8-10-2000

And Never the Twain Shall Meet
Part XIII

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Wufei watched as Kaylin made his way across the cafeteria toward his table. Heavens, he is a beautiful young man - but I can not let that distract me right now. He looked up to where Kaylin now stood across the table from him. Well, perhaps I could allow a minor distraction. "Good evening, Kaylin." Wufei nodded toward Kaylin's chair.

Kaylin took his seat and fidgeted a moment before speaking. "Wufei, let's not beat around the bush. I'm very sorry you found out about my connection with Treize the way that you did. I almost told you about it when you were telling me that you may vanish at any time... I wanted to tell you that I already knew."

Wufei gave Kaylin a rueful smile. "To the point, eh? I admire that." Wufei became serious. "Kaylin, we all have our little secrets. I do not fault you for having yours. Needless to say I have... or should I say... had... a few of my own."

Kaylin took a deep breath and let it out explosively, rubbing his face in his hands. "Wufei... I don't know what to say. If it hadn't been for my carelessness, the others never would have found out about you and Treize. I am truly sorry." Kaylin sat with his head lowered in regret.

"Actually you did me a favor."

Kaylin's head flew up, surprised by the words.

"It was eating me up inside. Hiding the truth from my friends... sleeping with the enemy... sneaking around like some... some... lust crazed school girl - it has a way of eroding away one's self respect. As awkward as the situation may have been, I am actually grateful that it's out in the open at long last."

Kaylin smiled for the first time since he had taken his seat. "So... you don't consider me the enemy?"

Wufei raised an eyebrow as he picked up a fork and began poking at his food. "You are an innocent. Your connection with Treize is inconsequential. You are not a spy or an assassin..." Wufei stopped for a moment and looked up through a brow creased with mock concern. "You are not a spy or assassin... are you?"

Kaylin laughed as he prodded a vegetable on his own plate. "Hardly. I could never hurt anyone and Treize knew that. It was one of the reasons he released me from my duty to OZ."

"But surely their are other such individuals who were inducted into service. How fortunate that you should know Treize personally." Wufei's tone was mildly accusative.

"There were others, and Treize released them as well." Kaylin paused, considering his next words. "Make no mistake, Wufei, there are plenty of young men and women who buy into this whole war thing... OZ certainly does not want for volunteers... but if Treize becomes aware of a recruit or draftee that just doesn't have war in their heart... someone who would sooner be killed than kill someone... he considers it pointless to put them into a situation where their deaths would be meaningless. Treize is not the heartless bastard that the opposition makes him out as. You should know that as well as I."

"Then why continue with this damnable war?!" Wufei raised his voice a bit more than he had intended.

Kaylin responded in a cold, even, whispered voice. "To scare people so badly... that they will never want to see an atrocity like this again."

A shiver ran down Wufei's spine at Kaylin's tone... and another shiver at the implication of Kaylin's words. "He... he wants peace?"

Kaylin nodded. "Long term peace. He feels he can accomplish it through one final, horrible war."

Wufei leaned forward, shock clear on his face. "That's... that's just... crazy, Kaylin!"

"Is it? Unrest was already building before this war ever started. Had anyone else initiated it, it would have been a war for power and territory. The individuals pulling the strings would have been serving their own self interest. Treize sees no self gain in his actions. In his eyes... this is a war for peace."

Wufei sat stunned for a moment, trying to sort everything out. "Do you believe in his cause, Kaylin?"

Kaylin thought about the question for a moment. "Yes, but only because the war was unavoidable to begin with. Wufei, you have to understand, he didn't just wake up one day and say 'let's just have a war for the hell of it.' He recognized the signs of unavoidable conflict and stepped in in time to insure those seeking to gain from it would never come to power. The war would have happened anyway; he is simply providing... the illusion that his 'side' will gain from this. In the end, all he seeks is ultimate peace... regardless of who 'wins'." Kaylin looked quizzically at Wufei. "I'm a bit surprised he never told you any of this."

Wufei nodded his head dazedly. "I am as well... but it explains more than you realize."

"Oh? Such as..."

"Such as... why he does not make a whole hearted effort to come after the five Gundam pilots. Such as... why he took such an interest in me. He used me, Kaylin. He allows us to live so we might continue to play in his bloody game of war."

