Quatre stared out of his bedroom window, face full of thought. He watched as millions of snowflakes descended on to the ground, blanketing every inch of his compound. With a resolved nod, he smiled to himself and walked to his bed.
Pulling up the thick blue covers, he closed his eyes and fell asleep.
* * * * *
Quatre sighed as he slowly turned the doorknob to Duo's room. Quietly pushing the door open, he poked his head inside.
Duo lay sprawled diagonally across his bed; arms and legs spread out in odd angles, as he continued to snore loudly.
Beside him, Heero slept soundly, positioned near the edge of the bed, away from the other's limbs; however, his hand was clutched firmly onto a chestnut-colored braid.
Quatre smiled warmly. A little hesitant now to disrupt the peaceful scene, he carefully backed out of the room and closed the door.
* * * * *
Quatre frowned as he walked downstairs. 'I guess I'll have to do this myself...'
The blonde lifted his head and met green eyes staring at him at the foot of the stairs. A smile crossed over his face. "Ohayo, Trowa." He walked a little faster down the steps. 'Maybe Trowa will help me...'
He eyed the other curiously; uncertain if the other would agree. "Ano, Trowa..."
Quatre stared at the ground, twiddling his fingers. After a moment, he stopped and lifted his head confidently. "Trowa, I was wondering if you could come with me to the..."
* * * * *
Duo stretched his arms, still lying in his bed. Cracking a few joints, he sat and up and was about to get off the bed when his head jerked back.
He blinked and tilted his head to the side. Heero lay fast asleep, oblivious to the added weight on his left arm. Duo couldn't help but smile at the sleeping form. The perfect soldier seemed so innocent when asleep that it was uncanny.
Duo would have stayed in that position all day...buuuttt nature was calling. So, he lifted his head up a few inches and began prying the calloused fingers off of his hair.
Those said fingers only tightened when Duo began pulling at the digits. "...Heero..."
"I gotta goooo~~~! So let me goooo~~~!!!"
With a snort, Heero let go of the frantic boy and pulled the black comforter tighter around his body. He tried to go back to sleep as he heard the bathroom door slam shut and the random sounds of contentment coming out of the room.
* * * * *
Duo rubbed at his tired eyes, releasing a huge yawn as he entered the kitchen. Heero pushed passed him and walked straight to the coffee maker.
Wufei already sat at the table, newspaper and cup of black coffee in hand.
Wufei lifted his eyes off the paper and glared at the American. "Don't call me that."
"I guess *somebody* woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning!" Duo replied as he joined Heero.
Wufei returned his attention back to his newspaper. "Maybe because *somebody* wouldn't stop screaming last night," was the calm retort.
A slight red tinge spread across Duo's cheeks. "I-uh...er....sooo~ where's Quatre and Trowa? They usually are up waaayyy earlier than us."
"I don't know. I didn't see them when I woke up this morning."
"That's odd," Duo said, as he added packet after packet of sugar into his mug. "Maybe they had an assignment or something?"
Wufei took a sip from his cup. "Maybe."
As if on cue, the sound of the front door to the current Winner house they were staying at, opened. "Duo! Heero! Wufei! Could you help us with a few of these packages?" they heard Quatre's voice shout out.
Duo ran through the kitchen door, Heero and Wufei following at a slower pace.
Duo stopped in the middle of the hallway when the front door became visible. "Wha..."
Quatre balanced two paper bags full of groceries and other nick knacks. "Duo..."
Duo shook his head. "Oh, right!" He ran up to the blonde and took one of the bags out of his hands. He curiously peered into them. "Ne Q, what's all this for?"
Both Heero and Wufei took that moment to arrive and after putting on their shoes and coats, walked outside to help Trowa unload the car.
"Oh, well, I've decided that we're going to have a Christmas party."
"Yes, that's right."
Duo's eyes seemed to light up with excitement. "Really?! I've never actually gotten a chance to celebrate Christmas, but...this'll be so much fun! What a great idea, Quatre!"
Quatre smiled at the onslaught of enthusiasm as he walked to the kitchen, a bouncing Duo trailing behind. "I just thought it would be nice to have a change around here. And a Christmas party did seem like a good idea, since the holiday is in a few days..."
"Good?! Give yourself a little credit, Quatre. This'll be great! Just think, our first Christmas together. Well, I know you've probably celebrated it before Quatre, but it'll be my first. And I'm sure Heero's too." Duo continued to chatter as he emptied the contents of the bag onto the counter.
"Boy, you got a lot of stuff, Quatre. Hmm, what's this?"
Quatre looked up from his bag and looked at the object in Duo's hand.
"Oh, that's mistletoe."
