everyone likes the opera. Anyway, this place is so much nicer don't you think?"
Wufei looked around at the enormous oak trees lining the river bank and the clear blue water bubbling merrily along. He watched a few pelicans try to catch fish from the river bank.
"Yes it is." He answered with a smile.
Wufei paused deep in thought. So far, on their little excursion, Treize hadn't acted any differently from normal. He wondered if Treize suspected him yet and resolved to find out.
"I heard about the death of Fitzgerald on TV earlier. I'm sorry for your loss."
Treize's lips twisted wryly. "I'm actually rather upset too."
Wufei looked at him cautiously.
"It seems like we're having a run of bad luck lately, I suppose it can't be helped. I'm sure things will look up." He offered Wufei a reassuring smile. "You'll get that peace you dream about, I promise you."
"Oh." Wufei stared at him for the longest time. How could this man be so kind? Wufei didn't deserve it. He turned his head away to stare at the river having nothing left to say.
Treize slid an arm around Wufei's waist and gave it a small squeeze. "Don't worry, Fitzgerald wasn't the only strategist. We'll be flying another strategist in tomorrow. He's just as good. Tomorrow if you happen to be looking up at the sky at eleven and see a plane with an echidna on it, then you'll know that's him. He'll help us to win this war."
Wufei nodded and offered Treize a bright smile, knowing that he was supposed to be happy about that information. "I'm glad." He said. "Hopefully, soon instead of hearing about death and destruction on the news, I'll be hearing about peace and celebrations."
"Certainly." Treize smiled. "Why don't we toast to that."
Wufei stared at him. "How?"
"Hm.." Treize mused looking around thinking. "I know! Wait here."
Treize got to his feet and Wufei watched as he walked to an ice-cream cart and bought two ice-cream cones.
Coming back he held up the two cones, letting Wufei choose one. Wufei smiled at him amused as he took the banana flavoured cone.
"To peace." Treize said knocking the edge of his chocolate ice-cream against Wufei's banana one.
"To peace." Wufei replied and then they both took a lick out of their respective ice-creams.
Wufei gave a small laugh. "This is crazy." He chuckled to Treize.
"I agree." Treize grinned back at him. "But I believe this ice-cream will give us more luck than a glass of 1928 red wine could."
"Well, we're hoping anyway." Wufei replied amused before he gave up on talking in favour of finishing off his ice-cream. How long had it been since he'd last had an ice-cream cone? Five years? Maybe more? He'd forgotten the simple joy that eating an ice-cream cone could bring.
Eventually the two finished their ice-cream cones.
Treize looked at Wufei amused for a moment.
"What is it?" Wufei raised an eyebrow.
Treize grinned. "You have some ice-cream at the side of your mouth." He informed Wufei.
"Where?" Wufei asked wiping at his mouth, and then he looked at Treize. "Is it gone?"
"It's still there. Here let me." Treize said when Wufei attempted yet again to find the ever elusive ice-cream.
Treize leaned forward and Wufei watched him surprised as his face came closer, then Treize's tongue came out and licked the side of Wufei's mouth, effectively cleaning the banana ice-cream from his face.
Wufei stared at him cutely surprised. And just like anything else when it came to Wufei, Treize found himself unable to resist. With a little groan he shifted slightly and pressed his mouth to Wufei.
"Gorgeous." He murmured into the kiss, kissing Wufei again, and again with little light feathery kisses which soon deepened.
One hand slid behind Wufei's head and his mouth was pulled hard against Treize's. As soon as Wufei's lips parted, Treize eagerly slid his tongue inside. And when Wufei sucked hard on Treize's invading tongue, the hand Treize had resting on the grass clenched on fistfuls of the blades.
Treize wanted to pull Wufei's body flush against his own, he wanted to feel Wufei's entire length pressed up against himself. But remembering Wufei's reaction the last time he did that, he deliberately refrained from doing so. He didn't want Wufei to remember that he was supposed to be pretending to be a girl. He wanted Wufei lost in the moment.
Treize's mouth slanted over Wufei's again and again, his mouth melting into the boy's. He felt slim arms wrap around his neck and rejoiced.
"More." He heard Wufei whisper as he moved his head to press feverish kisses along Wufei's neck, suckling gently at the juncture between neck and shoulder. Then once again he was back kissing Wufei's mouth, plundering it, taking everything he could from the boy looking so beautifully flushed in his arms.
Eventually they ran out of air and were forced to pull back. Treize smiled down at Wufei taking in his flushed appearance. "I'll never tire of seeing you like this." Treize informed Wufei with a small smile.
Wufei tried hard, really he did, but he wasn't able to hide the blush that spread across his cheekbones.
"And that too." Treize informed him cheerfully which merely resulted in Wufei's blush growing in intensity.
Treize slid an arm around Wufei's waist and tugged him up against his side not needing any words to express his happiness. There the two sat in silence enjoying the peaceful scenery. They watched the bubbling river, looked at the families having picnics, stared at the men fishing, and generally forgot about the war of which they were forced to confront every day.
Eventually, the sun set and Treize gave Wufei's waist a little squeeze.
"Home?" He asked.
Wufei nodded, smiling up at Treize.
Treize pulled him closer until they were only an inch apart. "My goodnight kiss?" He asked.
Wufei smiled and leaned forward kissing Treize quite intently. By the time they pulled apart they were both breathless.
Treize smiled at Wufei, reluctant to break the calming silence, and entwining his fingers into Wufei's, led him to the car.
Later, walking up the driveway, Treize saw the curtains twitch. Arriving at the front door, he smiled down at Wufei. "I'll be busy for the next few days but I'll call you when I have time. Okay?"
Treize grinned and then he lifted Wufei's hand to give it a kiss. "Goodnight." He murmured into the hand.
He'd barely finished his kiss when the door opened. Trowa stared at them silently not even bothering to come up with a decent excuse.
"I leave her in your care Trent." Treize smiled at Trowa before leaving the two pilots on the doorstep.
Wufei waited until Treize's car was gone before entering the house.
"Really." He could be heard saying to Trowa as they entered the lounge room. "It's only a goodnight kiss. I don't see why you are all trying so hard to stop him from giving me one. I can look after myself you know."
"If you want one so badly." Duo said standing up from where he was seated on the couch. "You only have to tell me and I'll be more than happy to oblige." He advanced on Wufei, lips puckered up all ready for kissing.
"Gross Maxwell!" Wufei cringed. "Back off!"
"You've hurt my feelings." Duo sniffed. "See if I ever offer again." And he winked at Quatre as he sat back down on the couch.
