CB: *Dances around looking as pleased as punch about the number of reviews she got* Wow guys, there must be at least twenty of them…for one chapter! *Whistles then glomps each and every reviewer*
Seth: *Sigh* Why do you people encourage her, why?
Osirus: *Whacks Seth over the head, saving Cobalt a job* Shut up, you're just jealous because this fic was my inspiration.
Seth: YOURS? I THINK NOT!
CB: *Watches them fighting with interest for a few minutes before shrugging and turning back to all her wonderful readers*
Suzume Tori – Suzume, you are without a doubt a BRILLIANT artist! *Beams happily and hugs Suzume* Thankyou, so very, very much for your gorgeous piece of fan art, I loved it to bits. *Smiles* It's going on my website…as soon as I can work out how to upload the darn thing! Also, my thanks for your praise and constant prodding, which helped me to write this chapter faster! Yuy-Maxwell Angel – Thankyou! Erebus - *Cackles* Arigatou Erebus, your reviews always cheer me up! The face wasn't mucked up; it was on the same line on the reviews page. Yes, I think that was me! *Hugs* Don't forget to use the anti-pink bunny spray! Loz - ^_^ More sugary stuff is good, and yeah, Heero's reaction should be interesting! Bells - *Grabs the coffee cup and gulps it down* What would us authors do without our coffee eh? Enjoy the next chapter! Tsuki Doriima - *Shivers* I think I'll continue this after all, just to keep myself, and my muses, safe! =^_^= Your praise, was as always, wonderful *hugs* thankyou my dear! And I simply CANNOT WAIT for that lovely piece(s) of fan art! Your review really encouraged me to get my ass into gear and continue to write. *Hugs again for all her support and help with uploading her site* Princess of destruction - *Bows* Thankyou! I'm glad you're enjoying it. P-Chan – The Lost Girl – Wow, thankyou! ^_^ I'm glad you think I've got the characters nailed; I really am trying to keep them as IC as possible. I hope to receive your fan art soon! Ace – Dearest Ace, I loved your review! I'm also pleased to find another Relena supporter that still loves 1x2, I enjoy character bashing too, not just Relena, but all of them because it's good to laugh sometimes and the characters give ample opportunity for bashing! Of course I'll e-mail you when the chapter is up and I'm glad someone likes my authors notes! Silver Shinigami – Glad you like the OC's, but I agree, I don't like Heero's dad much either. *Mutters something that sounds suspiciously like 'he's a bastard'* Oh please draw me some fan art! I'd love it, no matter how much people claim they can't draw, they can really! *Drops to her knees and starts to beg* Valerian - *Watches Valerian run off chased by a furious Heero* Well, I know not to call Duo mine now! Thanks for your review, I appreciated it, but Duo and Heero angst at its finest? Wow, *blushes* that's high praise! Thanks! Solar Flare – Thankyou! At least one person appreciates the cliffhangers! *Hugs* LB – Thankyou! Hakumei – I'll try to get this chapter out much faster, so I'm not leaving you all hanging! Anonymous – Sure, I'll e-mail you and let you know I got your review…as long as I remember that is. I'm very forgetful! *Hangs her head in shame of her bad memory* Omega Shelly – Someone likes Lily! *Glomps* Yup, Heero's dad is coming unwillingly towards a conclusion he isn't going to like! Moonlit Eyes 1x2x1 – Wow, thanks! Protestations eh? Hmm, good word, I like it! Kcgal – Yes, Heero's pretty much in denial. *Grins* A bungee rope eh? Hmm, maybe I should try falling over the edge of the world then, I've always wanted to go bungee jumping ^_~ It's nice to feel loved though, and I promise to continue…after all the death threats I've received. MinakoChan - *Pats M-Chan on the back* Now don't go swallowing any more of those starburst my dear, I'd probably go mad without you to chat to, and if you choke on another one…*glares* Ok, I'll keep myself in as the other bartender *puts on her new waitress outfit* Three gins for table five… *Salutes back* Aye, aye captain, I'll continue! *Hugs M-Chan* Duette – Ok, I'll update as soon as possible! Well, you can still use the basic plot idea, can't you? Doesn't have to be exactly the same! Thankyou! Dream Keeper – Ok then, I'll update as soon as possible! Arigatou. Makiko Igami – Right, go and gets some sleep! *Stamps her foot* I'll not have any of my readers suffering from exhaustion! Thanks for your praise though, I was just telling the truth about FFACH, I really love that story! Shin-Chan – Thankyou, I putting more up for you! ^_^ Chibi-akuma – Ok, just don't give me another Yuy death glare! I'll update faster now, really I will! ^_^ Duo's only chick – Gomen, I try not to put in cliffhangers, really I do, they just…happen. The Goddess Artemis – I'm continuing now! Thanks for your review. *Applauds* 100th reviewer here people, take a bow! Blue Angel - *Bows* Thankyou, glad you like Duo, I love your stories, they make me laugh so hard!