"You may be right about the last part, Wufei... but I can tell you one thing for certain... Treize loves you."

Wufei's mouth fell open in shock once again. "Don't be foolish! I was nothing but a convenient toy to him!"

Kaylin was already shaking his head to the contrary. "Believe me, Wufei, you were not a toy... and you were anything but convenient. Exactly what reason did he give you for ending your relationship?"

Wufei wanted to tell him it was none of his business, but he was speaking before he could stop himself. "Because it would look bad if it became publicly known that he was... attached to an enemy... especially a male enemy... of course."

Kaylin chuckled. "Do you really believe he gives a shit what other people think?" Kaylin pushed his all but forgotten meal aside and folded his hands in front of him, resting his arms on the table. "Wufei, the reason he ended your relationship was to keep you out of harm's way. His life has been threatened several times within the last few weeks... from within the ranks. They were very nearly successful in killing him just a few days ago. Someone has discovered the end he seeks with this war... someone who doesn't necessarily agree with his ideals. They will undoubtedly make another attempt before the peace talks begin tomorrow."

Wufei came out of his seat. "That would mean no peace talks! The war would just escalate!"

Kaylin nodded. "Whoever did it is also trying to make it look like an attempt... by the opposition."

The meaning of those words sank in as Kaylin's gaze bore into him. "Opposition... you mean us!?"

Kaylin nodded again as Wufei turned on his heal and headed for the door. Kaylin almost thought better of following him. "Wufei, what do you intend to do?"

Wufei turned on him. "I intend to stop this madness! Why did you not tell me of this sooner!?"

Kaylin folded his arms over his broad chest. "Would you have believed me?"

Wufei turned and started walking again. "Point taken."

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Duo moved slowly, luxuriously within the confines of Heero's heat. Heero had all but begged Duo to show him what it was like... what it felt like... to be claimed like this... to be made love to like this.

Now Heero knew. Nothing in the Universe could hold a candle to what he was feeling right now. His whole being buzzed as Duo slowly moved inside of him. "Duo... what are you doing to me?" Heero's words trailed off into nonsense as he pulled his knee closer to chest.

Duo smiled as he pressed himself against Heero's back and planted his mouth on the back of Heero's neck. He was rewarded with a gasp of pleasure as he ran his nails up and down the back of the leg Heero had pulled up. Heero shuddered violently against him as his mouth found its way to a point just behind Heero's ear. "I love you." Duo flicked out his tongue and captured the sensitive flesh between his lips as he reached around and grasped Heero's shaft with his still slick hand.

Heero was gulping air now as Duo moved more insistently behind him. He could feel Duo's breath quickening against his cheek as Duo pushed him closer to release with each thrust. Between that and Duo's mouth and hand, Heero lost track of everything. He could no longer tell where his own body ended and Duo's started. Behind his closed eyelids he could see flashes of light, flashes that burned brighter with every passing moment. He was saying something, but he had no idea what it might be.

Duo closed his eyes and listened as Heero spoke his name over and over. The passion with which that single word was spoken... his name... it pulled him in... and he lost control. The sensation snuck up on him slowly. He could have sworn it started in the soles of his feet and moved upward... or maybe it started at the top of his head and moved downward. One thing he did know for certain, when the two met in the middle, he would go to pieces... and so it was. "Heero! Ohhhhholysweetfrigginmotherofgodiloveyou!"

Heero was well into his own nonsensical mutterings as he covered Duo's hand and the bed sheets with his essence. So intense was his release, that felt as though his belly might very well implode. Every time Duo would push into him, another stream of thick fluid was forced from his shaft. He thought it would never end... and that was just fine with him.

Duo's movements slowed and eventually stopped.

Heero reached down and pulled Duo's semen soaked hand from his shaft and intertwined their fingers, pulling their coupled hands to his chest. He really couldn't care less about the mess right now... all he cared about was Duo.

"Heero..." Duo croaked, "... that was... mmmmm." Duo began pulling himself from the confines of Heero's body.

Heero hastily untangled their fingers and reached back, pulling Duo into him again. "Yes... it was. Stay... for... a while."

