8-10-2000

And Never the Twain Shall Meet
Part XI

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As soon as the door closed, Heero was at the computer, intent on finding out everything he could about Kaylin Reinmann.

Duo stood with his arms folded over his chest, glaring a new hole in the side of Heero's head. Damn him... it's not even a real mission and he runs to that damn computer without even giving me second thought. It's not fair... being jealous of a machine. Duo thought about that for a moment. OK... maybe I'm being silly... of course I'm being silly. Duo let out an audible sigh as he let his hands fall to his sides, walking across the room to stand behind his new love. He watched over Heero's shoulder as the consummate hacker worked his way through several screens at blinding speed. "You can sure tell you've done this sort of thing before."

"Hn."

Duo crimped his features at Heero's response... or rather, lack of one. He decided on a different tactic, wrapping his arms around Heero from behind and speaking softly into his ear. "Don't forget about me while you're in there... OK, Heero?"

Heero turned his head to the side and eased back so he could see Duo's face. "Duo, I... I don't think you understand... that will never happen again. I just have work to do." With a swiftness that surprised both of them, Heero captured Duo's mouth with his own. When he was quite certain Duo understood, he pulled away and looked into Duo's half-lidded eyes. "Now, go away... I have work to do."

"Mmmm... OK." Duo responded dreamily. He was happy now. He floated to his bed and sat down, smiling like an idiot as he watched Heero work.

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Quatre paced. He couldn't believe this mess. What the hell was Wufei thinking!? Should I even be worried? Maybe Trowa and Duo are right... maybe I'm over reacting... or maybe I'm not. Maybe he hasn't been sneaking out to rendezvous with people... if not, where has he been going? Why didn't any of us suspect something like this a long time ago? God! What a mess!

Trowa watched as Quatre walked back and forth, jumping slightly when the blonde pilot made a sound of frustration. "Quatre?"

Quatre looked at Trowa. He had been so preoccupied that he had forgotten the other boy was sitting there. Quatre took in a deep breath and let it out slowly. He walked over and sat down next to Trowa, snaking his arm around his lover's waist. "I'm sorry, Trowa. I just don't know what else to do right now. I can't talk to Wufei about it just yet. I most certainly can't confront Kaylin until we know more. I don't know which scenario to believe... I... I'm just at a loss right now."

Trowa leaned in and kissed Quatre on the cheek. "Then don't worry about it right now... there's nothing you can do, and thinking about it is going to wear a hole in the carpet. Let Heero do his thing. Once he finds something out, then maybe we can do something... or nothing... depending on what he finds. For now, just forget about it."

Quatre flung himself back on the bed, throwing his arm over his eyes. "Maybe you're right... maybe I think too much."

Trowa lay down next to Quatre, nuzzling his neck. "Anything I can do to take your mind off of it?"

Quatre uncovered his face and ran his fingers through Trowa's hair. "You just did."

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Duo's eyes flew open as he heard Heero's chair scoot across the floor. How long had he been asleep? A glance at the clock told him - about an hour. That was a nice little nap. He sat up and stretched then leaned back on his hands. "So, what did you find?"

"Nothing." Heero did not look happy.

"Nothing?"

"Not a damn thing." Heero stood and shoved his hands into his pockets.

Duo could almost hear the wheels turning inside Heero's head. "Nothing... that's... a good thing... isn't it?" Duo still didn't understand the expression Heero wore.

"You don't understand, Duo. Except for his school registration and academic and birth records... I could find nothing on Kaylin Reinmann."

That gave Duo pause. Everyone left a trail of some sort, some kind of electronic history, from the day they were born... unless... "He's not who he says he is." The tone of betrayal was clear in Duo's voice.

Heero could see a shattered friendship... a broken trust in Duo's eyes. "I'm sorry, Duo."

"His school records don't show who his parents are?" Duo was grasping at anything that could clear this matter up... quickly.

Heero nodded. "Whoever falsified his records obviously didn't anticipate such an extensive search. His parents don't exist beyond birth records, a marriage certificate, a place of residence... just the necessary information... nothing more. Very sloppy work."

Duo thought for a long while. "I can't imagine someone being that careless if they're trying to cover up something foul... maybe someone is trying to protect him from something."

Heero hadn't thought of that possibility. He shrugged slightly. "I suppose it's feasible. It would at least make some sense. It obviously wasn't done to hide any type of subversive information... it's just too sketchy... too obvious."

Duo suddenly sat straight up. "What about his sister?!"

Heero sighed. "Except for the fact that she is a female six years his senior... and has a slightly lower grade average... Megg's records are the same... dead end. I've initiated a full search for siblings with those two first names. Hopefully, that will turn something up."

