Kel: It's starting... The inspiration is flowing... I'm getting an idea!...

Duo: *casually* Sounds like sex.

Kel: Gah... *falls over*

Dalamar: Well. Didn't quite expect that, did she?

Duo: Kel doesn't expect a lot of sexual innuendoes from me, especially if they're aimed to cause her extreme discomfort. Therefor I'm dubbed `the semi-nice muse'.

Dalamar: I see. *translation* /I don't see./

Duo: Uh-huh. *translation* /You don't have to, just live with it a few more hours./


DISCLAIMER: I own NOTHING... but a pair of dirty gym socks I found at the bottom of my bag. *genuinely confused* Funny. I haven't participated in gym for months... *doesn't notice–-or chooses to ignore–-her muse and Lil*Shi-chan's muse's pained expressions*
PAIRINGS: The usual (1+2, 3+4, 5+D, anticipating R+H, mention of 13+11, _maybe_ 6+9...)
AN: Ha-HAH! I am BACK (but not quite out of the fire yet)! See, in about... *counts on her fingers* Well, ten days or so, I'm going on the Trip of Hell. You see, the Trip of Hell involves me and my brother (a horrible combo) getting in the same car with our niece (even worse) and _driving_ all the way to Memphis, which is about six hours away. Considering I'll be there for two weeks (with promises not to get on my oldest brother's E-machine or something), I've vowed to write at least two chapters of PATA. I'll be back with hopefully another one already written if my niece hasn't driven me into Insanity as she has promised (Really. She promised to drive me absolutely nuts). So in the span of less than four weeks, you might have three chapters of PATA out of me. ^.^ Sugoi, ne?
2nd NOTE: I have a beta reader! *does a happy little dance* Sugoi, ne? ^___^ She's going to read it, and correct it, and make it all nice and prettified so I can send it out mistakenedless (I bet that's not a word ^.^;). Apparently my spelling and grammar suck. Heheh... So thanks to Hecate on that one. *waves* Thankee, Hecate!


The Professional and the Amateur


He didn't always want to be an actor. There was once upon a time he didn't even think about acting. He wanted to be (and still did want to be) a director. In fact, during the days he had the extra time, he would dig out his handheld camcorder and start filming whatever caught his attention. His friends and their antics, animals, whatever stayed in his mind long enough to be deemed worth filming.

The best part, however, was the fact that it drove his girlfriend nuts.

"Is that thing on?"

It was always the first question the person walking through the door would ask. Most of the time, the camera was on. If they knew that, then they wouldn't act themselves. If they didn't act themselves, than there really wasn't a purpose to having the camcorder on in the first place. If there wasn''t a purpose to having the camcorder on, then he'd be a very bored guy, and that just wouldn't do. So when asked this slightly suspicious question, what did he say?

"Why would I lay a camcorder on the table and leave it on?" It wasn't exactly a lie, per se, it was just a hypothetical question that no one would answer because of their assuming natures. Said with enough irritation, they would drop it all together.

This is one way Chang Wufei learned he was a great actor.

"Great," Quatre sighed in relief, walking fully into the huge kitchen and sitting down at the table, just enough that he was in perfect view of the camera. With a hidden smile, Wufei lapsed into lazy relaxation, leaning back in his seat at the head of the table.

"So what's been happening since I've been holed up in my room for the past three days?" he asked nonchalantly, knowing very little but enough to know that Heero was the big talk amongst the three other actors, the cook, the maid, and the butler. He was closed off from the outside world, but he wasn't deaf. That, and the walls were painfully thin.

"I think you'll be happy to know that Relena-chan has finally given up on bedding Dorothy-chan." Wufei was definitely surprised. Relena had been after Dorothy since before the pale blonde and him got together. He'd thought nothing short of a crowbar could pry the wheat blonde's attention away from his girlfriend. "How did this come about?"

Quatre grinned, since he loved gossip of any kind. If it happened, the blonde would definitely find out and spread the word about it. "Apparently Relena-chan got an eyeful of Heero's crush's cousin. According to Relena, `She's a babe!'" Wufei chuckled at Quatre's mimic of the mentioned girl''s high voice.