A faint blush crept onto the Arabian's cheeks, so he buried his head back into his bag. "I just wanted to make sure I got everything..."
Duo grinned as he pulled off a branch and ran out of the room. "Oh, Heero!!"
Quatre shook his head.
* * * * *
Wufei grunted as he helped Trowa lift the pine tree off the roof of the van. "Oof. What *is* this for, Trowa?"
The boy in question shrugged as he half carried the tree into the house. "Quatre just said he was going shopping and asked if I could go along with him to help."
They entered the house and almost collided into Duo, as the latter had just pounded down the hallway.
"Watch it, Maxwell!"
Duo backed away, hand raised behind his neck. "Oh, gomen! Hey! Is that the tree?! Wow, this is great!" He then turned his head back around. "Quatreee~~! They have the treeee~~!!!"
Quatre came towards them, hands wiping on a towel. "Oh good. Um..." He took a look around to see where they could put it. "Uh, you can put it over there," he said, as he pointed to a window in the living room.
Trowa and Wufei obliged and headed in that direction.
Heero sat on the floor, pulling out a few boxes from a plastic bag. He examined them before looking at the two remaining pilots in the room. "Christmas lights?"
Duo eagerly nodded his head. "Yep! Quatre thought of the coolest idea. We're going to have a Christmas party!! Isn't that great?!"
Heero frowned. "...Christmas?"
Duo walked over and knelt down by the other. "Yea. Christmas. I don't know if you've ever celebrated it, but I sure didn't. It'll be nice; won't it Heero?" Duo smiled softly at the Wing pilot.
Heero peered at the excitement and anticipation in the violet eyes, and couldn't help but smile just a little bit. "Ah."
Duo beamed. "And guess what?"
Heero did so and saw what was in Duo's hands, before he arched an eyebrow. "Mistletoe?"
"Hey it's tradition!" Duo said before he leaned in and kissed Heero fully on the lips.
* * * * *
Quatre nodded his head, as he related his plan to the other two pilots. "Mm, we're going to throw it tomorrow, so we have a few days to prepare. It wouldn't be too big. Just a few close friends of ours."
All were sitting around the kitchen table, about to discuss the upcoming plans for the party.
"I hope you two don't mind...do you? I just thought it would be fun; loosen us up a bit."
"Of course they don't mind, Quatre. Right Trowa?" Duo asked.
Trowa looked at Quatre first, before giving a slight nod in agreement.
"See. And you too, right Wufei?"
"...I don't celebrate Christmas."
Duo faltered for a second. "W-Well, that doesn't really matter. Then just think of it as any other party."
Wufei gave a curt nod and didn't say anything else.
Quatre glanced over to Duo, but the latter just shrugged and motioned
for him to continue.
"O-Okay then. Um, we'll need someone to decorate the outside and inside of the house and someone to make the food. I'll be dealing with the invitations, but I'll help out where ever it is needed. Any volunteers?"
Duo waved his arm. "Oo Oo! I'll help make the-"
Heero restrained his lover, before volunteering himself and Duo to decorations.
Duo pouted. "But Heero, I wanted to help make the food."
"Trust me Duo. It'll be more fun to do the decorations-"
"...Yea, I guess you're right."
"-and we'll all be healthier."
"...Yea, I guess you're-HEY!" Duo glared at Heero, which Heero pointedly ignored. "Why you..."
Quatre clapped his hands together. "Okay. I guess it's Trowa, Wufei, and I who will be in the kitchen. You two don't mind do you?"
Shaking their heads no, Wufei and Trowa got up and headed towards the counter full of supplies.
"All right then," Quatre said as he rose to his feet as well. "Have fun you two."
Duo still pouted in his seat as Heero stood up. Seeing that the former would not move, Heero reached down and grabbed Duo's braid.
"Oi!! Heero! Leggo~~!"
* * * * *
"Duo, those loops are not even."
"Look Heero. For the last time, I'm trying the best I can, but it can't be perfect!" Duo said as he climbed down the ladder. Once his foot reached the ground, Heero brushed him aside and went up himself. Duo stomped his foot in the snow. "Hmph!"
Heero ignored him as he tried to even the lights on the roof of the house. After little tugs here and there, Heero nodded his head in satisfaction and came down.
Duo glanced over to him with the corner of his eye. "Always have to be so damn perfect," he muttered.
Heero shifted his glance from the roof to the person beside him. "You say something?"
"Nooo~" he replied before taking a look around for himself. "Well, I think that was the last of them."
"Eh?" Duo turned his head and saw something that looked like a detonator in Heero's hands. "HEY! What are you doing?!"
