The Grass is Always Greener...
All the usual disclaimers apply.
AN: To all of you who read my last 5xR fic, thank you! A lot of you asked me to write a sequel, but I meant that one to stand alone. Instead, I'm posting this, my second 5xR fic, for your perusal. This one is a little more complex though, and a lot longer. This time, Heero and Sally get involved... The timeline takes place after EW (even though I have yet to see it). There will probably be several chapters to this one, so be patient, and everything (hopefully) will be explained...
Carrying a heavy box full of books and a sack with his lunch in it, Wufei stepped off of the elevator onto the eighth floor of 525 Walnut Ave., his new home. He stood for a moment reading the door numbers, trying to figure out which way to go. At last, he turned to the right and made his way down the hall. His footsteps were completely silenced by the thick red carpet that covered the floors. Everything else on the floor, except for an occasional plant set in a nook or generic painting, seemed either brown or gold. The lower half of the walls was wood paneling; the upper half was a light tan wallpaper with metallic gold streaks in a crosshatch design. All of the apartment doors were a dark, solid wood with gold plates announcing their room number. "814...814. Where's 814?" After passing three sets of doors, Wufei finally came to room 814 on the left side of the hallway. Now, he just had to find a way to fish out his key.
Balancing himself, he quickly transferred his sack lunch and clenched it between his teeth. Then he lifted one knee to help balance the box while he fished into his deep pocket for his key. His fingers found something and his hand clenched it and brought it out of his pocket, nearly causing him to lose his balance in the process.
Recovering himself, Wufei heard the click of a door opening behind him, but he was too determined to get his own door open to see who it was. Besides, there would more than likely be a chance to meet his neighbors later. Opening up his hand, he found that instead of his key, he had captured a quarter and the crinkled up receipt for his lunch.
Scowling, he thrust the items back into the depths of his pocket. Attempting the balancing act again, Wufei slowly lifted his other knee so he could once more dig into his pocket. However, the heavy box was taking its toll on his tired arms, and his jaw was hurting from holding his lunch. His foot began to wobble back and forth precariously, but with his hand deep into his left pocket, he couldn't regain his balance. Slowly, he began to topple over, powerless to stop himself, until thankfully the wall stopped him. A low utterance escaped his lips, but the sack between his teeth stifled the remark.
"Why don't you try putting the box down." Wufei froze as he recognized that all too familiar voice, realizing that she had been idly watching his entire situation. Wufei would have shot back with a scathing reply, but the bag in his mouth prevented him from doing so. For now, all he could do was growl.
Yanking his hand out of his pocket, Wufei lowered his tiring leg and propped the box up against the wall, letting his lunch fall on top of the box. "When did you get here?"
"That's no way to greet your new neighbor!" Sally chided. "Even if I am an old friend."
Wufei merely grunted at her, finally succeeding in pulling his key out of his pocket. But just before he was able to slip the key into the lock, it slipped from his grasp.
Wufei's temper flared as Sally struggled to hide her laughter, though her amusement sparkled brightly in her eyes. Walking around him, she met his death glare with a smile. "Please, allow me," she said sweetly as she bent to retrieve the key, then effortlessly opened the door for him. Standing back, she allowed him to precede her, still holding her warm smile in the face of his icy glare.
With relief, Wufei dropped the box in the middle of the floor, then stood up to stretch his back. 'It's a good thing I don't own much stuff,' he thought. Behind him Sally let herself in and circled the spacious living room. She always loved the look of an empty apartment. It made her think of new beginnings, reminding her that life always moves forward. As she moved toward the window, she caught another glare from Wufei. Sometimes she felt like it was the only expression he knew. "You're still here, woman? I don't recall inviting you in."
"You left your door open," she smirked. "That was invitation enough for me. Besides, I though we might have lunch together at my place. Unless you wanted to eat on the floor."
If at all possible, Wufei's eyes narrowed even further. But looking at his solitary box in his otherwise empty apartment, he thought he wouldn't mind sitting at a table and perhaps getting something cold to dink as well. "Fine, woman. Let's go."
The two left Wufei's apartment-though he left his door unlocked-and walked across the hall to apartment 815. Following Sally into the apartment, Wufei was shocked to see that she was already completely moved in. There were curtains on the windows and all the furniture was in place-there were even pictures on the walls! Sally stepped into the kitchen at her right while Wufei looked around. "How did you get moved in so soon?!" he demanded. "You got your relocation orders the same day I did."