"When will you know?"

"An hour or so... I'm hoping whoever is behind this was careless enough not to change their first names as well."

Duo stood and rubbed his cheek as he considered the possible outcomes of this situation. "Heero... I don't like this... at all."

Heero could see the hurt... the worry in Duo's features as Duo's mind raced from conclusion to conclusion. He watched as Duo stood quietly rubbing his forehead with the tips of his trembling fingers. Heero could see the pressure building...

... And then Duo exploded. "God DAMN IT! What the hell is he hiding!? Why the hell is it that every time I start to like someone, they either turn on me or... or end up dead?! Huh, Heero? Why the fuck do I even bother trying to reach out to people when all I ever get in return is hurt?! WHY?!" Duo suddenly stopped and looked with large, dazed, wet eyes at Heero. Duo turned his back to Heero and hugged himself, rubbing his arms as though he were cold.

Heero answered the question as best he could... even though he knew Duo wasn't actually expecting him to answer. "Why? Because, it's in your nature, Duo. Even after all your efforts... you still keep trying. You have a faith in mankind that I will never share... but I... I can tell you right now..." Heero wrapped his arms around Duo's chest from behind and intertwined their fingers "... I know of at least one life that wouldn't be long for this world... if you didn't carry that faith."

Oh God, Heero... where did that come from?! Duo unraveled their fingers and turned in Heero's arms, eyes wide. "What did you say?!"

Heero took a step back, keeping his hands on Duo's hips. "Did I say something wrong?"

Duo stammered. "N... No... I just..." ... didn't expect something like that to ever come out of your mouth... never expected you to admit it to me... never thought you could say something so comforting at just the right moment... "I... I'm sorry I went off like that. I'm frustrated... I'm confused... I'm angry and hurt... I just want to know what's going on..." Duo hesitated, "... and I'm scared... scared for Kaylin... and for Wufei." Duo confessed softly as he gave Heero a slight, however heartfelt, smile. "But I'm glad you're here... with me... and I'm glad that I made a difference in - 'at least one person's life'." Duo gently teased Heero with the phrasing.

"So is he, Duo... so is he." Heero teased right back. He thought for a moment as he looked into Duo's eyes. "Maybe we could give Kaylin the benefit of the doubt... until we find something out for certain... although, I still advise caution. In the meantime, I do have to report my findings to Quatre."

Duo nodded. "I understand."

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Everyone sat in silence as Quatre considered what Heero had just reported. "Nothing..." Quatre repeated quietly. There was another long silence before Quatre cleared his throat. "Duo, you're on surveillance..."

Duo opened his mouth to say something then clamped it shut again. He leaned back in his chair and just nodded. He knew he was going to have to glue himself to Kaylin's side in order to carry out the order. He looked up at Heero, who was standing next to him, for a reaction.

Heero didn't like the idea of not spending his free time with Duo. When did I get addicted to you, Duo? Why, suddenly, does the thought of you spending your time with someone else bother me? Why? Because I'm selfish... because I love you. Heero placed his hand on Duo's shoulder.

Quatre saw the silent communication between the two boys. They really are a couple now, aren't they? Kaylin might think something is wrong if Duo suddenly starts showing up everywhere without Heero. Maybe... "Actually... maybe Heero should be a part of this too."

Heero misread Quatre's intent. "That is not necessary, Quatre." I am not that dependent on Duo... at least I'm not going to admit that I am.

Quatre raised an eyebrow. "I think it is, Heero. You and Duo are a... new... couple. Kaylin knows that. I think it would be awkward for Duo to have to explain why you are not by his side."

Heero nodded and gave Duo's shoulder a gentle squeeze.

Quatre continued. "Trowa and I have been closer with Wufei, so we will keep an eye on him."

Everyone looked about nervously at the mention of monitoring one of their own.

Quatre's tone was even. "I don't like the idea any more than the rest of you... but we have no choice." He looked at the clock. "Heero, how much longer on that search?"

Heero checked the time. "Now." He motioned toward Trowa's desk.

Trowa cleared an area of the small workspace so Heero could set up the laptop. Once the system was up, he requested the results of the search. Everyone gathered around Heero and stared at the screen... two matches.

Heero pulled up the data on the first match. It was a repeat of the information he had already found. No further information was available.

Heero pulled up the results of the second match.

Everyone stared, unbelieving, at the information scrawled across the screen.

"No..." Duo's voice was but a whisper.

The information on the screen had OZ written all over it. Megg and Kaylin Braithwaite... children of Marcus and Anne Braithwaite... both parents were OZ administrative assistants.