Duo placed his lips against Heero's ear. "I could stay like this forever." Duo's lips curled into a smile. "I take it you enjoyed it?" He could feel Heero nod his head.

A sudden pounding on the door caused Duo to almost jump out of his skin... and he certainly jumped out of Heero's.

Heero gasped. "Shit!"

"Heero! Are you ok?!" Duo was truly concerned he may have injured Heero.

"Ok? yes. Surprised? More so."

Duo glared at the door through the darkness. "Quatre! What the hell do you want?!"

"I don't think that's Quatre, Duo."

Wufei scowled at the other side of the door before giving Kaylin a curious look. "Maxwell? I don't know what Quatre may want; however, I must speak with all of you. It is quite urgent."

"Can't it wait, Wufei!?" Duo's voice was muffled... but angry.

Wufei suddenly realized he may have interrupted something... important. "Duo... I am sorry... no, it can not wait. Please make yourselves ready. I will be in Quatre's room."

Heero listened as two sets of feet moved away from their door.

"Kaylin is with him." Heero observed.

"What the hell is wrong now?!" Duo asked in an exasperated tone.

Heero's bare feet padded across the floor and he flipped on the light, looking pointedly at Duo. "I can see through doors, Duo... I can not read minds."

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Thirty minutes and four showers later, the six boys stood in Quatre and Trowa's room... 'discussing' what Wufei had just told them.

"Are you out of your fucking mind, Wu?!"

"Settle down, Duo," Trowa's voice soothed. "Wufei is right. If Treize dies, the peace talks will not take place... and we will be plunged into war again."

Quatre nodded. "And it will be much worse than it is now." Quatre thought for a moment. "Wufei, can you get us in there... tonight?"

Wufei sighed. "It will be awkward... and extremely risky. Security is undoubtedly quite thick."

"Why don't we just walk in?"

Everyone turned and looked at Heero as though he had suddenly sprouted another head.

Heero just nodded toward Kaylin.

All eyes went to Kaylin before Duo started shaking his head. "No way, man! It's too dangerous!"

Quatre considered Kaylin for a moment. "Duo's right. We can't risk your life."

"I'm going."

"What?! Kaylin, you can't!" Duo was adamant.

"Duo, shut up!" Kaylin shouted.

A small smirk curled the corners of Heero's mouth as he considered the laces in his sneakers. I didn't say it.

"Now look, all of you... I know Treize better than anyone there... or anyone here. It's your only hope of getting anywhere near that complex tonight. I might not have the heart or the guts to give myself to this war, but I would not hesitate to give my life if it brings us a step closer to peace..."

Wufei was impressed. I may yet end up putting this man on a pedestal.

Kaylin nervously bounced on his toes for a moment. "... besides, I... have to be there tomorrow anyway... I'm failing my history class and I was going for the extra credit."

Duo turned and covered the smile on his face.

Kaylin shook his head. "... but that doesn't matter! I would go anyway!" The conviction was clear - the decision... final.

Quatre raised an eyebrow. "Very well, Kaylin, if you insist. But let me warn you... you can not even conceive of the danger you are putting yourself in."

Kaylin swallowed hard and looked straight ahead, hands clasped behind his back. "I understand."

"Well that leaves us with one final little problem..."

Everyone looked at Duo as he turned to face them.

"... How the hell are we all gonna get there?"

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Kaylin whooped as he flew through the air in Deathscythe's gentle metallic grip. Duo turned on the external communication system so he could talk to Kaylin. "Enjoy the scenery while you can, buddy! I'm going to have to cover you up here in a minute. Wouldn't want the wind to tear your head off!"

"Duo! This is awesome! Hahaaaaa!"

Duo smiled at Kaylin's image on the monitor as he cut the external com and added quietly to himself, "Thanks for being here, Kaylin." He flipped a couple more switches that allowed him to communicate with the other pilots. "Everybody ready?" Duo drawled as he maneuvered the palm of Death Scythe's other hand over the hand that formed the cup in which Kaylin sat, essentially encasing him in metal. "Kick 'at mule!" And the five Gundams headed for a mission of peace in enemy territory.

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Kaylin stood next to Duo and looked with respect up at the five machines that stood before him. "Thank God that's over with."

Duo gave him a humorously confuddled look. "I thought you were having fun."