Pairings/Warnings/Disclaimers: I think I've put these so many times, people get the message: 1x2, 5+R, YAOI/SHOUEN AI and lastly, don't own, don't sue.
Thanks To: Suzume Tori: You drew me a beautiful piece of fan art and I love it! Tsuki Doriima: I love your art, it's great! Unknown: Sorry, I completely forgot to note down your name, but you drew me a fabulous piece of art for 'Tears Of An Angel' and I want to thank you! Moonlight Sonata: For ALL your pieces of fan art!
Dedication – This is dedicated to someone I have grown to know and appreciate very quickly, MinakoChan. My thanks to you M-chan, not only for being there and being an unfailing source of humour, but for the comfort you often give me when I sit down and read the e-mails in my in-box from you that make me laugh so hard. Thanks not only for that but for the times when I needed someone to talk to and you were there for me. A comforting presence with an infallible ability to laugh and make others laugh with you, This one's for you M-Chan Cobalt
~I see your true colours shining through,
I see your true colours and that's why I love you,
So don't be ashamed, afraid to show,
Show me your true colours,
True colours, beautiful,
Like a rainbow~ Phil Collins – 'True Colours'
"Remind me again how we got dragged into this?" Lily asked out of the side of her mouth as she weaved her way through the throngs of people in the room. Her tray was balanced professionally on one hand as she glared accusingly at Minako, who was also holding a tray that held several glasses of champagne.
"They needed some help with their plan!" Minako hissed back as she dodged a couple that were heading towards the dance floor, "I simply offered our…services."
"And remind me again exactly why we won't get fired for this." Lily asked as they neared the captain's table. She glanced nervously at Hilde and Dorothy who were sitting on opposite sides of the round white piece of furniture. Hilde's family was there, and Dorothy's uncle, who happened to be the captain.
"Because Hilde said she'd make sure we didn't." Minako replied confidently as she halted two or three feet away, "And besides, all we have to do is create some attention."
"This has got to be one of the worst plans I've ever heard of." Lily murmured in despair as they waited for Hilde's signal to put step B of the plan into operation. Step A, by the look of things, was already well under way, as Hilde struck up a conversation with her parents about the 'issues of homosexuality.' From across the table, Dorothy was smirking slightly and Treize, her uncle, was looking at her suspiciously. Lily closed her eyes for a moment, and memories of her life danced before them. "We're going to die." She moaned plaintively, "We're going to get fired and become penniless and we'll end up on the streets…"
"Oh shut up!" Minako said good naturedly, "That won't happen, you're just being paranoid." Suddenly her eyes widened and she nudged Lily, who re-opened her own to look intently at the table.
"Mum…" Hilde was saying nervously, "Dad…I'm a lesbian."
"OH MY GOD!" Minako shrieked, dropping her tray right on cue as Lily followed suit, "HILD SHBEIKER IS A LESBIAN?" There was a sudden, dead silence in the ballroom as all the guests, including Odin and Mary Lowe, turned to stare at the captain's table. Treize, who had been watching both Hilde and Dorothy, apparently began to put two and two together as his eyes narrowed and he glanced sharply at Minako and Lily.
Hilde watched her parent's faces, her mother looked as though she was in shock, and her father…well, her father seemed to be glowing with a self-righteous fury. "NO DAUGHTER OF MINE IS A LESBIAN!" He suddenly roared, his face turning an interesting shade of purple, "We'll discuss this later." He managed in a quieter tone, before he turned towards the two bartenders who were masquerading as waitresses. "And as for you two…" He began ominously.