"Thank god." Wufei replied from behind him.
"Was everything alright today?" Quatre asked him. "Treize wasn't suspicious?"
"No he wasn't." Wufei replied. "It looks like they'll be getting a new strategist tomorrow."
"Did he say when?" Heero asked.
"Eleven on a plane with an echidna symbol."
"Do you really think there'll be such a flight tomorrow?" Quatre asked.
Wufei nodded. "Most likely."
"All the same." Quatre responded. "It'll be best if we leave him alone. Three men dying in a row will look too suspicious."
"Yeah." Duo said, "We should let some of the next tidbits go, then we can strike again."
"Agreed." Heero said.
"So it's decided then." Quatre summarized. "Why don't you go get cleaned up Wufei?"
Wufei nodded and left the room.
"You know." Duo said once Wufei was gone. "I think I'm getting a bit too used to seeing Wufei as a girl, it's kinda scary. I never thought I'd see the day when I missed the gung-ho Wu."
"Not to worry Maxwell." Wufei said from the doorway. He'd returned to pick up his purse. "There won't be any dates for the next few days so I'm sure I can make it up to you somehow." And his eyes gleamed even as they rested rather appreciatively on the katana resting on the stand behind Duo.
"I was joking." Duo said weakly trying hard not to gulp.
"Nevertheless." Wufei said severely. "We should catch up."
And with that frightening parting phrase he was gone.
"I'm dead." Duo howled.
"You'll be alright." Quatre patted his hand sympathetically. "But just in case, which picture do you want on your tombstone, the one with your hair out? Or the one with the braid?"
"The braid of course." Duo growled. Then he sidled over to his boyfriend. "Hee-chan?" He asked hopefully.
Heero looked up briefly from his laptop. "I have a few good songs here, which one do you want played at your funeral?"
Wufei unfortunately didn't manage to kill Duo, though he gave it his best shot.
That morning, Wufei woke up at six and dressed himself in his customary white pants and blue singlet.
"Hmm…" He gave a delighted stretch. //Freedom!// Wearing those fake breasts really got on his nerves, he couldn't do anything without them jiggling, but now… "Hmm…" He gave a blissful sigh.
On his way to the lounge room to collect his katana from the stand, he saw Heero in the kitchen working on his laptop.
Wufei gave a delighted little grin and then made his way stealthily to the room Duo shared with Heero.
Sliding his sword from its sheath he allowed the early morning rays to glint off of its blade and right into Duo's eyes.
And that was how Duo woke that morning – To find a sword right beside his nose and Wufei smirking down on him from behind the sword.
"GHAAAAAAAA!" His ear-piercing scream woke the entire street.
"Good morning Maxwell." Wufei said calmly. "It's a lovely day today, why don't you try waking up nice and early for once."
Duo curled up into his blankets. "Ha, ha Wu, you're joking right?"
Wufei smiled. "Of course." And he grabbed one corner of the mattress and flipped Duo from the bed.
The sight that Quatre and Trowa saw when they arrived at the room was Wufei standing beside the bed looking totally innocent while Duo scrambled around desperately on the floor.
"Oh. Winner and Barton." Wufei said calmly. "How fortunate that you two should be here. I was going to wake you up next. After all – ." Here he gave a particularly frightening smile.
"I'm sure the two of you have missed my presence too."
"NO!" Quatre protested loudly.
"You haven't missed me?" Wufei questioned dangerously.
"I think what he's trying to say." Trowa explained. "Is that unlike Duo, we don't mind which persona you take."
Wufei got out in a strangled voice. "You don't mind which persona I take?"
//Allah!// Quatre mentally groaned. //My boyfriend is an idiot!//
Apparently realizing his mistake Trowa said. "I mean…" He trailed off when he saw the dangerous smile gracing Wufei's face.
Wufei reached down and hauled Duo back from where he'd been attempting to crawl away.
"Okay." Wufei smirked. "First morning exercise... Stay alive 'till lunch!" And he swung his katana. Duo barely dodged it, losing four strands of hair in the process.
"GHAAAAAAAA!" He yelled again and the entire house dissolved into chaos as the three pilots scattered, running like all of the hounds of hell were after them.
And thus, Wufei spent an enjoyable morning chasing the pilots around the house. Occasionally he'd lose sight of one of them, but then he'd soon be on the trail of another.
//Ah, there's nothing like a good morning exercise to relax one's body.//
It is probably unnecessary to point out here, that while Wufei may have felt he was getting a good relaxing morning exercise in before breakfast, the other three pilots didn't quite share his sentiments…
"Go away. This is my hiding spot." Duo hissed to Quatre when he noticed Quatre standing beneath the tree Duo was hiding in.
"Help me up." Quatre threatened. "Or I'll yell."
Duo stared intently at Quatre. Quatre's eyes were hard and he looked serious. Nervously Duo looked around. Once he was sure the coast was clear, he extended a hand and pulled Quatre into the tree with him.
"Shit. Wufei's crazy man!" Duo whispered to Quatre when he got a good look at Quatre's clothing. While Quatre had been wearing proper silk pajamas in the morning, now he looked like he was wearing rags, so sliced up were his clothes.
"At least he hasn't sliced me yet." Quatre responded poking his fingers through the holes where the skin underneath was still baby smooth and whole.
"Yeah." Duo said. "I don't think he's aiming to kill us, but…" Here he trailed off and stared at the ends of his hair which was now one inch shorter. "If we stand around long enough, it won't be pretty."
"I know." Quatre whispered.
"Still," Duo said turning to give Quatre a bright grin. "I kinda like him when he's like this. I've missed it."
Quatre grinned back. "Me too." Then he hurriedly put a finger to his lips as he heard the sound of running footsteps.
They saw Trowa run past before disappearing around the corner of the house. Shortly after that, they saw Wufei running past waving his katana in the air before he too disappeared around the corner.
"Poor Tro." Duo said sympathetically. He was just about to say more but Quatre quickly covered Duo's mouth which his hand.
Sure enough, Trowa reappeared once again, and then he once again disappeared around the corner. Hot on his heels was Wufei still waving his katana. Before long he too disappeared around the corner.
"Is Tro just running around the house?" Duo whispered incredulously.
"Yeah." Quatre replied before he lapsed into silence as he saw Trowa appear for the third time. He wanted to save Trowa but felt that if he had to run one more step he'd die from exhaustion. //I'm sorry Tro.// He offered mentally. //Please try to stay alive.//
The two pilots in the tree thought that Trowa was going to disappear around the corner again, but to their surprise, he suddenly stopped and turned to face the incoming katana-wielding-maniac.