"It would have been fun if I didn't have to sit cramped up in a metallic egg for the last three hours." Kaylin held out his arms and waddled toward Duo. "Mama."

Duo dodged and snickered. "I think..."

"Mama..."

Duo evaded him again and doubled over in laughter as Kaylin tried to mimic a duck's bill using his lips.

The rustle of leaves drew their attention to where the other four pilots stood smiling, watching their antics.

Quatre eyed Kaylin suspiciously. "A little big for a hatchling, aren't you, Kaylin?"

Duo moved quickly past Kaylin and called over his shoulder as his step quickened. "Geez, Kaylin... you act like you were just laid or sumthin'."

The other four pilots reacted in various predictable ways... bugged eyes, hand-covered mouths, snickers here and there.

Duo just ran in the direction of the complex where Treize would be... Kaylin hot on his heels... the other four following in like manner.

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As undergrowth gave way to concrete, the six boys stopped and stared. The place was swarming with military personnel and security.

Kaylin rubbed his palms nervously on his pants. "Well it's now or never." Before anyone could stop him he was approaching one of the guards.

Seven long barrel sniper rifles quickly found their targets with the five pilots standing at the edge of the woods.

"Shit!" Duo muttered. "He's gonna get us killed! I knew this was a bad idea!" Duo raised his hands in the air and smiled at the seven guardsmen.

The five watched in silence as the discussion between Kaylin and the guard became somewhat heated. Kaylin leaned into the guard's ear and whispered something which gave the uniformed man pause. He glared daggers at Kaylin, but motioned for Kaylin to follow him toward the phone near the front gate. The guard spoke briefly into to the phone and nodded several times before handing the phone to Kaylin. Kaylin smiled as he spoke to the person on the other end of the line.

"We're in," Heero said simply as he watched Kaylin work his magic.

"Gundam pilots?!" The guard standing next to Kaylin had shouted the words with no small degree of indignation as he looked back at the five standing in wait.

"We're out," Duo said simply.

Heero frowned.

--"Kaylin, let me speak with the Master Guardsman for a moment."

--"Yes, of course, Uncle Treize." Kaylin smiled sweetly as he handed the phone back to the red faced man. "He would like to have a word with you, sir."

The man began nodding and bowing apologetically into the phone as Treize gave him specific instructions. His gestures of deference abruptly halted and he slammed the phone down. He walked past the seven sharp shooters and gave a signal, causing all seven guns to go vertical simultaneously. He approached the five boys and clasped his hands behind his back. "You will follow me." He turned on his heel and led them into the compound.

"We're in," Heero said finally.

"Well duhhh!" Duo just refused to let him have the last word.

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"Kaylin! So good to see you again..." the sincerity in Treize's voice was obvious. "... although, I'm afraid you're timing couldn't possibly be worse."

Kaylin quirked the corner of his mouth in a half smile. "Actually, Treize, my timing is perfect." He took the hand Treize offered him and Treize abruptly pulled him into a brotherly embrace.

Treize spoke softly, so only Kaylin could hear. "I sincerely hope you are aware of the severity of the situation. You've put yourself and your friends at great risk."

Kaylin gently pushed himself away. "There is no need to whisper, Treize. We all know why we are here."

"Indeed? Then please enlighten me."

"To pull your nuts out of the fire," Wufei intoned.

Treize smiled at the Chinese boy. "I believe the word you are looking for is 'chestnuts'... and you would be?" Treize extended his hand to Wufei.

Wufei folded his arms over his chest. "The charade is unnecessary, Treize... they know about us."

Treize looked around the room as the other four pilots looked uncomfortably elsewhere. "I see. Well, then... it seems I haven't a secret left in the world." Treize sounded almost hysterical.

Wufei became agitated. "Stop it! Would you just... stop it! Damn you! Drop the melodrama Treize! We are here to keep you alive. If you don't cease this silliness we won't be able to do so."

"I see. And you would be the white knight that gallops to my rescue?"

Wufei's fists clenched at his sides and he shook furiously. "Oooooo! You... you... self centered... windbag!"

Treize looked genuinely amused. "Windbag?!"

"We are not here to save you! We are here to save the peace talks!"