"Run!" Yelped Minako, grabbing Lily's arm and dragging the surprised girl towards the door of the room, both of them running as fast as they could on their high heels. As Lily flung one last look over her shoulder, it was to see Treize Kushrenada, doubled up, laughing himself silly as his niece grinned triumphantly and winked at Hilde who was trying to hide a smile as her parents began to escort her from the room.
Odin watched the scene between Hilde and her parents with thoughtful eyes. His eyebrows knitted even further as he noticed the two waitresses, both girls were obviously in on the scam, he realised and wondered briefly whether they might be able to help him. This thought was immediately put out of his mind however as Relena turned back towards him, from where she, like everyone else, had been staring at the strange goings on.
"I never knew Hilde Shbeiker was a lesbian." She commented briefly, before glancing sideways at Wufei. "Did you?"
Wufei frowned and shook his head in denial, "No, but any fool can see this is some kind of set up," He said thoughtfully, "Hilde's obviously going to use this to her advantage." The Chinese man smirked, "She's a smart girl." He said admiringly, "I wonder how she convinced those two waitresses to help her…"
Relena nodded before turning back to Odin, "Are you alright Uncle Odin?" (1) She asked sweetly, as she looked worriedly at his expression. Odin seemed to be having trouble grasping something as he was wearing an awful frown and his lips were moving as he mouthed something to himself. Relena felt a trickle of worry creeping down her spine as she continued to watch his frown becoming deeper and more ferocious. "Uh…Uncle?" She said nervously.
Her nervousness must have snapped Odin out of his reverie because he blinked and glanced at the small group, which was now staring at him as Mary took a step forward and lightly touched his arm. "Are you alright dear?" She asked, obviously concerned. "You looked rather thoughtful there."
"I…" Odin opened his mouth to reply, but shut it again with a snap. His eyes flew to Relena, who took care to keep her expression neutral. "Tell me," He said suddenly, still staring at her, "What's the name of Odin's (2) room mate at University?" He missed Relena swallowing as her throat suddenly went tight and dry. Wufei squeezed her hand comfortingly, catching on to his fiancé's distress.
"I…I can't remember." She muttered dryly, looking down at the floor.
"It was D something…" Mary said, frowning as she tried to recall it. "David or Daniel…Damon…um…" She rubbed her head thoughtfully, "Or maybe it was a girl, Daphne, Danielle…Deedee?"
Odin shook his head thoughtfully, "No, it was definitely a boy," He said, "Wasn't it…" He frowned again, "…Duo?"
**Duo coughed slightly and shifted in his place, chancing a look around the deck again. No, everyone was still sitting absolutely motionless, even the kids in the swimming pool had stopped splashing about and were now quietly bobbing with their heads above water, holding onto the side and listening. His gaze flickered to Solo, who was sitting on a towel and grinning cheekily up at his parents, quite obviously proud of his weird 'daddies.'
All around, nobody moved, nobody made as sound as Heero nudged Duo in the back. "I think they still want you to continue." He muttered quietly into his husband's ear, and then, suddenly in a different tone, "Look towards the back, past the lady in the green swimsuit, a little further, left slightly…" he heard Duo's slight intake of breath and grinned, knowing the long haired man had spotted four familiar figures lurking near the back.
"What the hell are they doing here?" Duo muttered quietly, more to himself than to Heero.
He could practically feel his lover smirking as he replied, "I'm not sure, but I think you'd better hurry up with the next part of our tale of woe, the audience is getting restless."
And indeed they were, people were starting to shift slightly, blinking like they'd awoken from a long spell of darkness to emerge into bright sunlight.
"Fine, Fine…" Duo sighed, rolling his eyes in an exaggerated manner, "The things I do to entertain people." He pulled a long-suffering face, but grinned anyway. Taking a breath, he fixed his gaze once more on the rapt audience. "It was much later that evening…"
The crowd fell instantly silent. **
Heero was pissed off. No wait, Heero was beyond pissed off.
He was, he decided as he stormed down a corridor nearly knocking a young woman over, somewhere passed the realms of pissed off and out the other side into pure rage… possibly fury. His fists were clenching and unclenching as his arms remained rigidly at his sides, and he walked with long sweeping strides that swallowed great distance at speed. Not that he really had anywhere to go. If he went back to the dinner, he'd have to endure a night of his father and mother enquiring about 'Duet' or asking when they wanted to get married, and if he went back to his room, it would be ten times worse, because he'd have to face Duo, and he wasn't sure he could do that right now.