Heero pulled up the father's records.

Trowa whistled softly. Marcus Braithwaite had a list of commendations and honors that spanned several screens. An injury had ended his career as a front line soldier. His most recent assignment was to desk work. The reassignment... signed by Treize Khushrenada himself.

"Fuck!" Duo was agitated. "Pull up Kaylin's file!"

Heero backed out of the father's file and pulled up the file on Kaylin. Kaylin had spent two months in training as an OZ soldier then received an honorable discharge. Except for the fact that Marcus and Anne Braithwaite were listed as his parents, Kaylin apparently had nothing to do with OZ after that. His criminal record was nonexistent.

Heero leaned back in his chair and folded his arms over his chest. "That explains a few things."

Everyone looked expectantly at Heero.

"The only thing I can conclude from this is that someone... probably his parents... do not want Kaylin... or Megg... to be in any way associated with OZ." Heero shrugged. "I'm just guessing, but considering the fact that Treize personally signed his father's reassignment, Kaylin's father probably had an opportunity to appeal personally to Treize to release his son. They then created false records to disassociate their children from themselves and from OZ." Heero looked over his shoulder. "Looks like you may be right, Duo. They are being protected... from and by... their own parents."

Everyone looked at Quatre, but Duo asked the question. "What now?"

"Heero, can you pull up Kaylin's recent electronic messages?"

Heero nodded. He flew through several prompts. There were several messages undeserving of closer scrutiny... then Heero hit an electronic wall. "Encrypted?" Heero was miffed.

"Can you crack it?" Quatre asked.

Heero scanned the garbage on his screen. "It looks like one of the more recent encryption methods used by OZ. I'm familiar with it. Of course I can crack it."

Duo groaned as everyone watched Heero work. Five minutes later the five stood in stunned silence as they read the most recent message sent by Kaylin.

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Dearest Uncle,

The Dragon has landed! You were right... he is gorgeous! I never imagined from the way you described him that he would be so desirable. Those dark eyes and that raven black hair... I wonder what it looks like when it's down... but you know what it looks like I bet. *ha ha!*

By the way, we already have a date for Friday night!

It doesn't really bother me anymore that you have been with him now that I have had time to think about it. I have the utmost respect for you and I'm sure he does too. Not that he'll ever find out... but I wonder what his reaction would be if he knew that we know each other... if he knew my parents work for OZ... what would go through his mind if he found out I think of you as "Uncle" Treize. By the way, tell my folks hi for me and that I love them!

Oh yeah! One other thing! Without even realizing who they are, I became friends with the other Gundam pilots! One of them is in my physics class and we became fast friends. They are all so cool! I hope if the peace talks work out, you can take the time to meet with them on friendly terms... I like them all... I think you would too.

Anyway, I think I'm going to enjoy this... assignment... hopefully permanently.

Your surrogate nephew,
Kaylin B.
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"OH - MY - GOD!" Duo felt like he was about to faint as he sat down right in the middle of the floor.

Heero was out of his seat, headed for the door. Trowa and Quatre, both hot on his heels, were trying to get a hold on Heero before the boy could get out of the room. Trowa finally managed to wrap his arms around Heero, pinning the angry boy's arms to his sides. Heero kicked wildly, trying to get away. "I'll kill him! I'll fucking KILL HIM!"

Whether Heero meant Kaylin or Wufei, no one was certain. One thing was certain however... if Heero got out of the room, someone was going to die.

Duo just watched from where he sat. Everything seemed to be happening in slow motion. He felt like he was watching a movie. Someone was trying to restrain someone else... someone who was very angry... someone was going to kill someone.

"DUO! A little help here! PLEASE!" Quatre's desperate voice shook Duo from his dazed state.

Duo was trying to pull himself from the floor. As he stood, he came to his feet a little too close to a flailing Heero. Heero's foot flashed out and caught Duo squarely on the chin. Duo's head snapped back and he went down again.

Quatre gasped and ran to Duo's side. He immediately felt for a pulse and checked to see if Duo was breathing... he feared Heero's kick may have snapped his neck. The pulse was there and Duo's chest was rising and falling, although somewhat erratically. He looked up to find Trowa struggling to bring the anger crazed boy closer. He was attempting to drive Heero to his knees next to Duo. All at once Heero was down. Trowa, none too gently, grabbed the back of Heero's head by the hair and forced Heero's head down. "Heero, STOP! LOOK! LOOK WHAT YOU'VE DONE TO DUO! TO DUO, HEERO! LOOK!"

Heero froze, his eyes focusing on the unconscious pilot. "Duo..." Heero's voice trembled and broke as he said the name, his body going limp.