The edge on those words cut into him like a saber. Treize sat heavily on the pristine white couch and suddenly he looked very tired... and very human. "Dragon, I..."

"Please, do not call me that." There was no anger in Wufei's voice now.

Treize nodded. "Wufei... I find I am suddenly a very lost man. My allies have become my enemies... " he looked up at the six men standing in his quarters, "... and my enemies, my allies. I do not know who to trust and I'm at a loss as to how to proceed."

"Looks like you'll just hafta trust us then." Duo smiled a beguiling smile. Around that smile, Duo's features slowly melted into an expression of pure malice. He continued in a frighteningly calm voice. "Believe me, Treize, a month ago I would have given anything to see you hanged by your neck. You've taken more from me that you know - my childhood, the people I cared about... up 'til this weekend I didn't even have a reason for living. But there was one thing you couldn't take from me, Treize... faith."

A large inexplicable lump suddenly formed in Heero's throat.

Duo moved forward and stood over Treize, his voice softer still. "I'm putting more faith in you than I should. Faith to do tomorrow whatever needs to be done to end this war. But I do not trust you, Treize... not as far as I could throw you." Duo leaned forward so his nose almost touched the OZ general's, his voice now barely above a whisper. "I want the life I never had. Do you hear me, Treize? I have too much to live for now... and you are my only hope. But I swear to you, if you do anything to fuck this up... I - will - kill - you - my - self."

Treize shrank from the terrifying young man. "I will do whatever I can."

All sensibility left Duo. A crazed, desperate look overtook his features and he exploded. "NO! YOU WILL DO WHATEVER IT TAKES!!!"

"Duo! Enough!" Quatre's voice stopped him from throttling the man right then and there. The look on Treize's face made it clear that the older man took him with deadly seriousness. Duo was satisfied that he had made his point... for the moment. He turned on his heel and stepped back to Heero's side, standing with his back to Treize until his demeanor returned to something a bit more... normal... for Duo. He faced the General with his usual smile only half in place. "You just do your thing tomorrow... and we'll do ours."

"What is the format for tomorrows proceedings?"

Treize looked up, still a bit dazed by the harsh words, uncertain of who even asked the question. "Public discussion."

"A debate?!" Trowa was certain he had misunderstood.

"Well if that just don't put a fly in the oatmeal."

"Ointment," Heero corrected.

Duo shrugged. "Whatever. Who's bright idea was that?"

"Relena Peacecraft's," Treize informed.

Heero and Duo both groaned.

Quatre was just staring at the artwork on the wall over Treize's head. "This just got really complicated."

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"Quatre, I don't think it's wise that Duo and I stand watch together."

"Heero?! Why not?!" Duo asked in a surprised and hurt tone.

"You... distract me, Duo."

Duo couldn't help but notice how Heero's mouth was turned up slightly at the corners. "Aaaahhhhh... now I get it. I'll keep my mouth shut, I promise," he offered hopefully.

Quatre shook his head and grinned. "I think it's more than your talkativeness, Duo. You and Trowa will stand first watch."

Duo looked from Heero to Quatre, then back at Heero with surprise. "You mean... distract-distract... as in..."

Heero just smiled and walked away.

Quatre quietly finished Duo's sentence. "... as in, he is smitten with you, Duo. What did you do to him anyway?"

Duo noted for the first time how plush the carpeting in this room was as he looked down and turned a shade of red.

Quatre's smile broadened. "That's what I thought."

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The silence as Trowa and Duo waited for something to happen lasted for all of about three minutes.

"How can you stand it, Trowa?"

"Stand what?"

"Being away from him."

Trowa shrugged. "You get used to after a while."

That seemed to upset Duo a bit. "How could you get used to being apart?"

"Well... maybe that's not what I meant. You just slowly start to realize you can't be everywhere at once. We all have responsibilities that simply don't involve our partners... as do they. It's just... impossible to be together all the time." Trowa smiled. "I was the same way when Quatre and I first got together... couldn't function unless he was there beside me. Reality eventually forces you to adjust... so... you get used to it after a while." Trowa shrugged again. "I guess that is what I meant to say."

Duo was quiet for well over a minute. "Trowa, about that dinner you and Quatre set up..."