Heero pushed the button, and red and green lights flashed on all over the compound. The Santa on the roof began "Ho, Ho, Ho-ing" while the elves beside him started singing Jingle Bells.
Heero stood, surrounded by all this Christmas cheer, a stoic expression on his face. "Ninmu kanryou."
Duo sweat dropped.
* * * * *
"Well, I finished calling everyone," Quatre said as he entered the kitchen, "and they all said that they could come. So what are you two..." Quatre trailed off as he neared them.
Trowa stood, cookie cutter in hand, as he continued to make animal shaped cookies. Wufei sat next to him, constructing what appeared to be a fortress out of graham crackers and marshmallow fluff.
Trowa paused in mid cut. "Hmm?"
"Um, what happened to those Christmas tree and bell-shaped cookie cutters we bought?"
Trowa pointed to the counter next to the sink. "They're over there."
"Why aren't you using them?"
Trowa resumed cutting before he replied. "Because I thought these would be nicer." He lifted up the pan to reveal lion-shaped cookies. "Don't you think?"
"...Oh. Yes, Trowa. They're lovely."
Trowa nodded and continued to cut more cookies.
A frown crossed over his face, which only deepened, as Quatre looked at the Chinese pilot. "And Wufei...what are you making?"
"An exact replica of our hanger that holds our Gundam."
Quatre bowed his head. "Oh, I see."
* * * * *
"Jingle bells! Batman smells! Robin laid an-UMPH!" Duo almost choked as Heero shoved an ornament into his mouth. After removing the red ball, he threw it at the other. "HEY! What did you do *that* for?!"
Heero didn't reply, as he continued to wrap the tree around with white lights.
"You ol scrooge..." Duo muttered as he reached for the box full of ornaments and began randomly placing them all over the tree.
Heero stopped what he was doing and eyed Duo, as the latter began tossing clumps of tinsel everywhere.
His eyebrow twitched a little.
"...You're doing that wrong."
"Huh?" Duo's hand paused right before he threw another bunch of tinsel on to a branch. "Wrong? What do you mean?"
Heero put down the string of lights and walked over to the other. He began removing some of the tinsel that was already on the tree and putting it back in the box. He then took only a pinch full and placed it onto one of the extending branches, so it fell straight down off of the pine needles. "You see. Like that."
Heero nodded and went back to what he was doing.
Duo's hands visibly shook as he proceeded to put on the remaining tinsel.
* * * * *
Quatre smiled, as he placed on oven mitts and went to the oven. He opened the door and pulled out a tray full of star-shaped cookies. He placed them over the stove, and after sticking a toothpick in a few of them, to see if they were cooked, he went to get a spatula.
As he walked by, Wufei was currently making his fourth ginger bread house. Each one preceding the next was identical to the last M&M placed on the roof of the house.
Trowa sat beside him, shaking small green sprinkles over the tree-shaped cookies that Quatre insisted he made. It took quite a while of coercing, but Trowa finally relented when Quatre said he could still keep the lion cookies, as long as he made some other ones.
After using a spatula to remove the cookies off the tray and onto a plate, Quatre took a seat next to the other occupants of the room and began decorating. 'Hmm, I wonder how Duo and Heero are doing...'
Unable to keep his curiosity in check, Quatre quickly finished squirting frosting onto his cookies, and went in search for the two.
He found Duo with his backed turned from the tree, hands crossed over his chest, with a frown on his face. Heero stood up on a ladder placing a gold star on the tip of the tree.
Puzzlement crossed over the Arabian's face as he approached the scowling youth. "Duo? What's the matter?"
Duo's head snapped up and then proceeded to drag Quatre from the room, shouting over his shoulder to Heero that he'd be right back.
"D-Duo? Where're we going?" Quatre said, as he almost tripped over the carpet.
Duo abruptly released him, when they reached the conservatory and began pacing up and down the room. "That jerk! Some fun this is!!"
"Uh, I'm guessing you're referring to Heero?"
Duo stopped, mid pace, at the mention of the name and glared at the blonde. Quatre took a step back. Duo saw this and quickly apologized. "I don't mean to take it out on you Quatre. But Heero's acting like a real jerk today! He keeps complaining about how I'm decorating the house; saying I'm always doing it wrong. Wrong?! I don't know much about holidays, but I know there isn't one set of rules to follow. Sheez, the bastard!" Duo shook his arms in the air as he continued to pace.
"Duo," Quatre carefully began. " Please calm down. I'm sure Heero doesn't do it intentionally. Here...why don't you help us in the kitchen? We do need the extra help."
"I bought a few gundam cookie cutters. One has a scythe like yours. You can make tho-ACK!"