Trowa slowly and reluctantly released Heero, staying were he was, kneeling behind Heero, in case he had to grab him again.

Heero slumped forward and gently lifted Duo's head from the carpeted floor, wrapping his arms around Duo's neck. "DUO!" Heero's voice was panicked... almost grief stricken.

Quatre placed a gentle hand on Heero's shoulder. "He'll be OK, Heero. You just cold cocked him."

Duo groaned.

"Duo..." Heero whispered softly.

Duo's eyes fluttered open. "Ugh... Gah... wa' happen'" Duo's jaw hurt something fierce and the taste blood filled his mouth.

"I'm sorry... I'm sorry..." Heero repeated as he rocked the injured boy in his arms. Heero cradled Duo's head in one arm and ran the fingers of his free hand through Duo's bangs. "Are you OK?" Heero asked, looking into Duo's eyes.

"I 'hink I gi'k my k'ung." Duo was struggling to speak.

"Let me see." Heero ordered quietly.

Duo opened his mouth and winced in pain as he tried to stick out his tongue so Heero could examine it. He had bitten it all right. The tip was oozing crimson liquid that slowly ran back into Duo's mouth. Thankfully, he hadn't bitten it off.

"It's still in one piece..." Heero gave a small smirk, "... but I don't think you'll be using it for a while."

"Ach! Jush shoo'k me now!" Duo winced again. "Mmmm... hur'ks."

Trowa looked at Quatre and nodded. Both boys got up from the floor. Things were under control... for now.

Heero helped Duo sit up. Duo rubbed his chin and shook his head, fighting down a wave of nausea.

Heero sat next to Duo in the middle of the floor, crossing his legs. He rested his elbows on his knees and rubbed his face in both hands before interleaving his fingers. Heero rested his forehead on the knuckles of his index fingers. "What the hell are we going to do now?"

Quatre slowly sat on the edge of the bed. "I have no idea."

Trowa just stared out of the second story window at nothing in particular.

Everyone was in shock.

After several minutes of numbing silence, Trowa finally spoke. "Wufei and Treize..." he said quietly, "... that's where he's been going all this time..."

"Why? Why would he go to the enemy like this?" Quatre asked the floor.

"He has no one else." Everyone looked at Heero, utterly astonished that the words came from the one, who moments ago, was ready to kill Wufei. Heero read everyone's expression. "Make no mistake... I am still angry enough to put a bullet between his eyes... I don't condone what he has done..." Heero placed his hand on Duo's knee to better make his point, "... but I do understand it."

Trowa stepped around the couple sitting in the middle of the floor and sat next to his mate on the bed. "Quatre, what are you thinking?"

Quatre blinked. "Heero... I need to talk to Wufei... we all need to be present when I do. You must control your anger long enough for us to confront him with... with this." Quatre motioned toward the laptop. "Can you do that right now?"

Heero thought for a moment then nodded. "I can kill him later." It was not said jokingly.

Quatre rose to his feet and surveyed the others. "When he comes in, I'm going to let him read that message. I don't want anyone to say anything. Is that clear?"

Everyone agreed and Quatre stepped to the door. "I'll be right back." Quatre left the room.

Duo touched his fingertip to his tongue and examined it. The bleeding had stopped but damn did it hurt. "Heero, next time you want me to bite my tongue... just say so."

Heero squeezed Duo's knee as he reached out a finger and touched the underside of Duo's chin.

Duo gasped and flinched. A large bruise was blossoming where Heero's foot had connected.

"That's going to get ugly if we don't get an ice pack on it," Heero warned.

Trowa had been watching the interaction between the two boys ever since Heero had regained his senses. He thought about what he saw as he moved toward the closet to retrieve the first-aid kit. Heero really does love him... I never thought I'd see the day. He almost lost it when he saw Duo lying there unconscious. I'm sure he thought Duo was dead... hell, so did Quatre and I. This is all Wufei's fault. Trowa removed a package from the first-aid kit and bent it in several places, breaking the inner container so the chemicals could mix. The outer surface of the package quickly frosted over and he tossed it to Heero.

Heero gently placed the packet under Duo's chin and guided Duo's hand to hold it in place.

Duo looked at Heero and smiled warmly despite his already chilled chin. "Thank you."

Heero nodded and looked toward the door as it opened revealing at bleary eyed Wufei and a scowling Quatre.

Wufei immediately noticed Duo sitting in the middle of the floor with an ice pack on his chin. He glared daggers at Heero. "Is this why I am being dragged out of bed... because you two had your first quarrel?"

