8-10-2000

And Never the Twain Shall Meet
Part IX

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Heero and Duo looked at Wufei as though he had just pulled a rabbit out of his ass as he moved past them, leading the group back to the stairs. A thousand thoughts ran through both boys' minds, but both ended up wondering the same thing. How the hell could Wufei have predicted their circumstance? No... not just their's... but Trowa and Quatre's as well.

As they walked down the stairs, Wufei listened... not to the discussion going on between Trowa and Quatre as they followed behind him... but to utter silence coming from Duo Maxwell. Duo and Heero are acting strangely. Although I am certain he has done so before, I have never actually seen Heero smile... and Duo... so quiet... Wufei glanced over his shoulder as they entered the lobby area. Duo gave him a crooked and uneasy smile.

Heero watched Wufei suspiciously as they made their way through to food line. "How could he know when we didn't even know until a couple of days ago?" Maybe he's psychic.

Duo shrugged as he placed an apple on his tray. "Maybe he psychic or sumthin'."

Heero now gave Duo a very uncomfortable look. "... or maybe you are. I was just thinking the same thing."

Duo chuckled softly. "That's a good sign, Heero... means we've connected."

Heero glanced in Wufei's direction again and gave Duo a small smile. "I know... but you keep doing it."

The five found a table away from the rest of the lunch crowd and took their seats.

Wufei watched in amazement as he, Trowa, and Quatre took a seat on one side of the long table. Duo usually forced himself on Heero by sitting next to the disgruntled pilot no matter where Heero sat. Today, Duo took his seat first, sitting across from Wufei... and Heero sat right next to him. Now that is highly unlikely. Something happened while I was away, I am certain of it now. Wufei opened his mouth to say something...

"Hi guys!" A cheery baritone voice could be heard, but Wufei paid it no mind... until...

"Hi Kaylin!" Quatre was the first to respond.

"Sorry we're late, man!" Duo apoligized.

"No problem, Duo. Just got here myself."

Wufei was stuck... that is to say, he couldn't move... he couldn't think... his next breath was caught somewhere in the middle of his chest as he looked at the towering figure that stood smiling at them from one end of the long table. Clad in sneakers, well-worn loose-fitting blue jeans, a flannel shirt open to the third button, and a smile that rivaled even Duo's, Kaylin exuded strength, sincerity, and sensuality. Wufei was in awe. Positively stunning...

Duo motioned for Kaylin to take the seat next to Heero, across from Quatre.

Wufei couldn't tear his eyes away as he watched the large figure move with astounding grace to sit in the empty space to Heero's left. As Kaylin took his seat, Wufei finally realized that he was staring... and Kaylin was staring right back.

As Duo and Heero watched Wufei... Trowa and Quatre watched Kaylin.

Duo cleared his throat. "Kaylin, this is Chang Wufei... Wufei, Kaylin Reinmann"

Kaylin bowed his head politely and uttered his pleasure at meeting Wufei... in fluent Chinese.

Everyone turned wide surprised eyes on Kaylin... too bad for Duo and Heero since they missed Wufei's chin hitting the floor.

Wufei quickly regained his composure and continued in his native tounge. <The pleasure is mine, equally. You speak Chinese well.>

<It is a beautiful language, artistic in both tounge and hand.>

The other four pilots looked liked they were watching a tennis match as their heads swiveled from one set of words to the other.

<I am honored that you would make the effort to learn the language.>

<I am equally honored that someone would make the effort to teach me.>

Wufei smiled and bowed his head.

"Kaylin! You speak Chinese?! You never told me that!" Duo exclaimed.

"You never asked." Kaylin grinned and looked at Wufei out of the corner of his eye. "I'm just full of surprises, Duo."

Trowa caught the look and glanced at Wufei who was busilly picking the onions off of his sandwich, still smiling. Trowa looked back at Kaylin once again, a knowing gleam in his eye. "I'll say."

Heero was already a quarter of the way into his meal when Kaylin leaned into him a bit. "So, how did things go last night?"

Duo made frantic shushing gestures with his hand.

"None of your damn business." Heero answered flatly.

"Heero!" Duo whispered in an admonishing tone.

Heero stopped chewing and looked at Duo out of the corner of his eye. He nodded his head and swallowed his food. "Sorry, Kaylin. Let's just say... I took your advice."

Kaylin smiled at a beaming Duo. "Good."

"What advice might that be?" Wufei asked as he dipped a fry into a small cup of ketsup.

"None of your damn business." Heero answered flatly.

Trowa snorted and shook his head. He still doesn't get it... Wufei is part of this fucked up family too.

Wufei raised an eyebrow and gave Heero a look that Heero had never seen before. "Heero... I need to talk to you after lunch, please... in private."

Quatre looked out the window as he chewed his food, refusing to get involved. My, what pretty flowers.

Heero knew without ever having seen that look before that Wufei meant business... no arguments. He was quickly losing his appetite.