"Yes, but I didn't let my ego stop me from asking for help! It only took five of us an hour to move me in this morning, and afterward Relena helped me unpack."
"Relena? She's here too?"
"Mm-hmm. She loves right across the street from us. In fact, I bet you could see her apartment from your window."
"Hmph." Wufei really didn't care about being able to see into Relena's apartment. But perhaps she would be useful in distracting Sally's attentions. "Let's eat."
* * *
After lunch, Sally helped Wufei cart the rest of his things up to his apartment. Afterward, she decided it was best for her to leave him alone to set his things up. Besides, his stubborn personality was beginning to give her a headache.
Wufei decided to set his bedroom up first so that he would at least have a place to rest. Next he tackled the bathroom, then the kitchen, putting all his dishes away, setting up hooks for his pans and meticulously arranging his spices. The kitchen took him much longer than expected. Very few people knew that Wufei was actually a good cook although for him it was simply a matter of taste--and survival. He had learned that a good Chinese restaurant was hard to find, and rather than try to choke down undercooked rice, he had simply learned to cook for himself.
At 7:30, as he was arranging the last of his silverware, he was surprised to hear a knock at the door. Traversing the sporadic clutter in his living room, Wufei opened the door to Sally's smiling face. "Hi there. I see you're not quite unpacked yet," she observed.
"It's just a couple more things," Wufei sighed. "But I still need to get some groceries."
"Well, I was just going out for some dinner myself. I know a good Chinese restaurant a few blocks over, and we could swing by the store on the way home. Sound good?"
Wufei would have preferred to finish unpacking, but his rumbling stomach reminded him that it had been over six hours since his lunch with Sally. "Alright, woman, I'll come."
* * *
Almost two hours later, Wufei said goodnight to Sally as they went into their apartments. The Chinese place had been decent, and Wufei made a mental note to consider the place when he didn't feel like cooking.
Not remembering where the light switch was, Wufei relied on the light from the hallway and the uncovered window to guide him into the kitchen. He set down his groceries, then returned to the living room to close the door. As his eyes adjusted to the darkness, his attention turned to the window, and he decided to take a look at Walnut Avenue. For a few moments, he watched the traffic move beneath him, like a large-scale model. Really, it took very little effort to imagine each of the cars as wind up toys, traveling on preprogrammed tracks.
Smiling to himself at the thought, he raised his gaze to the large building directly across from his: 527 Walnut Ave. 'So that's where Relena lives,' he thought. As he predicted, Relena would be a means of distracting Sally's attentions from him; she had mentioned at dinner that the two were having lunch together tomorrow. It wasn't that Wufei didn't enjoy Sally's company. On the contrary, he found her to be extremely intelligent, and overall she made good company. But he knew that she had feelings for him--personal feelings--and he just wasn't sure that he felt the same way.
Idly, his gaze slid over the windows of the adjacent building. Many rooms were either dark or had the curtains drawn, but one point of light suddenly drew his attention. It was a room on the seventh floor, without a curtain, where he had seen a flicker of movement out of the corner of his eye. Focusing on the interior, he watches until the source of movement returned.
Suddenly, Wufei gasped at what he saw. A young girl entered into his range of vision of the room, wearing a small tank top with spaghetti straps and a pair of light pink panties. Her arms were raised over her head and her body swayed back and forth, probably to the rhythm of upbeat music. Although it was hard to tell with her long blonde hair covering part of her face, Wufei was certain that it was Relena.
Wufei watched, mesmerized, as Relena danced around her living room. Everything else in his world seemed to disappear as he focused on her carefree movements. Then, without warning, Relena stopped and cast a glace deeper into her apartment. She quickly dashed to the left--probably to turn off the stereo--then reappeared to pull on a robe that was hanging over her sofa. Wufei waited as she walked away from the window, then returned to her sofa a moment later with Heero Yuy. At the sight of him, Wufei jumped back from the window as if Heero could somehow see him and accuse him of being a peeping Tom.
Realizing the foolishness of his reaction, Wufei reprimanded himself and walked into the kitchen. Turning on the light, he began putting away his groceries. 'Stupid Heero,' he seethed. 'Interrupting her like that. Baka.' Wufei stopped his movements as he realized what he was thinking. "What am I saying? Why should I care about anything that concerns Relena?" Sighing heavily, Wufei resumed his task and tried to forget about it all. However, the image of Relena dancing around in her underwear would not be one he would soon forget.