Heero almost lost his self control. If Quatre hadn't stepped around Wufei and stared Heero down, Heero would have undoubtedly wrapped his hands around Wufei's neck and crushed his windpipe. Heero said nothing.

Quatre turned to face Wufei. "We have something we want you to read. I'm telling you now... this does not look good... for Kaylin... or for you."

A chill ran down Wufei's spine as he realized how the other four pilots were glaring at him. He was led by Quatre to where Heero's open laptop sat on Trowa's desk.

Wufei sat quietly in front of the computer screen and started reading.

Everyone watched as Wufei's expression changed several times. A smile... then confusion... then shock... then shear unadulterated terror. Wufei lunged from the chair and backed into the corner formed by Trowa's desk and the wall next to the window. Wufei was terrified. "You... you... you're going to kill me aren't you?!" Wufei was breathless, eye's wide and searching... searching for a way out.

Quatre folded his arms over his chest. "Calm down, Wufei. I just want the truth."

Wufei's wild eyes caught in Quatre's. It took a few beats, but Wufei seemed to calm considerably... and then he slid down the wall, collapsing to the floor, sobbing uncontrollably. "I'm sorry... I didn't realize what... what I was doing. I have betrayed you all! I... I deserve to die!"

"Damn straight!" Duo snapped.

Quatre shot him a silencing glare. "Wufei... please tell us... why."

"Because... because... I..." Wufei was having trouble controlling his heaving sobs. "I loved him..." At that point Wufei couldn't speak anymore... all he could do was weep.

"Loved? You don't love him anymore?" Quatre continued to question.

All Wufei could do was shake his head - no.

"Are you still seeing him?"

Again, Wufei shook his head.

"Do you plan on ever seeing him again."

Same response. Wufei drew in a deep breath. "I HATE HIM!" Wufei cried explosively.

"Have you ever given Treize any information regarding our missions?"

Wufei was so shocked by the question, that he managed to stop crying and gazed up at Quatre with a dumbfounded expression. "I... I would never do such a dishonorable thing!"

Everyone in the room had to bite their tongues to keep from saying anything... even Duo.

"Have you ever revealed our location to Treize?"

Wufei shook his head. "It would serve no purpose... he knows where we are... more often than not."

Everyone gave Wufei a skeptical look.

"Look at the message. Kaylin was at this school long before we were. It's implicit that we were expected to arrive here. I have rarely gone to Treize of my own accord. I go when he summons me. I have never divulged our location to Treize... yet, he is always able to locate us... locate me... very much the same way as the Peacecraft girl does."

Quatre had to stop and think about this for a moment. Does anyone accuse Heero of revealing our location to Relena? A long look at Heero's expression told Quatre that Heero had been thinking the same thing. Quatre looked back to Wufei. "Where were you this weekend, Wufei?" Quatre was almost certain he already knew the answer.

"I... I was with Treize. He told me that our time together was at an end... because of the peace talks. He knew that once the war was over that one or both of us would want to stay together. He was concerned that, without the war, there would be no excuse for us to be separated from one another. He feared that having a former enemy on his arm would affect his... his social standing." Wufei looked from one pilot to the next. "You must all believe me. This relationship, however unconscionable, had nothing to do with the exchange of sensitive information. Treize could have, at any time, sent assassins out to kill us, yet he has not done so."

"Did you know about Kaylin?"

"No. It is a shock to me as well."

"Wufei, please stay put." Quatre turned to the other four pilots. "I would like to see everyone in the hall, please." Quatre watched as the other three pilots got to their feet and headed out the door, staying behind to make certain no one would go after the Chinese boy huddled on the floor. Once everyone was out, Quatre met them in the hall, closing the door behind him.

Quatre stood straight as a board, hands clasped behind his back as he considered the other three Gundam pilots in turn. "We have all known Wufei for a long time. While I do not condone what he has done, we all know what a powerful force loneliness can be. Wufei is not immune to it, and, as we found out this weekend... none of us is."

Quatre paused dramatically, letting those words sink in with everyone... especially Heero. "I have no reason to doubt anything that he has told us. Any reasons he may have had for being untruthful, died along with his relationship with Treize. Wufei obviously considered their relationship to be something that existed... external... to the war. He stated that he loved Treize and my own conscience won't allow me to condemn one human being for loving another... enemy or not. With regard to Kaylin... his familiarity with Treize notwithstanding, his parents went to some lengths to protect him from OZ involvement. I see no reason to destroy that effort... it would only destroy Kaylin."