"We also finally met the mystery boy, Duo Maxwell? Heero was sadly inaccurate with his description of him."

"Is he bad-looking?" Now this also surprised Wufei quite a bit. Heero had an eye and could spot anything beautiful, inside or out, from a mile away. He couldn't imagine Heero describing a god and the boy turning out to be lesser than that.

"No, far from it, in fact. He's gorgeous!" Quatre grinned, grabbing an apple from the fruit basket in the center of the table and biting into it with gusto. "Better looking than how Heero depicted."

Well now... Teasingly, Wufei asked, "Really. Does Trowa know about your estimation?"

Quatre laughed ruefully behind his second bite of apple. "That was Trowa's estimation."

"Well, Trowa's estimation was pretty much on the mark," Dorothy remarked casually as she strolled into the kitchen and plopped down into the seat in front of Quatre, a sheen of sweat gleaning on her forehead and soaking the neck of her shirt. She was panting only slightly as she reached for an orange and began mechanically peeling the skin from the meat inside. "Duo Maxwell is no doubt a hottie. No surprise considering Heero is picky on just about anything and everything."

What wasn't surprising was the fact that Heero also strolled into the kitchen the same time this remark was being said. Lifting a fine eyebrow, he countered her comment with a deft, "Am not," before opening the huge silver refrigerator and sifting through the contents. "Where's the blueberry yogurt?"

"Trowa must have eaten the last one yesterday," Quatre replied helpfully. "He said blueberry was the closest thing to grape, which I believe we're out of. I know there are plenty of peaches and cream left, though."

"I don't like peaches and cream."

"Well, try the chocolate." Quatre was very reluctant to part with his chocolate yogurt.

"I don't like chocolate either."

"What are you talking about? You like chocolate everything!" Wufei decided to add his two cents into the conversation. One never knew when one could talk again. At least, not with that bunch around. "Not chocolate yogurt. It's disgusting." Quatre didn't seem at all offended. In fact, he looked rather happy no one was going to touch his chocolate yogurt.

"Oh, for Bob's sake, Hee-chan, eat my strawberry and quit whining!" Dorothy finally said in exasperation, planting her hands on the oak table with a slightly loud bang. After seeing his displeased statement when he sat down with his yogurt, she couldn't help but quip, "Not picky, eh?"

Heero was determined not to be thwarted. "I felt like blueberry today."

"I noticed there were a few hidden behind a mound of peaches and cream last night," Trowa supplied from the doorway, drawing the attention of Wufei and the three actors. With a cautious, "Is that thing on?" followed by Wufei's impatient answer, he sat at the table across from Heero, who was sitting on the other side of Quatre.

Heero growled softly and nearly broke all of his teeth in his mouth while shoving his spoon filled with strawberry yogurt in there. "Why do we even have peaches and cream? Nobody likes it."

No one answered. Finally, Wufei just snorted and crossed his arms, giving them looks that told them they should have figured it out a long time ago. "Perfect hiding places for favorites where no one will touch them. Duh."

"What evil mastermind thought that up?" Heero growled again, crossing his eyes to focus on the spoon filled with strawberry yogurt. Wufei grinned devilishly, foxy ears sprouting from his head.

"Me!" he cackled.

Everyone either shook their head in wonder (how the heck did he do that fox-ear thing?) or laughed outright at the fine picture of wackiness he sometimes displayed when he was cooped up inside a room for far too long.

The display of complete madness is something else expected from four extremely talented actors and a woman who, Wufei thought, was worthy of camera attention herself, but far be it from reaching Dorothy's ears. He had a reputation to uphold.

It was much later--that is, only forty-five minutes of side-splitting, milk-shoots-out-your-nose fun and games at the snack counter--when Wufei was walking away, a satisfied smile planted firmly on his lips as he carted his camera--still rolling, of course--into the parlor. This time, the camcorder had definite signs of life, so the four camera hating actors had found themselves scarce in the presence of Chang Wufei. He was about to turn it off since he had lost his entertainment factor...

Until, that is, the doorbell rang.