Heero was also more than slightly confused, and this was what, perhaps, made him angriest of all. He was never confused, in fact, there should really be anything to be confused about, his rational mind told him. So Duo was gay, or at least bisexual, well… he at least liked other men… fine… Heero… but just because of that, didn't mean Heero had to like him back.
Turning smartly, he moved around another corner, only to bang into to two crouched figures who had their ears pressed to a cabin door and were muttering to one another. They were both wearing conspicuous waitress outfits and were wobbling precariously on high heels. The impact of Heero was enough to knock one girl off her feet and land on top of the other, who promptly wheezed pathetically.
"Oy…Lil…can't….breathe…" She gasped trying to shove the other girl off of her, who clambered to her feet and glared at Heero.
"What on earth did you want to come hurtling around a corner like that for?" She demanded, her English accent echoing imperiously around the corridor, "You could've seriously hurt someone!"
Heero stared at her for a moment, his manners deserting him as he took in the two red streaks in her hair, which fell in shoulder length waves, and the hazel eyes. His gaze then turned to the other girl, who was still huffing slightly as she tried to catch her breath, which had been knocked out of her by the fall.
"Wait…" He said suspiciously, still looking at the blonde, "Don't I know you from somewhere?"
Minako studied him for a second before she grinned, nudging Lily. "Hey look! This is Heero!" She smiled, extending her hand, "I don't think we were properly introduced before, you were …ah… a bit distracted." She winked, "Duo is a very attractive ma…"
"Don't talk to me about him at the moment." Heero snapped, and both girls stared silently at him. He sighed and massaged his temples with one hand. "We've had… a bit of an argument." He admitted, shrugging slightly before studying Minako again. "Oh… wait… I do remember you, you're the barkeeper, right?"
Minako beamed, "That's me!" She said cheerfully before waving a hand in Lily's direction. "And this is Lily, partner in crime and partner in job." Lily extended a hand and Heero was about to shake it, when an explosion of sound occurred behind the door both girls had been listening at.
"HOW DARE YOU PUBLICLY HUMILIATE ME LIKE THAT HILDE!" A man roared, his voice shaking with rage, as there was the sound of a fist being slammed on a table. "YOU DELIBERATLY WENT OUT OF YOUR WAY TO CAUSE TROUBLE, DIDN'T YOU? AND DON'T THINK I DIDN'T REALISE YOU HAD HELP! THOSE TWO 'WAITRESSES…'" The man's voice was filled with sarcasm, "…WERE IN ON THE WHOLE SCAM, WEREN'T THEY?"
A much younger, female voice replied, quite calmly, "Well, father, it may not be true, but it got you to pay attention to me for once. And now, you'll listen to me for a change as I tell you exactly what's going to happen."
There was a loud choking sound and a laugh, quite devoid of any humour. "You really think I'm going to let you order me about Hilde? I'm your father…"
"Yes," The girl snapped, "And I'm your daughter, but believe you me, if I tell people that I prefer the company of other girls, they'll believe me, and then our good family name will be ruined. So you either shut up and listen to what I say, or I'm going to tell people I'm going out with Dorothy."
"I suggest you do as she says Mr Shbeiker." Came another, cooler voice. "Because I can easily verify what Hilde says."
"You keep out of this Miss Catalonia." The man snapped, but was once again quieted by his daughter.
"Ok father, here's the deal. You let me have more freedom. No more bodyguards, no more forcing me into things I don't want to do, no more boring social functions if I don't want them and let me make my own friends, is that clear?" There was a hint of triumph in her voice, "Because if you don't…" The threat trailed off tantalisingly and the eavesdropping party outside could quite well imagine what the rest of the sentence would include.
There was a long, pregnant pause from inside the cabin, and all Heero could hear was the soft breathing of the two girls next to him. The blond one appeared to have her fingers crossed whilst the other was shifting nervously from foot to foot.
"Fine." The man snapped eventually, his voice still tight with anger, "Fine, I'll do what you want Hilde. But don't come crying to me when everything ends in tears… we just wanted you to have the best, be well protected and safe, but if you want to live in a dangerous world, well, you'll have to face the consequences."