Quatre shrugged. "Treize seems to know where we are most of the time anyway, so Kaylin informing him that we are here seems inconsequential. Kaylin doesn't seem terribly impressed or concerned regarding our identities... which really doesn't surprise me considering the fact that he considers Treize his... 'Uncle'. Kaylin already knows pretty much everything so we have a choice to make. Do we pack our belongings and move on - or do we stay? If we stay, I see no reason to further prohibit Wufei and Kaylin from seeing one another... there is nothing left to hide from Kaylin; however, we will be forced to confront Kaylin with our situation if for no other reason than to make very clear to him that he can not discuss his knowledge with anyone else. If we go... we go tonight, keeping in mind that Treize will quickly locate us again anyway. I, for one, see no reason for tucking our tails and running this time... there are no missions... we are in a temporary peace. I suggest we continue to take advantage of it." Quatre cleared his throat. "Anyone opposed... please, speak freely."

No one uttered a sound. Everyone realized that Quatre was right... there was just no point in leaving right now.

"Very well then. Heero, are you OK with this now?"

"I'm not going to kill him... if that's what you mean."

Quatre quirked the corners of his mouth. "That's what I mean... let's go talk to Wufei."

Quatre opened the door to the room and the other three boys filed in behind him. Wufei was still sitting in the corner... he had obviously been crying again.

Heero moved quickly across the room and stood before Wufei. The other three boys were instantly behind Heero, ready to grab the Japanese pilot if necessary. To everyone's surprise, Heero offered a hand to Wufei.

Wufei looked at Heero's palm with trepidation before grasping it for a hand up. The moment Wufei was on his feet Heero's fist flashed out and landed with a resounding crack on Wufei's cheek. Had Heero not been holding him up, Wufei would have collapsed again. Heero made no other move to harm Wufei at that point... but he did pull Wufei close so they were face to face. "I almost killed Duo because of you. If this had happened three days ago, nothing could have stopped me from killing you. You're lucky Chang... you're lucky I understand now."

As Heero moved away, so did Trowa. Wufei rubbed his smarting cheek and eyed the ice pack that Duo held under his chin.

Duo held the ice pack possessively to his chest. "No way, man! Get your own!" Duo turned and took a seat between Trowa and Heero on the bed.

Quatre took a step forward. "Wufei, I have to tell you that none of us is very pleased with you right now... but I think we all believe you. Although your actions have been... understandable... we are all a bit wary of where your loyalties lie. Wufei, where do your loyalties lie?"

"With my fellow pilots... with my friends." Wufei didn't even hesitate... but he did use the last word tentatively.

Quatre smiled a beguiling smile. "Good... I have a mission for you then."

Everyone looked at Quatre, a bit surprised by the statement.

"I want you to go fetch Kaylin and bring him here." Quatre turned his back to Wufei and winked at the other three boys sitting on the bed. "We need to have a little... chat... with him." Quatre's tone was icy and threatening. The boys on the bed knew what Quatre was up to, but Wufei had no clue.

As Quatre stood facing the door, Wufei brushed past him. "Where are you going." Quatre hadn't expected him to comply this very instant.

"To get Kaylin... I have some questions of my own."

Wufei had just moved back up one notch in everyone's eyes.

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Wufei glanced up at the clock as he entered the gymnasium. Kaylin should be finishing up his workout right about now and he hoped to catch Kaylin before he left. Wufei entered the workout room and stopped dead in his tracks. Before him was every shape, size, and color of scantily clad muscle bound flesh on Earth. The room smelled of sweat and testosterone and... Wufei could almost swear... sex. He approached the only person who was not involved in some form of exertion. "Excuse me, I'm looking for Kaylin."

The tall, brown skinned man... Is that his natural complexion or does he just have a really nice tan? ... looked up at Wufei with startlingly gray eyes. To Wufei they looked like a wolf's eyes. The man smiled up at Wufei as he wiped the sweat from his body, his brilliant white teeth a shocking contrast to his dark skin. "Kaylin? Yeah, he just headed for the showers."

Wufei gave a slight bow. "Thank you." He turned and started walking before realizing he didn't know where the showers were. He turned back around and the man to whom he had just been speaking was already indicating that Wufei should go back out the door and down the hall to the left. Wufei smiled and mouthed a 'thank you' to the man again.

As Wufei walked down the hall he could hear other voices coming from the far end. Momentarily, he saw a man step out of one of the side rooms with a towel around his waist, dripping wet. Wufei headed for that door. He opened it and looked inside. It was a room with four whirlpools. Wufei closed the door and continued to move down the hall. The man he had seen come out of there had gone through the door at the very end, probably the showers.