Wufei was very cautious after being secluded from the others so long. He had reason to be. Every time he came out of hiding, someone played a prank on the poor Chinese youth. He was on edge until it hit, and he was only taken surprise last time because he wasn't expecting a `telemarketer' (if you can use this term loosely to describe a phone-sex operator) to call him. Now he was certain he was prepared for anything the others could throw at him.

He opened the door, the camera held by the handle at his side. He made like it wasn't on, but to tell the truth, he had it angled just so it would be on the visitor's face.

"Um, hello?" At first Wufei thought he was facing a woman. Wide blue-violet eyes and heart-shaped face, palatially long, chestnut-colored hair tied in a hip-length braid, lithe, short... The voice wasn't so feminine, but if you thought about it, some women did have unexplainably deep voices. If the visitor was female, then she had a flat chest. No make-up, as beautiful women often used make-up to enhance their looks, should have clued him in. On some distant part of his mind, it just might have. However, he wasn't listening to that part at the moment.

"Good morning," Wufei replied pleasantly, nodding. "Can I help you?" //By Nataku, if this is another stripper, I'm going to have Dorothy's head.// He'd much rather have other parts of Dorothy... Oh~kay, mind out of the gutter.

"Yes, actually. Um... is this where Heero Yuy lives?" A blush covered not only his or her face, but his or her neck as well. "I'm sorry if I made some mistake with the address or anything, and I'm pretty sure I did because I can't imagine Heero living with all this space and not blinking an eye at my tiny shoe box of an apartment. I--"

"I'm sorry, but are you a guy or a girl?" Wufei asked bluntly since he wasn't very subtle when it came to what he wanted to know. He/she stopped talking and stared at him before laughing and shaking his/her head.


"Thanks. Now I can think of you in male terms," Wufei replied with a grin. "Yes, Yuy lives here. He's home, in fact, which, from what I hear, is very rare these days. May I ask for your name?" He wasn't flirting. He had a girlfriend and he didn't exactly swing for guys. He had a feeling this was the `god' Heero was pining for, but he was just making sure.

"Oh, sorry. I'm Duo. Duo Maxwell." The man out on the doorstep held out a hand for Wufei to accept and shake. "You must be Wufei."

"Chang Wufei. I've heard about you." One leery grin had the poor boy awkward. Funny how Wufei didn't feel any guilt. He had a feeling Maxwell could take and dish out some of his own prickly comments and undertoning jokes unlike, say, Trowa and Heero. "Do come in. Heero would skin me alive and boil the rest of me in hot wax if I left you out here too long."

"Oh, that's okay. Really! I just came over here to ask him something, since he forgot to give me his phone number and I can't get a hold of Howard so he could give it to me--"

"I insist." Wufei decided that, once he and Maxwell became better acquainted, he was going to use the braid as a gag. Maxwell talks too much.


Three quick knocks disturbed his otherwise peaceful and silent method of getting dressed. Too bad the only thing he had managed to squirm into was his boxers. By the time he had fumbled with his sweat pants, the person at the door was knocking again. Foregoing the wife beater, musing his already mused but sopping wet hair, he opened the door only to find Wufei and a camera right in his face.

"Chang..." After the fifth time of being called `Yuy' at the first meeting between the two, Heero had grown accustomed to calling Wufei `Chang'. Apparently it didn't bother Chang as much as it did him.

"Yuy," Chang returned with an equally warning tone. The digital camera was focused right on his face, and he was sure his dark statement was caught with the image. He didn't like to be filmed outside of work. Neither did the other three actors living in the huge home. Chang, however, had other ideas of annoying them to death by trying his hardest in catching them on `home-life film'.

"You have a visitor." A strange half-smile upturned Wufei's mouth. "I thought she was another stripper."

"She?" He let his hopes plummet. A part of him had hoped his visitor had been the topic of last night's incredibly wet dream. Knowing the dream had no trace of a female presence, he could only guess who was at the door.

"Yes, well, it turned out she wasn't a stripper sent to me by you guys. Oh, and she isn't a she either. Clearly she's a he." Wufei must have decided he didn't like a disappointed Heero since he came to telling the full story so fast, Heero wondered if Chang didn't really mean to lead him on. Thinking back, he concluded Chang had meant to lead him on, which proposed a very evil comeback later on.