"So... Kaylin... what are you doing for the rest of the day?" Duo asked uncomfortably.

"I'm going to study and probably go work out a little later."

"Mm! Wanna borrow my physics notes?"

Kaylin nodded. "Sure."

The remainder of lunch was spent in amiable small talk. Heero said nothing, he was content listening to the sound of Duo's voice.

Wufei listened to and watched Kaylin... and watched Kaylin some more. This man is absolutly beautiful... graceful... Treize is those things as well - but this man is selfless... unconceited... respectful... hmmmm... available? I wonder.

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

Duo watched his lover's receding back as Heero followed Wufei to his room. "Wonder what that's all about."

"Does Wufei know about the two of you?" Kaylin asked as Duo let them into his room to get his notes.

"No... well... yes..." Duo huffed. "Well, Trowa said that Wufei had us figured a long time ago... I just don't see how that's possible when we didn't even know until yesterday."

Kaylin sat on the edge of Duo's bed and shrugged. "Maybe it's like newspaper print Duo, if you're too close to it, you can't make any sense of the little dots."

"Huh?"

"What I'm saying is that maybe he saw it because he was an outside observer... he was far enough removed from the situation that he could see..." Kaylin made a quoting gesture with his fingers "... the 'whole picture' instead of just the little dots."

Duo stopped digging through the mess on his desk for a moment. "Ahhh, I get it now. Still, I wonder what they're talking about." Duo started digging again.

"So, Duo, I hate to ask this... I mean... I normally wouldn't ask a question like this... but... I'm curious since it was your first time... umm..."

Duo whirled around with the biggest grin on his face. "You wanna know how it was, don'cha."

Kaylin coughed. "Well, without getting into all the gory details... I guess I'd just like to know... if you enjoyed it."

Duo had to sit down at his desk. He got light headed just thinking about last night. "Mmmmm, Kaylin... I don't even have words to describe last night to you." Duo propped his elbow on the desk and rested his forehead in his hand. "The way he made me feel last night... God I just... I can't even put words to it. I expected it to feel good... but it went waaayyyy beyond physical pleasure. I think... no... I know we touched in a way much deeper than that." Duo let out a heavy sigh and propped his chin in his palm, looking at Kaylin through misty, smiling eyes. "I am so totally gone on him... can 'ya tell?"

Kaylin sat with his mouth hanging open. "Wow... I'll take that as a yes."

Duo giggled and narrowed his eyes accusatively at Kaylin. "So... you like Wufei, no?"

The change of subject caught Kaylin completely off guard.

"I saw the way you two looked at each other." Duo shook a finger at Kaylin playfully.

Kaylin blushed crimson. That's the second time in less that a day that I've gotten caught checking out one of his friends. "Duo, I... ahh..."

"Oh, don't be so modest, man! Wufei all but drooled on his lunch, and boy was he getting an eyefull of you."

Kaylin blinked. "Really? I hadn't noticed."

"Oh, he's a sneaky one..." Duo thought about Wufei pegging him and Heero for a couple "... and very observant... apparently. Anyway, I've never seen him look at anyone the way he looked at you today. And that Chinese bit..." Duo laughed, "... oh... you definitly got his attention with that!"

"So... is he... available?"

Duo shrugged. "I assume so. I can't even say for certain that he likes guys... but the way he checked you out today..." Duo trailed off and shrugged again.

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

As soon as the door closed behind them, Heero began a cold sweat. He did not want to go through the conversation he knew he and Wufei were about to have. He needed to distract Wufei somehow. "What is the condition of the Gundams?"

"Everything is in order, Heero. Please, have a seat."

"Maybe I should go check on them, just to be certain."

Wufei took the chair from his desk, the only chair in the room, and pushed it toward Heero. "Heero... sit."

Their eyes met long enough for Heero to determine that Wufei was not going to be distracted. Heero sat.

Wufei took a seat on the end of his bed. His posture, uncharacteristically open and friendly.

Heero was immediately on pins and needles.

"So... Heero... how was your weekend?"

"Nn..." As if you didn't know already!

"I'll take that as meaning 'not too bad'..." Wufei smiled knowingly at him. "Ok, Heero... as Duo might say.. 'let's cut the crap', shall we?"

Heero's jaw fell open.

"I already have a good idea of what transpired in my absence. I just have one question for you... do you care about him?"

Heero was livid. "I'll only say this once more... it's none of your damn business!"

Wufei's hands flashed out and grabbed Heero by the shirt collar. Before Heero knew it, he was standing nose to nose with Wufei who was grinding the rest of his words through his clenched teeth. "And I will say this only once, Yuy. You are a demented, dark, twisted, maniacal, self-destructive bastard! Believe it or not, I do care about him, and if you harm him in any way... I - will - kill - you!" Wufei pushed Heero roughly back into his seat.