Steam hit Wufei in the face as he stepped into the locker area of the shower room. The man he had seen was there, already half dressed. Wufei made his way to the shower area. There was one person there... Kaylin... and Wufei could not pull his eyes away. Kaylin was rinsing the soap from his blonde hair. Wufei watched in a hypnotic state as the lather poured through the cleft between Kaylin's pectorals, ran like rapids over the ripples of his well defined abdomen, and gathered again where Kaylin's legs met before falling to the tiled floor with a wet, sudsy plop. Kaylin turned now as he continued to rinse his hair, exposing a perfectly muscled back that tapered into the sexiest bottom Wufei had ever seen. Bubble-butt. The unsummoned thought bounced around in Wufei's head... in Duo's voice. He had heard Duo use the phrase before... now he knew what it meant. His eyes continued to appraise Kaylin's form all the way down to his feet. Perfect from head to toe. Not too much... not to little. Just perfect. Kaylin turned again and gasped.

"Wufei!" Kaylin turned his back and tried hiding himself from Wufei's eyes.

Humility... how charming... "Kaylin, I apologize for the intrusion. Would you please come to Trowa and Quatre's room when you are finished here. It is quite important."

"Yes... yes, of course." Kaylin stammered out.

Wufei turned to leave. Before he took his first step, he flashed back to the message he had read on Heero's computer screen. 'The Dragon has landed' ... landed indeed! "Oh... and Kaylin..."

"Yes?" Kaylin was still turned away.

"Nice butt!"

Kaylin whirled around to hide his rump, exposing his front... then whirled back around again. He didn't know which way to turn. "Wufei!"

But Wufei was already gone... taking with him a very satisfied grin.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The other pilots' eyes followed Wufei as he stepped into the room and immediately walked to Heero's laptop. Initially, he had been so distraught, that he hadn't finished reading the entire message.

The other pilots watched as Wufei read.

 

He finished reading and looked down at the floor... shame written all over his features. "How humiliating."

"Where is Kaylin?" Quatre asked.

"He will be here shortly." Wufei sounded dejected, despondent, and disgusted. Everyone wondered if the tone was directed at Kaylin... or at himself. Knowing Wufei... it was the latter of the two. Wufei looked up to find he couldn't read the expressions on the other boys' faces. "You all hate me... don't you."

Trowa sounded almost parental. "No, Wufei... I think we are just disappointed... I hate the war... I hate killing people. I don't think any of us hates you."

Duo giggled and everyone looked at him as though he had just belched at formal dinner. "Sorry guys. I was just thinking how quick this war would be over if everyone would just screw their enemy's brains out. Gives new meaning to the phrase 'piece time', no?"

Tension evaporated into mild laughter... even Heero and Wufei had to smile at Duo's play on words. Although Duo had taken it to an extreme, as Duo often did, everyone understood what Duo was trying to say.

What Duo said also had a small effect on how everyone perceived Wufei's actions. It was subtle... almost subliminal... but the message was there. Wufei had extended his heart to the enemy... to Treize... and, although no one could say for certain, it was entirely possible that Wufei's actions may have actually saved some lives... maybe even their own.

A timid knock was heard at the door and Heero moved to let the caller into the room.

"Hi everyone!" Kaylin beamed as he entered. The blood rose in Kaylin's cheeks as he looked at Wufei. Kaylin squared himself and looked straight at the Chinese boy. "You have me at a disadvantage, Wufei."

Wufei snorted derisively. "I am not the only one."

Quatre pulled the chair from his own desk and patted the seat with the palm of his hand. He smiled sweetly at Kaylin. "I think you may want to sit down for this."

Kaylin looked a little wide-eyed at the Gundam pilots as he took his designated seat. "Wha... what's up, guys?"

"You, Kaylin... you are what's up." Duo's smile was plastic and insincere. "Wufei... why don't you read the message out loud for us... for all of us."

Wufei sat straight up. "Me! Why do I have to read it aloud!?"

Heero smiled a cold smile. "Consider it justice, Wufei."

Wufei glared at the door while he thought about it. He turned where he sat and began reading the message aloud.

Kaylin was mortified. As Wufei read, Kaylin would slide a little lower in his seat, his expression became a little more pained.

"... your surrogate nephew... Kaylin B." Wufei placed great emphasis on the last initial.

When Wufei was finished, Kaylin had his head tucked so far down that his chin rested on his chest. He had a distant, glazed look in his eyes as he nervously chewed on his fingernails, not saying a word.

Kaylin flinched when Quatre took a step toward him... that was when everyone realized that Kaylin was very afraid.

Wufei almost felt sorry for the beautiful blonde. He had gone through the same fear not more than an hour ago.