Wufei, said maniac, stopped just as abruptly, staring at Trowa in surprise from two meters away.
"Let's put an end to this." Trowa stated clearly and calmly.
Wufei eyed him.
Trowa smiled. "You've been chasing us around all morning, but I really don't think you're going to hurt us."
"Really?" Wufei asked looking amused.
Trowa smirked. "Really."
"You're going to test me?" Wufei questioned as he tapped the naked blade of his sword against his hand.
In reply Trowa closed his eyes and stood straight.
What happened next can only be described later by Quatre as: "You got what you deserved Trowa."
Trowa stood his ground.
Duo and Quatre watched wide-eyed from the tree.
Wufei leaped straight over Trowa's head.
Trowa opened his eyes and not bothering to turn around said to Wufei. "I knew it."
Wufei chuckled and sheathed his sword. "It's twelve now, you two can come down from there." Then he turned and walked into the house.
Quatre and Duo appeared and stared at Trowa hard, and then they both hurriedly ran into the house.
"Quatre? Duo?" Trowa called as he slowly made his way after the two.
Once inside the house Quatre and Duo collapsed into each other and burst into a fit of giggles, unfortunately toppling into Heero.
"Maxwell. Winner." Heero snapped intending to reprimand the two, but at that moment the door opened and Trowa walked in.
Heero's mouth snapped closed.
"Little one. What's so funny?" Trowa asked a giggling Quatre.
"Nothing." Quatre got out. "Just nothing."
Trowa gave his partner an odd look, then chalking it down to being one of those days, he made his way to his bedroom.
Twenty seconds later.
"GHAAAAAAAA! WUFEI! I'LL KILL YOOOOOOUUUUUUU!"
This time the scream could be heard by the entire neighborhood. A few birds close to the pilots' house were startled from their perch and were unfortunately unable to regain flight before meeting with a very sticky end on the pavement below.
Meanwhile, back in the kitchen, Quatre and Duo fell down into a heap clinging to each other, laughing so hard they struggled for breath.
"Stop it." Quatre pleaded to Duo as he clutched at his side.
"I can't." Duo gasped. "I can't."
Heero's lips twitched as he struggled to concentrate on his laptop.
Trowa came storming back to the bedroom. "Stop laughing." He snapped to the two pilots rolling around on the floor.
They pulled themselves together and sat up propped against each other.
"Where is he?" Trowa demanded. "I'll – ."
"You'll what?" Wufei inquired from the doorway. He looked amused. "If you might recall Barton, you were the one who challenged me."
"But you!" He gestured to his head too outraged for words.
"You were due for a haircut." Wufei replied.
Duo and Quatre on cue burst into another fit of giggling. Trowa hardly had any hair left. Where long bands had once covered half of his face, it was now all gone showing off both of his bright green eyes.
"That cowlick disguise didn't suit you." Wufei continued. "I think it's a testament to my skill that you didn't notice straight away."
Trowa could only stare at him.
Wufei's eyes gleamed. "You have beautiful eyes you know."
Trowa could only stare as Wufei slowly advanced on him.
"Chang." He warned.
The next moment Wufei's sword was at his throat. "Why don't we go talk about this?" Wufei said.
"Uh. Wufei." Duo said worriedly, no longer laughing now.
Wufei grinned at him. "Oh don't you worry Maxwell. We'll be fine." And he led Trowa into the bathroom using his sword as Trowa's incentive to move.
"What do you want Chang?" Trowa asked once they were in the bathroom and the door locked behind them.
"How much do you trust me?" Wufei asked.
"After today?" Trowa replied sarcastically.
Wufei smirked at him and leaned forward until he was right in Trowa's face. "With your life?" He asked.
"Close your eyes." Wufei ordered.
Trowa stared as Wufei backed away brandishing his sword in front of him.
"With my life but not my hair." He objected right before Wufei pounced.
Outside the bathroom door Quatre and Duo were pacing frantically.
"What's happening in there?" Quatre cried worriedly. "They've been in there for over ten minutes."
"Allah!" He thumped on the door. "Trowa, are you alright?"
There was no reply for a moment, and then they heard Wufei yell. "Maxwell. Take Winner back to the kitchen, we'll be out in a minute."
Duo looked surprised, and then he said to Quatre. "You heard him Qu. If we do as he says, he'll release the hostage."
Quatre blinked at him.
Back in the kitchen, Quatre fretted for another minute before they heard the bathroom door open.
"Allah!" Quatre cried. "What's happening?"
"Why are you so worried?" Wufei asked appearing. "I haven't killed him yet. And now, if I could have your attention gentlemen."
Duo and Quatre stared at him.
"Yuy!" Wufei snapped.
Heero looked up with a long suffering sigh which stopped midway.
Wufei smiled taking in the shock. Quatre and Duo's mouths were hanging open and even Heero's eyes were wider than usual.
"What do you think?" He asked.
Everyone stared at Trowa. Wufei had cut his hair so that there was only two inches of it left, and then he'd spiked it up with gel. Trowa now looked older, more sophisticated and definitely much more handsome. Those eyes were a definite turn on.
Everyone stared. "Handsome." Duo breathed. Which snapped Heero out of his daze. He turned and knocked his lover on the head.
"Who is?" He demanded.
Duo turned around suddenly realizing he was in trouble. "Uh... You!" He cried enthusiastically.
"Hn." Heero replied.
Then, a rather enthusiastic Quatre throwing himself at Trowa interrupted Heero and Duo from their little moment.
"Is that really you Trowa? You look good enough to eat!" Quatre squealed as he wrapped his arms around his beloved.
Trowa chuckled. "I take it you like my new haircut."
"I love it." Quatre cried which made the other pilots wince. "You look gorgeous."
"I didn't before?" Trowa questioned amused.
"You were gorgeous before." Quatre babbled. "But now you look handsome in a different way," and he buried his face into Trowa's chest rather enthusiastically. "Why don't I show you?" He inquired slyly.
"Hmm…?" Trowa smirked and tugged his lover back towards their bedroom.
"Aw man." Duo whined disappointed. "I didn't get a closer look."
"You can look later." Wufei looked amused.
"I didn't know you were a hairdresser Wu." Duo said.
"I'm not a hairdresser." Wufei replied looking insulted. "I know how to cut hair, there's a difference."
"Whatever." Was Duo's interested answer.
Before Wufei could start ranting though, a particularly loud moan emerged from the occupied bedroom.
The remaining three pilots stared at each other.
"I'm going outside to practice." Wufei managed to get out past his strangled throat. "Call me for dinner."