There was the sound of scraping chairs, and light footsteps moved towards the door as Lily gasped, grabbed Heero's arm and dragged him back around the corner, Minako hot on their heels. They fled down a nearby passage, Heero following, partly out of curiosity, partly out of an overwhelming desire to get a straight story out of the blonde bar keeper. High heels clattered and skidded around corner after corner as they all sprinted back towards the relative safety of the bar.
Hurtling through the lounge, all three of them screeched to a halt behind the counter, gasping for breath.
"Well…it…worked…" Minako panted triumphantly, waving a hand in front of her face and flopping onto a stool. "Hilde's…father…will have to… let her…have more freedom…now…"
Lily huffed and wobbled around the other side of the long bar to retrieve a bag of normal clothing. Taking out a pair of trousers and a shirt, she threw them at Minako. "Yes… but he's still on the warpath against us, so get changed." She drew out another pair of trousers and a shirt before turning to Heero. "Wait here." She ordered, before pushing open a small door and walking through to the kitchen.
Five minutes later, both girls returned dressed more suitably in red and black attire, with their name tags once more in firm positions, claiming 'Happy to help' in bold green letters. Lily, however, still maintained her bossy frown as she sized Heero up, her hazel eyes showing that she was going to be judging on first impressions.
"So you're Heero." She said eventually, her mouth curving into a small smile as Minako hopped from foot to foot while she poured out three glasses of lemonade. "…Duo described you yesterday." She added at Heero's obvious confusion as to how she knew him from an event previous to Minako's introduction. Shrugging she accepted the offered glass of drink and began to gulp it down, obviously thirsty. In between, she managed to explain what had happened when Duo was searching for Heero the previous day.
Heero, on the other hand, simply toyed with his glass, only taking a few sips before placing it back down on the counter. Occasionally he nodded, and once, snorted in amusement when Lily told him how he had been described by Duo, but on the whole, he was silent.
"You all right?" Minako asked eventually, clapping a hand over Lily's mouth, so the girl subsided, grumbling slightly, muffled by the appendage. "You seem a bit…depressed." She smiled slightly, offering comfort as she removed her hand from over Lily's mouth and patted Heero's shoulder. "Tell us, dear," She crooned, like one would to a little baby, "Tell Aunty M and Aunty L…"
Lily snickered slightly but sobered when she saw Heero's face. Sighing, she reached over, and, following Minako's example, rumpled his hair, earning a furious look, which she ignored. "Ok, tell us everything…"
Duo was also in a state of agitation.
He had run a bath, climbed into it, and was now sunk up to his neck in bubbles whilst his mind whirled at a mile a minute. 'What have I done?' His mind kept asking over and over, 'How could I do that? What will Heero think of me now?' He sighed and tried to sink even further down in the warm water, his face showing a picture of abject misery as he played with the end of his braid.
'I'm an idiot.' He thought despairingly, letting his head drop back with a sigh. "Stupid, stupid, stupid!" He suddenly shouted out loud, slamming his fist against the side of the bath in a rage, making water slosh over the side and splash up against the wall. "You're so DAMN STUPID!"
"Who's stupid?" A quiet voice asked from behind him.
Nearly leaping up in fright, Duo twisted his head, dropping the bar of soap that had been clutched in his other hand, his face flamed bright red and he swallowed loudly.
"N… no one…"To Be Continued…
CB: I really want to apologise. This chapter has taken nearly three months in coming and I can only give my abject apologies. Recently, I have had a lot to deal with, including a huge number of family problems, a very ill relative, some massive exams and being ill myself. Just to let you all know, I will continue posting on FF. Net, even though I am disgusted by its new 'No NC17' rule. A site that claims you can unleash your imagination and free your soul and yet puts limits on them, is just something I am not happy with. Any and all lemons I write from now on, may be posted here, but will almost definitely be posted on my own and M-Chan's site when it is finished. All submissions for the site are incredibly welcome! Have a very merry Christmas!
(1) No, Odin is NOT Relena's real uncle, however 'uncle' is sometimes used as a term of respect and politeness towards a friend of the family by a child or young adult. Bet you didn't know that! Ok, so you did…darn… .
(2) Yup, Odin is talking about baby Odin, a.k.a. Heero Yuy…uh oh, bad mental image of baby Heero. *Falls over backwards laughing*