"Oi, Yuy--" He was down the long hallway in a flash, and at the double stairwell in a jiffy. His braided angel below didn't look up; he seemed to be a bit busy looking at Trowa's favorite painting hanging below.

"Duo," he called down, drawing the attention of the braided American. Duo was smiling when he looked up.

"Hey, Heero, I--ack." This didn't make much sense. Suddenly the boy was flushed from head to toe and adverting his eyes from his chest. The Japanese boy almost asked why, until Chang whistled behind him to draw his attention.

Something white slapped the back of his head and twisted around his face. Puzzled, he grabbed the wife beater that had been laying on his bed and sent a look toward Wufei, the damn camera held firmly in place at his eye.

Chang smirked. "I do believe you have the boy flustered, Yuy. Why don't you be civil and put the shirt on before he nose-bleeds all over the floor? I doubt Roseanna would like that very much since she waxed yesterday."

Heero finally noticed his chest was bare.


Duo didn't think the wife beater helped much. That was merely his opinion of course, but when it came to matters of Heero half-naked and only putting on a thin, tight, white, sleeveless shirt that soaked the dampness from his skin anyway, Duo didn't really see the point of a shirt he could see through any--

This is the part where Duo has to mentally slap himself to think straight.

"Hey," his Japanese obsession said softly once he had walked down one of the huge flight of stairs.

"Hi..." That sounded kind of meek. Duo cleared his throat, hoping to make that as an excuse to his hoarseness.

Heero almost seemed impish with the grin he was giving. "So what brought on this little visit?"

He had a reason? It took a moment to remember that he did, in fact, have a reason for the visit. Opening his mouth, he began to reply... ... and found he forgot what he came there for.


Thankfully, Heero covered for him unintentionally. "You want something to eat? Drink?"

"Eat?" Drink? "Where'd that come from?"

Heero chuckled. "I can hear your stomach all the way from over here, Duo."

Oh. GOD. Blushing madly for the third time in ten minutes (he was quite surprised he stopped blushing the second time), he babbled, "Oh, that's really nothing! It's this embarrassing little hereditary trait I picked up from my dad. I could have just eaten a seven-course meal and my stomach would still make those funny growling noises. Sometimes they're so loud I have to avoid using elevators in fear of being embarrassed." Oh, great, Heero was giving him a funny look. Way to go, Maxwell. What more can you do to mortify yourself?

"Your father?" Heero tilted his head to the side in a curious fashion, damp hair falling over one eye. "I don't think I've heard you mention your parents." If Duo had, he hadn't made passing note of it.

"Oh." Duo shifted in discomfort. "He, my mom and her unborn child died when I was little. I've been with my aunt ever since." Heero read Duo's body language loud an clear. The braided boy wouldn't like to talk about it. Nodding, he changed the subject back to the old one.

"You didn't answer my question."


"Are you thirsty? Hungry?"

"Oh! Well--"

"Don't say no." Heero took his arm and dragged him to the left, where he had caught sight of a huge refrigerator, kitchen counter, and a fairly big table. "Hilde has already informed me that you have a habit of skipping meals whenever you can. You'll quickly find out that around here, Roseanna will not have that."

While Wufei started in the opposite direction in search for Dorothy, in hopes of leaving the lovebirds in peace, he couldn't help but walk close to the kitchen while Heero was listing the food items in the refrigerator.

"Uh, no thanks, I--Hey, is that peaches and cream?"

It seemed Duo couldn't resist peaches and cream yogurt. Quatre's love for only chocolate, Dorothy's love for only strawberry, Trowa's love for only grape, Heero's love for only blueberry, and Wufei's love for only cherry. All hating that one flavor of yogurt. It seemed the braided boy would soon rectify their peaches and cream surplus. Duo Maxwell would fit in quite nicely.

Owari part 10

Kel: It's only a smidgen shorter than the later of my chapters, but it's a chapter, nonetheless! ^.^ Oi, Lil*Shi-chan! Dollymar was a big help. Really!

Dalamar: *narrows his eyes* Taken to lying, have you?

Duo: I wouldn't be surprised.

Kel: *innocently* I managed to squeeze a chapter out of you, didn't I? ^.^ C&C much appreciated!