Once Wufei was gone, Duo turned to his lover, eyes bright. "They're having fun Heero."
"Hn." Heero said.
"Don't 'hn' me!" Duo cried before he grabbed his lover's hand and dragged him off to the bedroom.
Walking outside to practice, Wufei heard a second set of moans start up from the house. He groaned and ran further away from the house. That haircut may not have been his brightest idea…
The days following what the pilots now called that haircut day passed rather uneventfully. Having re-established his masculinity, Wufei spent his time reading while the other pilots were otherwise engaged.
//Hell, they're like those energizer bunnies. It's a good thing they can't breed.// Wufei thought as he once again resigned himself to reading outside to avoid hearing those sounds.
When the phone rang, he was forced to take the handset outside lest Treize heard things he shouldn't. He was delighted when he was invited out. //Thank god. Now I have a legitimate excuse to get out of the house!//
He arranged to meet Treize at the park, not wanting Treize to come to the house for obvious reasons.
"I thought we could visit the aquarium today." Treize said when they met up. Wufei was delighted, the only other time he'd ever seen the fish up close was when he'd sunk his Gundam after his disastrous fight with the general of Oz. He'd always wanted to look at them again.
"Shall we go?" Treize inquired offering his hand.
Taking his hand Wufei gave an enthusiastic nod.
And so somehow the days managed to pass peacefully with Treize and Wufei spending many enjoyable dates together. Treize often let slip information about Oz which the pilots utilized. They didn't always act on the information they heard, believing that it would look suspicious, but some of the information was too good to pass up, like Treize letting slip that the password on Oz's computer system was actually his favourite fruit – watermelon incidentally.
At one stage, Duo did wonder aloud again if Treize suspected, but Quatre told him that if he did suspect, he wouldn't be letting the information slip. Or rather, if he did suspect, he'd be setting up elaborate traps and would have caught the pilots by now at the very least! That seemed logical enough so the pilots let that topic of discussion drop.
Wufei was decidedly giddy as he got ready for his tenth date. All of his dates were exciting but today was extra special because he was going to go horse riding. He'd always wondered what that felt like, having seen it on many of the old TV shows Duo insisted on watching late into the night.
"Have fun on your mission." Quatre called as Wufei walked out the door.
"Yeah." Duo chimed in. "Have fun on your MISSION."
Really, why did the pilots insist on teasing him like that? Wufei had a feeling they'd never let that one go.
Arriving at the stable with Treize, Wufei's eyes rounded when he saw that the horses were even larger than his wildest imaginings. He stared at them entranced.
Treize grinned at Wufei and patted a large white stallion. "You'll be learning how to ride on this guy."
And so, Wufei spent the first half of the morning learning how to ride a horse.
"Pull on his reins to stop him." Treize instructed. "Pull the reins left to make him to go left, pull the reins right to make him go right and dig in your heel to make him go faster."
Treize led Wufei's horse for a little bit until Wufei got the hang of it. Then, by himself, Wufei rode the horse around and around the track. Finally Wufei was confident enough to try riding at a speed faster than a trot.
Treize smiled as he mounted his own black stallion. "Ready?" He asked.
"Yes." Wufei nodded.
Treize smiled and spurned his horse on, taking a well-used dirt trail at a gallop. Wufei followed on his horse excitedly. It would be his first attempt at riding a horse at such a speed.
As they galloped along the trail, with his horse's feet fairly flying over the ground, Wufei felt like he was riding the wind. His loud cry of delight scared some nearby birds from the trees.
Riding beside him, Treize chuckled and added his own yell of delight.
They rode past green pastures, fields of flowers and even a bubbling stream complete with bullfrogs. Eventually, after an hour they returned to the stable, wiping off their horses and feeding them some hay before leading them back into their stalls.
Wufei was still breathless with excitement as he and Treize settled down on a grassy hill overlooking the paddock which housed the wild horses.
"Beautiful." Wufei murmured awed as he fanned himself to cool down. Riding a horse was going to be an experience he never forgot.
Treize watched him, a small smile tugging at the corner of his lips. Somehow, seeing Wufei in this natural scenery, flushed and sweaty, looking so fresh and sweet made his heart beat faster. And then, suddenly it was too much to bear, and before he'd even registered what he was saying, the forbidden words left his mouth.
"I love you." His voice came out husky.
Wufei froze mid-fan and turned to stare at Treize. "I beg your pardon?" He asked sure he'd heard Treize wrong.
"I love you." Treize repeated deliberately not inserting 'May' into his declaration. He didn't want to upset Wufei, but had a feeling he already had. As he'd already blundered, he could see no point in making it worse by using Wufei's fake name to remind him of exactly who he was supposed to be pretending to be.
Wufei just sat there in frozen shock and stared at Treize. Eventually he turned away, a small frown on his face. "You can still take it back. It's not too late to tell me you said that in the heat of the moment."
"It didn't say it in the heat of the moment." Treize told him calmly. "I've wanted to tell you for a while now."
Wufei turned to give him a quick glare before once again turning away. "How can you love me?" He demanded bitterly. "You hardly even know me."
Treize leaned forward and one hand captured Wufei's chin, forcing his head to turn back until he had no choice but to look at Treize.
"It was love at first sight." Treize informed him.
Wufei snorted and snapped angrily. "There's no such thing as love at first sight. That's something only fools believe in."
"Call me a fool if you will." Treize stated firmly. "But I know that it was love at first sight."
Wufei stared at him disbelievingly. "You loved me from the moment you saw me at the ball?"
Treize looked deeply into Wufei's eyes and said in a firm voice. "It was love at first sight."
Wufei turned away sadly. "You can't love me."
"I can and I do!" Treize insisted tugging on Wufei's arms until he was forced once again to face Treize.
"You can't!" Wufei snapped.
"I can!" Treize insisted.
Wufei turned away stubbornly and stared with unseeing eyes at the wild horses.
Eventually he spoke. "You don't really know me. We've only been on ten dates. It's impossible that you can love me."
Treize tried to interrupt.
"And don't try to tell me that it was love at first sight." Wufei snapped not allowing Treize to interrupt. "I don't believe it."
"I do love you." Treize said quietly. "No matter what you think. I really do love you."
Wufei just sighed exasperated. By now he knew Treize well enough to realize that he wouldn't be able to change Treize's mind. The man was stubborn, once he got something into his head, he wouldn't let go. Wufei really could see no way out. He plucked at a handful of grass blades for awhile and the silence dragged on as Treize waited for him to say something. Finally at long last, Wufei turned to Treize. "I'd like to go home."