Quatre's soothing voice sounded distant, almost surreal, to Kaylin. "Don't be afraid, Kaylin. We didn't bring you here to hurt you. No one is going to hurt you. We just want to talk to you."

Kaylin started breathing heavily as fear gained a tighter grip on him. His voice rattled and squeaked as he spoke. "Uncle Treize sai... said you would kill me if you ever fah... found out who I was." Kaylin was shaking so hard he couldn't even bite his nails anymore. His breathing was becoming more labored.

Wufei scoffed. "Your 'Uncle' Treize is a fine exaggerator, Kaylin." Wufei slowly rose from his seat and squatted next to the fear stricken boy. He slowly reached out a hand and touched Kaylin's shoulder.

Kaylin jerked so hard he almost fell out of his chair. He was near tears now.

Duo stood up and walked over to Kaylin... and slapped him across the face... not nearly as hard as he could have... but hard enough to rattle Kaylin from his panicked state. Duo leaned over and placed both hands on Kaylin's shoulders, forcing Kaylin to sit straight and look into Duo's eyes. "Kaylin! Get a friggin' grip man! We are not going to hurt you - get it?! Treize lied to you about us so you would keep his secret safe. Do you understand? We are not going to hurt you... period."

Kaylin seemed to slowly come back to reality. Duo's voice... his friend's voice... it slowly cleared the haze of confusion and fear. "You... You're not going to kill me?" Kaylin sounded more surprised than relieved.

Wufei stood next to Kaylin. "What in Heaven's name did that bastard tell you about us?"

OK... that snapped Kaylin completely out of it. "Treize is not a bastard!"

Quatre took a deep breath and let his cheeks puff as he let it out, scratching his forehead as he considered how to proceed. "I'm curious too... what did Treize tell you about us?"

Kaylin shrugged. He was still trying to regain his composure. "He said you were all a bunch of heartless, cold blooded... murderers. He said that if you found out who I was, that you would kill me just because I was associated with him... or because my parents work for him. He said you have no conscience when it comes to killing someone. He said the only exception to that... was Wufei."

Wufei looked down at the boy with his mouth hanging open.

"He said Wufei was kind, and generous with his... affection... that I could trust Wufei... with my life."

Wufei looked at the other four boys with his jaw still hanging loose, just shaking his head. He had no idea where this was coming from.

Duo had taken up a position next to Quatre. "Kaylin Reinmann, do you think for one moment that I would harm a hair on that pretty little head of yours?" Duo drawled in his best southern belle. "Come on, man! It's me... Duo! Treize lied to you about the rest of us... well... for the most part. Yeah, we kill... but that's our job... we're soldiers... just like your father was!"

Kaylin's head flew up. "My father?! You know about my parents too?"

"We know everything," Heero said matter-of-factly.

Kaylin closed his eyes. "Please don't tell anyone."

"Actually, that's why we wanted to talk to you, Kaylin," Quatre explained. "We need to come to some sort of agreement about protecting one anothers' identities. So long as you do not tell a living soul about us..." Quatre looked at Heero, "... we can make certain that no one can ever find out your true identity again... that includes your sister, as well"

Heero nodded.

Kaylin's eyes flew open. "R... really? You can do that?"

Wufei smiled. "I think you'll find we're just full of surprises. Did... Treize... really say those things about me?"

Kaylin nodded.

"What did you mean by... 'I think I'm going to enjoy this assignment'?"

Kaylin sighed. "Treize sort of... assigned me to watch you... to get... involved with you if I could. He just wanted to make sure that you were happy... and that you were with someone he trusted. He knew you were attending this school, so he contacted me. My family has known Treize since I was a baby... since he was just a boy. I'm sure you understand from my record that I feel somewhat... indebted to him. So I agreed to meet you. I had no idea Duo was one of the 'Gundam five'... it was just a coincidence that I met you the way I did."

"So I am a payoff for a debt now?!" Wufei asked incredulously.

Kaylin nodded. "Originally... yes. But I... when I saw you in the cafeteria... I... I was... floored."

Wufei was floored.

"I... just couldn't take my eyes off of you. I actually forgot about the assignment right then and there. It became... personal."

"You two aren't... like... gonna start kissing or anything are you?" Duo's voice reminded the two boys that they were not alone in the room.

"Kaylin... I will... assume... that we have an agreement then." Quatre needed to know for certain. "If Wufei wishes to see you, then our secrecy must be maintained... that means no messages to Treize regarding our presence. Otherwise, we will have to leave this place. Do you agree?"

Kaylin nodded. "I do."

"I now pronounce you husband and Wufei." Duo just couldn't pass up an opportunity like that.

Duo had once again reduced a tense situation into a fit of laughter from everyone involved.