Duo eyes widened at the mention of the word scythe, and he pulled Quatre...again...out of the room.
* * * * *
After days of preparation, everything was set by the time the party was supposed to begin. Garlands were strung around the four walls of the room; wreaths were pinned at each loop; a long table filled with cookies, cakes and other sweets were situated along a wall. Everything was perfect.
Except for the fact that Duo and Heero were blatantly avoiding each other (or more accurately, the former was doing more of the avoiding; Heero just stood impassively by the punch bowl) and Wufei was nowhere in sight. Other than that, everything was per--
After one last glance around the room, Quatre walked to the door to greet the first guest.
"Ah, Quatre," she gushed, adorned in her customary long, blue dress. "Merry Christmas. Thank you for inviting me."
Quatre stepped aside to let her in. "Merry Christmas, Relena. You don't need to thank me. It wouldn't have been the same without you here."
The remainder of the words fell on deaf ears, as the newly arrived girl was already searching for a certain someone.
"Ah, Ojo-chan!" Duo waved as he came into the hall.
But not that certain someone.
"K-Konban wa, Duo-kun," she replied, still not really paying attention.
A familiar gleam set into the eyes of the pilot of Shinigami. "Oh, I can guess who you're looking for. Just follow me." Offering his arm to her, she hesitantly accepted. He led her into the main room, a puzzled Quatre following closely behind.
"Heeeeroooo! There's someone here to seeeee~ you!"
Heero's eyes widened considerably upon seeing the two. Looking at the braided boy, with...it attached to his arm, he cautiously lowered his punch cup.
Relena quickly disengaged herself and glided across the floor, closing the distance between her love and herself. "Heero, Merry Christmas," she said, handing him a small wrapped box.
Heero fumed inside as he saw Duo with a smug look on his face. With the utmost control, the Wing pilot returned the greeting, setting the icy look in his eyes, in hopes that she would take the hint.
"Oh, Heero. What have you been up to lately? You really should come visit me sometimes. I know I am busy, but there will always be time to for you. I just think...blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda..."
Heero's fists were clenched so tight, his knuckles were turning white. 'Duo...omae o korosu!'
* * * * *
"Duo! Long time no see! Merry Christmas!" Hilde all but shouted as she launched onto the boy, hugging him tightly before bopping him on the head.
Duo rubbed the back of his neck. "Ah ha ha, Merry Christmas, Hilde. I've just been busy lately..."
"Mou! Too busy to see a friend!"
"Well, I wouldn't put it like that."
The two continued their conversation, laughing and kidding around with each other, situated across the room, juuusst in Heero's field of vision.
Duo couldn't help but smile.
* * * * *
Quatre took a worried glance around the room. 'What was going on?' He saw Heero trapped at the refreshment table about ready to explode, Duo was making himself well heard above the festive music, Wufei hadn't shown up, and Trowa...
Trowa was currently talking to Catherine.
Not that that bothered him though...oh no. Why wouldn't he be talking to his sister?
Still, Quatre couldn't help but feel some small twinge of jealously from all the attention the boy was paying to the girl.
It seemed that she was the only one to receive his smiles; his few rare words; those clear emerald eyes looking only at her.
...he wasn't jealous.
* * * * *
Wufei sat outside on the patio, zipped up in his blue winter coat, trying to phase out all the music, chatter, and basically, the plain fun that was going on inside.
He let out a sigh and watched as his breath turned to mist in the air, twisting and bending into unusual shapes before dissolving into nothingness.
He rose up from his seat and walked to the railing of the deck. He laid his arms on the wood and stared out into the forest.
"You never did enjoy socializing."
Wufei abruptly spun his body around, searching for the voice. A little unnerved that someone had actually snuck up on him, he darted his eyes left and right, but kept the remainder of his body in a semblance of control.
Seeing no one, he took a step forward. "Who's there?"
A light tap fell on his shoulder, and reflexively, he swung his right arm out, aiming for his assailant's head.
He stopped immediately when the person behind him came into view, his fist only centimeters away from its intended target.
Dark eyes looked back at him with amusement.
* * * * *
Heero about had enough of the blonde in front of him, and quickly excused himself, saying he had something important to discuss with someone.
Relena's smile never faltered, as she saw who he was going to.
'Oh well,' she thought. 'You can't get 'em all.'
* * * * *
As Heero approached the two, he saw that they were still laughing, smiling, and seeming to be having a great time.
Heero wasn't jealous.
The perfect soldier doesn't *get* jealous...
This didn't mean he couldn't all but run across the room and grab the other pilot by the back of his shirt, mumbling something that resembled an apology to the girl, and dragging Duo out of the room.