"May." Treize started to say.
"I want to go home." Wufei declared louder, his voice overriding that of Treize's.
Treize looked troubled but he eventually gave his consent. "Very well. But I want you to know that while I might have fallen in love with you at first sight, I fell even more in love with you every minute I spent with you, and nothing you say or do can change that."
Wufei gave a bitter unladylike snort.
Standing outside Wufei's front door after driving him home, Treize gripped Wufei's arm refusing to let Wufei enter. He would probably leave bruises, but he wouldn't let Wufei leave like this. He ignored Quatre who was standing there eyeing them curiously.
"I want you to think about what I said." Treize told Wufei, and then he tugged Wufei hard against him and kissed him forcefully on the mouth before releasing him and leaving.
He briefly noted Quatre spluttering but was too upset to celebrate the fact that he'd pulled a fast one on the young Arab.
"What was that one about?" Quatre questioned once the front door was closed behind the two pilots.
Wufei shook his head. "Nothing. I'm going to bed." And he turned and left.
Quatre made his way worriedly to the lounge room where the other pilots were seated.
"Something's happened." Quatre declared loudly.
"What something?" Duo asked paying the television set more attention than Quatre.
Quatre frowned and taking three strides over to the television set switched it off.
Now that he had all of the pilots' undivided attention, he shook his head. "I don't know. They both seemed upset tonight."
"Like Krushanada suspecting Chang?" Heero asked with a small frown.
Quatre shook his head. "No, not like that. Treize gave Wufei a kiss tonight even with me standing there. Normally Treize would never do that, he usually cares about staying in our good books. Something's definitely happened."
"Won't you go speak to him little one?" Trowa addressed his sweetheart.
Quatre nodded. Before he could move however, they sensed another presence.
"I want to withdraw." Wufei told them from his position in the doorway.
They all looked at him. It had always been their concrete belief that nothing could make Wufei withdraw. He was too justice driven. They took in his appearance. His lips were pressed into thin white lines and his hands were clenched into fists.
The room seemed to grow cold and then Duo stood up, voice icy. "Did that bastard do something to you?"
It took a fatigued Wufei a few moments to work out what Duo was asking.
"No." He said with a sigh, "I'm just tired, I want to withdraw."
And then he turned and left the room without waiting for a reply.
"Duo." Quatre said gently after a moment passed and no-one spoke.
Duo blinked, and the room returned to normal temperature.
"What could have happened to make him quit?" Duo seemed confused.
There was total silence in the room as the other pilots struggled to come up with possible explanations. Eventually Trowa said gently. "He's probably realized he's falling too deep."
Duo sat down shakily. "Oh."
All of the pilots stared at one another. They were at a loss as to what to do.
"We'll see how he is tomorrow and work something out from there." Heero finally said.
"Heero." Quatre warned.
"I know." Heero replied. "I won't push."
Back at his mansion, Treize paced his opulent bedroom. //God dammit! Why the hell did I tell him?!?//
He'd told himself he wouldn't tell Wufei how he felt, knowing that Wufei would run away like a frightened rabbit. He'd wanted to wait until Wufei was comfortable, until Wufei was completely in love with him, and yet yesterday, his heart had seemed to overflow with his emotions, such that he felt that if he didn't tell Wufei, the emotions would overwhelm him and his heart would burst.
"What the hell do I do now?" He hissed and threw his glass of wine against the wall where it shattered.
"Your Excellency?" Lady Une opened the door and looked in.
"Get out!" Treize roared and the entire wine bottle hit the door which had quickly closed behind Lady Une's retreating head.
Meanwhile in his own bedroom Wufei tried hard not to cry. Why did Treize have to say that? He'd been having so much fun, he'd even managed to push his feelings aside. Why did Treize have to say that!
Wufei buried his face into his pillow. He couldn't do it anymore. He could not face the person he loved knowing that he was loved back by him. Even Chang Wufei didn't have that type of self control.
"Fool!" He sat up and hissed at himself. "He doesn't love you Chang Wufei. The person he loves is Lee May."
Wufei buried his face into his pillow, he'd already betrayed the person he loved, he couldn't betray his fellow pilots too.
And then, the tears started to fall.
The next morning at seven o'clock Wufei emerged from his bedroom having been unable to sleep at all.
He'd only just sat down at the table when a cup of tea was set down in front of him. Looking up in surprise he saw the other pilots all watching at him attentively.
He looked down into his cup.
"I don't want to do it anymore." He said.
"It's alright." Quatre said giving him a hard hug. "You don't have to do anything you don't want to do."
Wufei nodded gratefully and drank the rest of his tea in silence. After finishing his cup of tea, Wufei returned to his bedroom. The other pilots prudently left him alone.
As soon as the clock struck nine, a time when all businesses open their doors for business, and all self-respecting home owners are willing to pick up the phone without the use of death-threats, the phone in the pilots' house rang.
Duo frowned and was at the phone in an instant, reaching it even before Quatre or Trowa could, although they were only a step or two behind him.
"Hello." He said calmly. The handset creaked betraying his inner emotions.
Hello Drake. Treize replied. May I speak to May?
"She doesn't want to speak to you." Duo growled and hung up the phone.
Immediately the phone started ringing again. Duo picked it up, hit the end call button, and then left if off the hook.
The other pilots watched him.
"It's not like we make any phone calls anyway." Duo said to them grinning, but the smile didn't quite reach his eyes.
At precisely 9:30 am, the doorbell rang.
Quatre opened the door and then tried to slam it shut again when he saw who was on the other side. Treize immediately stuck his foot in preventing that from happening.
"I really need to speak to her." Treize tried appealing to Quatre.
"But she doesn't want to speak to you." Quatre insisted, trying to toe Treize's foot out of the way.
"Please." Treize said. "This is important."
"No can do." Duo said from behind Quatre. "And if you don't leave, I'll call the cops."
From his bedroom, Wufei could hear the commotion. He felt guilt tug at his heart. He'd been the one to lead the General on, and here he didn't even have the courage to end it properly.
Sitting on the bed he came to a decision. Eyes hard, he stood up and moved to his wardrobe.
Less than five minutes later he was ready. Pulling his bedroom door open, he made his way to the hallway where the other pilots were still unsuccessfully trying to move Treize from the doorway.
"Quincy." Wufei said, remembering to use his feminine voice.
Quatre let go of the door in surprise upon firstly seeing Wufei behind him, and secondly, seeing that he was dressed as a girl. The door swung wide open.
Wufei nodded to Treize. "Let's go somewhere quiet to speak." His voice was completely devoid of emotion.