Heero started laughing. Not a demented, dark, twisted, maniacal, self-destructive laugh... but a genuine laugh.

Wufei stood looking at Heero like he had just materialized out of thin air. "Are you mad?!"

Heero shook his head and composed himself, still smiling.

Wufei was speechless.

"You missed a great deal this weekend, Wufei," Heero stated, raising both eyebrows.

Wufei slowly nodded as he reclaimed his seat on the corner of his bed. He was in awe of the smile that lit Heero's face. "What happened to you, Heero?" He asked the question as though he thought there might be something really wrong with the Japanese pilot.

Heero slowly eased his smile into a small grin. "Let's just say... I came to terms with a great many issues this weekend. One of those issues being Duo."

Wufei nodded again. "Go on..."

Heero looked down at his own hands and fidgeted with his fingers. Although he had admitted it to himself, it was still dificult to admit it to others. "I care about him, Wufei..." Heero looked into Wufei's dark eyes. "I care about him a great deal."

Wufei's eyes and mouth rounded in asonishment as he placed his hand over his own heart. "Heero! Are you certain you are well?! This... this is not like you at all!!"

"Wufei, shut up!"

Wufei froze for a few seconds before he started grinning. "Now that's more like you, but surely you can understand why I would be concerned. The smiles, the laughter, you care about Duo!? It's all a bit hard to swallow right now."

"That can be said of both of us." Heero looked pensive - almost wistful. "I still can't believe it myself. I feel like I've been stuck in a really bad dream for so long... and now... Duo."

Heero had whispered the name so softly that Wufei almost didn't hear it. It was at that point, the way Heero spoke his name, that Wufei realized it went much deeper than just caring about Duo... much deeper. "Does he know how you feel, Heero?" Wufei asked gently.

Heero nodded. "I think so."

"You haven't told him?"

Heero started playing with his fingers again. "N...Not exactly."

"Heero..." Wufei said softly, "... you must tell him."

"..."

"Do you love him?"

There was a very long silence. "Yes." Heero's voice was small and shakey.

If Wufei didn't know better, he would have thought Heero was about to start crying. He doubled over so he could look Heero in the eyes. "Tell him, Heero."

"I... I can't."

Wufei sat upright again. "Why not?"

"Because this war isn't over yet. If I get killed... I just don't want him to have to go through that."

"Heero, look at me."

Heero did as he was told.

"If you die, what do you think he will feel never having heard those words from you?"

Heero hadn't thought of that. He buried his face in his hands... this was all too much for him.

When Wufei pulled Heero's hands away from his face, he wasn't crying but his eyes were a little shinier than they had been a moment ago. "Tell him, Heero." Wufei's voice became a whisper. "Tell him."

"How did you know, Wufei?"

"Know what?"

"About me and Duo. Trowa said you knew."

"Ahhh... just a prediction. It made sense that the two of you would end up together. I could see it in both of you. Actually, all three of us could see it. Duo has a way with people... he has a way with you... not too difficult to figure out, really."

Heero gave Wufei a rueful smile. "He has a way with you, too. You did say that you care about him."

Wufei mimicked Heero's grin. "The boy gets on my very last nerve... but I would protect him with my very life. He has a good heart, Heero. Even I cannot deny that."

"Nor can I... I wonder why I didn't see it sooner."

"Because you were trapped in your own darkness. I think this little break in the war has done you good... it's done us both good." Wufei's thoughts drifted back to the pompous windbag he left back at OZ facilities.

"So, what do you think of Kaylin?"

"Kaylin!? Why do you ask?"

"Because... I saw you watching him."

Wufei had that look... the one that a child wears when he gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar. "I... I..."

"I... I... nothing Wufei. Now, I just sat here and poured out to you what little heart I have. The least you could do is be up front with me."

Wufei stared in amazement at the words coming out of Heero's mouth. This is definitely going to take some getting used to. Wufei let a hearty chuckle escape from his throat. "Very well then... the boy is nothing short of beautiful."

Heero nodded. "I said the same thing."

"YOU WHAT?!"

Heero was startled. "Calm down, Wufei. Duo made me say it... Gah! It's a long story."

"One of many, I'm sure... anyway, who is this... Kaylin fellow?"

"He's one of Duo's Physics classmates." Heero grinned wickedly. "He is available, you know..."

Wufei swallowed hard. "He... he is?"

Heero nodded. "He broke off his relationship last night."

"Broke it off... with a male or a female?"

Heero couldn't help but roll his eyes at the question. "With a man! Why else would I be telling you?"

Wufei had to stop and think for a bit. It's probably not such a good idea to get involved with him. He's just been 'let go'... of course, so have I... but this little group of five will undoubtedly have to move on... eventually. Wufei looked at Heero with a crooked grin. "Are you trying to play matchmaker, Yuy?"

Heero went completely deadpan, but the cobalt blue of his eyes positively sparkled. "Who... me?"