"It was Heero's idea to surprise you."

"I know. I just wanted to thank you. The food was excellent. The whole production put Heero in the right frame of mind to tell me how he really felt about me."

Trowa was intrigued. "What did he tell you... if you don't mind my asking?"

Duo smiled the happiest, most genuine smile Trowa had ever seen. "He said it, Trowa."

Trowa's face registered the sincerest, most genuine surprise Duo had ever seen. His eyes and mouth rounded in astonishment as his hand clamped Duo's forearm. "He said he loves you?!"

Duo nodded. "Yep."

Trowa looked as though he had just found out the two had eloped. "Duo that's... that's... incredible!"

"I know..." Duo rested his head against the wall and closed his eyes, "... God, I love him so much, Trowa... it hurts."

"That part... you'll never get used to."

Duo cracked his eyes open. "Who in their right mind would ever want to. I loooove this feeling." Duo singsonged then giggled.

The door behind them suddenly flew open. "Would you ladies kindly keep it down out here."

Both boys had turned and Duo had his mouth open to offer a spicy retort. He was stopped cold by the sight of Treize standing there wearing the clothing in which he was born.

Duo continued to stare as Trowa turned his back. "General Khushrenada, please put on some clothing suitable for sleeping."

"These are the clothes in which I sleep."

Duo continued to stare.

"I understand, but I do not wish to escort you across the compound in that particular attire should we happen to need to make haste from this place." Trowa turned to face him again. "Now, please, go put on some night clothes."

Treize thought for a moment.

Duo continued to stare.

"Very well then, but please keep your voices down. I have a long day ahead of me." Treize closed the door.

Duo continued to stare. "I had no idea."

"That was... nice." Trowa said simply.

"Trowa?!"

"Duo, you said yourself that it's ok to look... just don't touch."

"You're right. I guess that was kinda nice." Duo giggled again. "He was hung like a..."

"Shhhh." Trowa shushed him.

"Okokok... I gotta get that image out of my head though." Duo squeezed his eyes shut. "HeeroHeeroHeero." He leaned back against the wall and sighed with relief. "Much better."

Trowa remained silent for several long moments. "Quatre is bigger."

Duo had to leave the room.

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"I was under the impression I would be standing watch with Quatre."

"Why, Heero, is my company not good enough for you?" Wufei asked with mock indignation. "Quatre and Kaylin are seeing to security measures at the conference site."

"Kaylin?!"

"Gopher."

"Ahhh." Heero was silent for a time. "Wufei, do you trust Treize?"

"It's strange how one's perceptions can change without an actual change in circumstance. Last morning I would have answered your question with a firm 'no'. However, if what Kaylin has said is true; and I have no reason to doubt him; I would now have to answer that question with 'yes'... to a large degree." Wufei became pensive. "Do you trust me, Heero?"

"If you had asked me that question twelve hours ago..."

Wufei nodded his understanding.

"Now... now the whole issue seems so distant. I have only two things on my mind - insuring these peace talks take place... and... and..."

"... and Duo." Wufei finished for him.

Heero nodded. "Yes... and Duo."

"Do you wish to talk about it?"

"Which, the talks or Duo?"

"Either... or both."

Heero sighed. "I'm a bit confused. Three days ago I thought I could not live without fighting this war... now I just want it to end... all because of Duo." That seemed to Heero like it should be sufficient explanation.

"Duo has a way of forcing one to realize what is important. His motives may be selfish, but in the end he always seems to do the right thing. Causing you to realize how foolish this whole war is... causing you to recognize your own self worth... those things are important, Heero. You will do very well in life without this war so long as you keep him by your side."

"I have every intention of doing so." Heero took several deep breaths. "I... I told him."

"Told him?"

"What you told me to tell him."

Wufei smiled. "Good for you, Heero... very good for you, indeed. What was his reaction?"

Heero snorted. "He started crying like a baby."

"Tears of joy, I'm sure."

Heero nodded.

"I apologize if I interrupted anything this evening."

Heero chuckled. "You have no idea. It's ok though. On our way here I just kept telling myself that there would be time... later."

For the first time since he had known Heero, Wufei could see fear and sadness clearly on his friends face.

"There will be time... right, Wufei?"