He moved towards the doorway and gave Quatre and Duo a small smile, "I'll be fine." He told them before following Treize out to his car.
The other pilots watched as Wufei and Treize entered the car and then watched as it left.
"Quatre?" Duo inquired.
"Wufei's honourable." Quatre told him. "I think he just wants to end this properly so that Treize can have some sort of closure."
Trowa made an affirmative sound.
"Will he be alright?" Duo asked.
Quatre nodded. "I'm sure he'll be fine. Once Wufei's made a decision, he'll stick to it."
Duo sighed loudly. "We got a lot of information, but I hate seeing Wufei hurt."
Quatre nodded and stared hard at the front door. "We had no other choice. He understood what he was getting into."
As one, all three pilots sighed and then made their way back to the lounge room to await Wufei's return.
Inside Treize's jaguar, the silence was oppressive. Wufei had nothing to say, and Treize didn't try to strike up conversation.
Eventually Treize parked the car close to the river and the two made their way down to the river bank. Wufei looked around sadly remembering the enjoyable day he'd spent here with Treize.
They sat down and Wufei watched the happy families and couples enjoying the peacefulness. Eventually, still not looking at Treize, Wufei said quietly, "I don't love you."
"Don't lie to me." Treize said just as quietly from beside him.
Wufei gave a short bitter laugh. "Don't assume to know what I'm feeling."
"May." Treize started. "Please –"
BANG. SCREECH… RATTLE. BANG
Treize looked up surprised and saw with horror that that a car had barreled off the bridge above them and was heading straight towards Wufei.
Treize didn't think.
"Wufei!" He called as he slammed himself into Wufei and out of the car's way.
He could hear screaming all around him, but all he cared about was the boy in his arms.
Sitting up, he pulled Wufei up. "May?" He said urgently. "Are you alright?"
Wufei stared at him strangely, but before he could reply, there were people crowding around them asking them if they were alright and still others staring at the car wreck in morbid fascination.
Within seconds, an ambulance had arrived to take the injured driver away and within seconds of that, the police arrived. Treize and Wufei spent the next ten minutes trying to answer their questions. It wasn't until Treize saw Wufei tire that he told the police firmly that they'd gotten their answers and if they wanted more, then they'd just have to wait.
The police taking one look at a tired Wufei had promptly agreed and after getting Treize's contact details, allowed Treize and Wufei to be on their way.
Sliding one hand around Wufei's waist, Treize guided him away from the onlookers.
Wufei was stiff in his arms.
"We need to talk." Wufei told Treize.
Treize looked down at him. Perhaps that incident had opened Wufei's eyes to the fact that there was something in this relationship worth saving.
He started to lead Wufei towards a bench.
"Somewhere private." Wufei snapped irritably.
Treize blinked at him confused and then looked around. There weren't a lot of areas a person could get privacy. Unless… Treize looked at the hotel looming above them in the distance, situated about a five minute walk from where they were standing. Wufei seeing him look there snapped. "Let's go."
Treize followed him confused. They were going to a hotel, but from Wufei's tone, he wasn't sure whether to be happy or worried.
The hotel owner was someone Treize knew, and before long they were situated in the penthouse with promises that they wouldn't be disturbed.
Entering the room Wufei walked across to the window and looked down at the entire city spread out below him.
"We won't be interrupted." Treize said from behind him.
There was a long pause and then Wufei spoke. "You said my name."
Treize stared at him confused. "May? I don't understand. I thought I had your permission…" He trailed off when Wufei turned to him angrily.
He started when Wufei grabbed a fistful of his own hair and yanked hard. The wig slid off his head.
"You said my name!" Wufei shouted tossing the wig angrily at Treize's feet.
Treize paled suddenly realizing exactly what Wufei was angry about.
"How long have you known?" Wufei demanded.
Treize winced. "From the very beginning."
He watched as Wufei paled.
"How?" Wufei asked.
"Your informant is my informant." Treize told him.
If possible Wufei's face went whiter.
"So why didn't you - ?" Wufei didn't know how to continue.
"It was love at first sight Wufei." Treize told him.
"I've told you there's no such thing as love at first sight." Wufei snapped, and then he stared at Treize suddenly wide-eyed.
"Those deaths of your men. Did you know - ?" He seemed to be having trouble finishing his sentences.
"Yes." Treize replied.
"Then why did you let them die?" Wufei demanded. "They're your people."
Treize looked at him carefully. "They deserved to die. Their ideals don't lie in peace, but prolonged warfare. Mackintyre actually makes money from selling weapons. Fitzgerald just likes death. The more the better."
"All of the people we've killed." Wufei whispered. "Was it all part of your plan?"
"Yes." Treize said. "But it's not what you're thinking. My plan was only ever to make you stay close to me. Would you have stayed if you'd found nothing at all?"
Wufei's silence was all the answer he needed.
"The death of those men." Treize said. "Will make this war end faster. Their lives would only have prolonged the pain of so many others. Can't you see that? I don't believe you and your friends didn't research them before deciding whether or not they deserved to die."
Wufei couldn't deny it. They had looked the men up, if only to reassure Quatre.
"Wufei." Treize said. "I meant it when I said that I love you. You wouldn't answer me before because you didn't believe I knew who you were. I do. Can you answer me truthfully now?"
Wufei lowered his head and took a deep breath. Finally he looked up straight into Treize's eyes. "I do love you."
"Thank you." Treize murmured as he pulled Wufei close to his chest.
"But I can't come back." Wufei whispered into Treize's chest. "Not knowing what I do now."
"I understand." Treize murmured, and then a hand was under Wufei's chin lifting his head.
"Just this one night then." Treize whispered before lowering his head and kissing Wufei.
Wufei wrapped his arms tightly around Treize's neck holding on for dear life. Treize was kissing him desperately, like a starving man. Wufei in return, never wanted to let go, knowing that this was their first and last night together made it all that more precious. Closing his eyes, he let himself drown in the kiss…
Later as he lay there basking in the afterglow, and cuddled tightly in Treize's arms, Wufei allowed the tears to fall. If only Treize wasn't the enemy. He felt the arms around him tighten even more.
Eventually, after a long time had passed, Wufei had no more tears to shed. He slid from Treize's arms and climbed out of bed. Treize sat up watching him as he dressed.
"I'll take you home." Treize murmured as he too left the bed and began pulling on his own clothes.
Wufei shook his head. "I'll take a cab."
He reattached his wig, then he leaned forward and kissed Treize one last time before letting himself out of the door.
Treize offered no protests.
Arriving home, Wufei wasn't surprised to find the other pilots waiting for him the lounge room.
Before any of them could ask, Wufei spoke. "I've ended it with him. He won't disturb us anymore." And then he disappeared into his room.
Back in the lounge room, the other pilots looked at each other.
"Poor Wufei." Duo said. "He must have been in deep."
There wasn't anything the others could say so they remained silent.
Wufei stared out into the vast darkness, his eyes anguished, his hands clenched tightly on his controls. He didn't want to do this but he had to, if only to end the war!
"Treize." He yelled. "If you're going to fight anyone, then fight me and no one else!"
"You're absolutely right." Was Treize's calm reply. Nothing in his voice or face gave away the fact that he was now facing his lover on the battlefield.
"Are you prepared for the worst, Treize?" Wufei asked, voice trembling slightly.
"Of course I am." Was Treize's reply. As an afterthought he added, "But this time I won't go easy on you."
"Enough talk!" Wufei snapped and he charged.
Treize's sword and Wufei's three pronged energy blade staff clashed once, twice, thrice before they once again backed up.
"What's wrong? How come you don't use your dragon?" Treize inquired.
Wufei growled. "Because I want to fight you fair and square, Treize, that's how come."
"That's not like you." Treize murmured. "Why the hesitation?"
Wufei's teeth clenched. How dare Treize ask him such a thing as though he didn't know why Wufei was hesitating? Instead, to cover his confusion, he yelled back, "Look who's talking! Why didn't you kill me back there?"
Treize gave a light chuckle, and was it Wufei's imagination, or did it sound slightly forced. Then, the moment was gone, and Treize was replying, as calmly as ever, "Well, I just couldn't kill one of the few people who understood me, that's all."
Wufei shook his head in an attempt to clear his confusion. This was a battlefield, he had a duty to his fellow pilots, he could not allow his emotions to rule his action. His hands tightened even further on his controls and began bleeding as the edges dug into his soft skin. Then he shouted. "You loser! I can't stand the sight of you! You're only capable of looking down on people like this! You're only fighting to satisfy your ego! How many people have died for you? Huh?"
Treize gave a rueful laugh. "Do you really want to know? As of yesterday, 99,822 people."
"What?" Over the vid-screen, Wufei was visibly shocked.
Treize ignored him and turned his attention elsewhere. "Lady, how many have died today?"
"So far, we have received confirmation of 82 White Fang soldiers and 105 of our own soldiers." Was Lady Une's reply.
"I see. Give me their names later on today." Treize murmured.
"Yes, sir. I will." Lady Une saluted and her vid-screen blanked out.
"Damn you!" Wufei snarled. Just as he was trying to make himself believe that Treize was the enemy, he went and said something like that.
"I remember everyone who sacrificed their lives in battle." Treize said softly. "How could I forget them? Noventa, Septem, Ventei, Darlian, Walker, Otto, Bunt." He quoted. "Their names are all etched into my heart."
Wufei stared at him anguished. "How could you be such a--? No!" Wufei howled and attacked.
Once again their weapons clashed as their battle cries rose in volume.
Wufei pulled his staff back and then made a direct thrust. From his angle and timing, he knew that Treize would have plenty of time to block and then stab Wufei's unprotected side. //Perhaps it is best this way. I cannot kill the man I love and I cannot betray my fellow pilots.//
The parry Wufei was expecting never came, and Wufei could only watch in horror as his staff stabbed through the middle of Treize's Gundam.
"That was beautiful Wufei." Treize whispered.
Wufei could only stare in horror. "No, Treize! How could you?"
"Good bye, Wufei, my eternal friend, my love. I'm honored I could fight with you."
"No!" Wufei screamed. "No! NNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Three months passed before Wufei could bring himself to visit Treize's grave.
In those three months, his fellow pilots had urged him to visit, if only to bring closure to that part of his life, but he'd been unable to do so. How could he when it was his own hands that had brought an end to his lover's life? He didn't deserve closure and he wasn't sure if he wanted it. How could he ever acknowledge that Treize was dead? The thought of saying goodbye to him for once and for all brought an ache to Wufei's heart. He would rather live in pain remembering for all eternity, than be free of that pain and forget the only man he'd ever loved.
Sensing Wufei's turmoil and perhaps realizing for the first time that the relationship between Wufei and Treize went deeper than any of them had originally believed, the other pilots stopped urging him to visit Treize's grave, though they still kept a very close eye on him.
And then yesterday, exactly two months and twenty-nine days after Treize's death, Lady Une had given Wufei a direct order. "You are to go to Treize's grave, remove the weeds, clean it up a bit and finally give yourself closure."
"No!" Wufei snarled.
Lady Une gave him a cold smile. "Or lose your precious job. What will you have to fill your time then Chang Wufei?"
Lady Une knew she'd won. After the war, Chang Wufei had thrown himself wholeheartedly into his job. He could do the work of ten men and not tire. He came in at five in the morning and left at twelve at night. There was no way he could refuse her request. No other job could make him lose himself as much as this one did.
Wufei had turned and walked out.
Later, he'd tried to ask the other pilots for help, but surprisingly, they'd been on Une's side. Wufei hadn't expected that. They'd been coddling him for so long, he'd expected them to acquiesce to this one request as well.
Wufei was a Preventer under Une's control and he could not violate a direct order.
Thus, on a sunny September day Wufei found himself standing in front of Treize's grave. He almost felt like the weather was mocking him. At the very least, it should reflect his inner turmoil with thunder and lighting and hard torrential rains, not this bright blue, clear cloudless day.
He closed his eyes against the pain. Leaning down towards Treize's grave, Wufei placed a bunch of flowers onto it and murmured. "Well, you got the peace you always wanted."
Then he let out a choked sob. "But why was it that with these two hands I had to kill the man I loved. Why? Why did you have to do that damn you? I should have been the one to die."
He leaned against the grave, tears falling from his eyes, harsh sobs racking his tiny frame.
From behind him he heard footsteps but ignored them. It was probably one of the other pilots checking up on him to make sure he was okay. They did that a lot. But this time, they were going to get the rare treat of witnessing his humiliation.
"Do you believe in ghosts?" An unexpected but all too familiar voice drawled.
Wufei froze not daring to believe.
Then slowly, ever so slowly, he turned around. Standing behind him not even having the decency to look anything but amused was Treize.
Wufei could only stare in shock. He blinked, but the vision refused to disappear. "I've been working too hard." He muttered.
"Wufei." Treize placed a hand on his shoulder. It was solid.
Wufei's eyes rolled.
"Wufei!" He heard Treize calling urgently.
"I'm glad you're alive." Wufei whispered and then for the second time in his life he fainted like a girl.
When Wufei eventually awoke, he was cradled in Treize's arms and the sun had moved to a different position in the sky.
"I'm sorry." Treize said. "I didn't mean to startle you like that."
"How?" Wufei asked sitting up abruptly and unintentionally knocking his head against Treize's chin.
Treize's eyes bugged.
"Sorry." Wufei cried contrite and rubbing at Treize's chin in sympathy.
When Treize's eyes eventually stopped watering, he gave a wry chuckle. "My suit exploded but I didn't die. I drifted in space for a few hours and then I was picked up by those insane scientists." Here he gave another light chuckle. "I guess I was lucky."
"But why wait three months before telling me?" Wufei whispered staring at him.
Treize looked at him seriously. "The fact that I didn't die doesn't mean that I wasn't seriously injured." Treize gently pulled his shirt apart so that Wufei could see the large scar running diagonally across his chest.
Wufei touched it gently with his fingertips. "I did this." He said remorsefully.
"Shush Wufei." Treize consoled. "You did what you had to do to show the world the horrors of war. I'm proud of you."
Wufei stared at him. "You don't hate me?"
"How could I?" Treize murmured. "How could I ever hate the one I love most in this world?"
"I'm glad." Wufei said. Then he looked earnestly at Treize. "I'm really glad you didn't die."
"Treize Krushanada is dead." Treize told Wufei seriously.
Wufei just stared at him.
"But will you love Treize Kachalovsky just as much?"
Wufei laughed and buried his face into Treize's chest. "Of course. Of course I will!"
Treize's arms tightened around Wufei with bruising force and he buried his face into Wufei's soft, clean smelling hair.
"Now ain't that just the sweetest thing?" A familiar voice drawled from behind them.
"Oh lord." Wufei squeezed his eyes shut. "Please don't let that be – ."
"Let that be who?" Duo asked popping up right into Wufei's face.
" – Maxwell." Wufei finished.
He opened his eyes to find Duo standing in front of him, face almost close enough to kiss him. He reared back with an explosive "gross!" and then noticed the other pilots behind Duo. And slightly to the left of the pilots were Une and Sally.
His eyes bugged.
"This is embarrassing." He muttered.
"Of course not." Treize refuted. "They're probably jealous of us right now."
"Yeah we are." Duo remarked cheerfully.
"So Treize," Duo said stepping back. "Nice to see you're not six feet under and pushing up daisies after all."
"Duo!" Quatre sounded scandalized.
"How long have you known?" Wufei asked.
Duo grinned. "Only two days longer than you. Old lady Une's the one who knew the longest. Her and Sally."
"He asked us not to tell you until he'd fully recovered. And I make no apologies for my actions, he needed the time to heal." Sally stated coolly.
"I didn't say anything." Wufei muttered. He wasn't about to get on the woman's bad side, he swore she had a sadistic streak, he didn't know how Une put up with her. Oh wait, Une had a split personality, the two were perfect for each other!
"So." Duo said cheerfully. "Now that it's all happily ever after, wanna go celebrate?"
"Yes. Let's." Wufei said softly as he stood up and took Treize's hand.
The ex-pilots, the ex-general and the two women piled into two cars and made their way back to the pilots' house, detouring on the way to pick up a carton of assorted alcohol.
"Assorted alcohol. Hey you know - ." Duo began chuckling.
Wufei rolled his eyes and his hand shifted to his left. Quatre quickly intervened with a "Here we are!" before Wufei could attempt to strangle poor unfunny Duo.
Looking around the house, Treize could see that it was exactly as he remembered it from the very first time he'd come to pick up 'May Lee'. Although it appeared to have been tastefully redecorated and all of the atrocious coloured furniture appeared to have been replaced.
Treize was also a little surprised to see that even though the war had ended, the pilots were still living together. //I suppose some habits are hard to break.//
Duo noticed Treize looking at the pigeon holes on the wall with the names of the five pilots carefully labeled in neat writing under each slot. He shifted on his feet slightly and muttered, "Even though it's peacetime now, it's nicer to live together."
Then a thought occurred to him and his eyes hardened as he took up a challenging stance facing Treize. "You're not taking Wufei away from us." He snarled.
Treize put up both his hands in a peaceful gesture. "Of course not. I wouldn't dream of it."
Quatre smiled remembering Treize uttering almost those same words on his and Wufei's first date.
He saw Trowa and Heero give slight smiles. Seemed as though he wasn't the only one remembering.
Treize's declaration seemed to pacify Duo. "Cool." Duo raved and he began to pull out the alcohol and pass it around. As an afterthought he added, "His room's big enough."
Treize blinked. He hadn't quite realized that was what he was agreeing to. He wondered exactly how chaotic it would be living with the ex-gundam pilots.
Duo held up his glass filled to the brim and made a toast. "Here's to peace, and happiness."
"To peace and happiness." The others repeated before drinking to it.
It might have been Duo's happiness that Treize was alive and thus Wufei was now happy, or it might just have been the fact that he liked drinking, but Duo didn't stop with that one toast, and by the time he was through with his five toasts, everyone in the room was quite tipsy, some more than others.
The eight of them then spent the rest of the afternoon, drinking, trading stories and catching up. The pilots didn't often get to see Une and Sally in a non-working environment, so the impromptu party was the best time to catch up.
Eventually, they were too drunk to even communicate and a little later, Treize took Wufei to his bedroom with Trowa as his guide. He and Trowa were the only ones even remotely sober.
Duo and Heero had long since disappeared into some dark corner somewhere. Or perhaps they'd just gone to their bedroom. No one else mentioned it, so Treize didn't either.
Trowa with Treize supporting Wufei walked past Une and Sally who were passed out on the lounge room floor, cuddled up to each other.
"I'll get something to cover them when I come back to pick up Quatre." Trowa told Treize indicating to a snoozing blonde Arabian.
Trowa pushed open a door. "This one's Wufei's room."
Treize nodded his thanks and helped Wufei through the door. He'd only just managed to close the door behind him when Wufei pulled Treize down and kissed him hard.
Treize smiled and returned the kiss with vigor even as they stumbled to and fell across the large bed situated right in the middle of the bedroom.
Halfway through the kiss, Treize heard a thump from the other room and he wondered what life would be like from now on. He supposed he'd find out, and as long as he was with Wufei, he was sure he could face anything.
He heard another thump, a crash and then. "I'll kill you!"
And, he thought somewhat hysterically, that included living with ex-pilots who believed it was their duty to threaten to kill every two minutes.