* * * * *
Quatre took a sip of his punch, diverting his eyes for a moment from the one he'd been staring at all night.
It was then that someone tapped him on the shoulder.
"C-Catherine." Quatre smiled. "Are you enjoying yourself?"
The circus girl replied with a nod, her eyes seeming to be searching for something in the blonde's.
Uncomfortable under the close scrutiny, Quatre took a step back. "Is there something you would like?"
"Hmm," she replied calmly. "I was about to ask you the same question."
* * * * *
Meiran smirked, taking a few steps back to distance herself from the offending limb. She tilted her head in amusement on seeing her husband's expression.
Wufei slowly lowered his hand, his mask gradually cracking to reveal confusion, a twinge of pain, and then finally anger. "Who are you?!"
The girl raised her eyebrows, quite humored by the question. "Who am I? I'm offended Wufei. I thought I would have at least left some small impression in your mind."
"Y-You...You died. You're not..." Wufei clenched his eyes shut in frustration.
He felt something attempting to pry the fingers that he was unaware of clasping together apart. When he felt a brush of warm air blow by his cheek, he opened his eyes.
Meiran looked at him sadly.
Wufei turned his back onto her. "Y-You're not real. This isn't...This isn't real. Just some foolish figment of my imagination."
"Che, you've always been stubborn," she said, walking in front of him. "You're the scholar. If I'm not real, then how am I here? Tell me that Wufei."
"Hmph. Probably some bad indigestion from one of Maxwell's cookies."
A light chuckle filtered into the air. "Ah, Maxwell. Duo Maxwell. He isn't what I expected a friend of yours to be. He's quite dependable though; once you get right down to it. Like all your other friends..."
"What *is* your point, Meiran? I don't quite grasp the fact that the only reason why you rose up from the dead was to criticize the people I associate with."
"I'm not *criticizing* you, Wufei. Just relating what I observe."
"Oh really. How lucky for me to be able to hear *your* opinion."
It was Meiran's turn to turn around. Silence filled the air between them for a while.
"I didn't come here to fight with you, Wufei. Don't you think we'd done enough of that while I was alive?"
Wufei didn't answer.
Meiran released a sigh and faced her husband. "I came down here for two reasons. The first, I think, is a little harder than the second to tell."
Wufei waited patiently, staring at her, as she tried to voice what was on her mind.
"I...I wanted to thank you...for pursuing my cause in the war--for fighting in my place...for fighting in something that you didn't believe in while I was alive!" She paused for a moment, unable to find the words to what she wanted to say next. "I-I know it must have been hard, but--"
"There's no need to thank me. No one forced me into doing it. I alone choose what I do."
"Yes, but my death, in a way, *did* make you do it! You renamed Shenlong with...mine, and fought for me! I--"
"I didn't!...I..." Wufei growled in frustration and walked back to the railing, hands leaning heavily on them. He took a few deep breaths, shoulders going up and down.
"You're not fooling anyone, Wufei. Me none the least." She placed a hand onto his shoulder.
"I may have been fighting for you in the beginning...but your cause soon became mine as well, Meiran. You do not need to thank me. I of all people should be thanking you." He laid his hand on top of hers. "You opened my eyes to see that by taking action does have an effect. Sitting back and doing nothing accomplishes nothing. It is I who should thank you."
Meiran released a soft laugh in response. "It's funny you know. Even when we're talking as calmly as we are now, we're still arguing." She paused.
"I'm going to do something that I've wanted to do for a long time. Don't you go into one of your chauvinistic bouts now."
Before Wufei could reply, warm arms wrapped tightly around his chest.
He was surprised at first, but then slowly turned himself around to hold her as well.
"Don't think I'm any lesser of a warrior now, just because I'm doing this," she muffled into his coat.
Wufei gave a soft grunt. "Then how would I think about myself."
"What you do on your time is none of my business."
Both stayed that way for a long while, before Wufei spoke again.
"You've changed, Meiran."
The girl in question shook her head, smiling a little. "I haven't changed; not really anyway. I just had time. Time to think and mature a little. That's all."
* * * * *
When the Wing pilot finally released the boy, Duo was in a fit of anger. "What the hell did you do that for?!"
Heero continue to stare at the other.
"Oh, I see...you're jealous! Well, GOOD! You deserve it for how you've been treating me the past few days!"
"What?!" Heero shoved a small box into the boy's hands. "Eh?"
Heero diverted his eyes. "Merry Christmas."
Duo's eyes widened, obviously shocked. "Wha...who..."
Heero eyed him impatiently. "Open it."
"R-Right." Duo looked down at the box on his hands and read the tag. Again, shock could be seen all over his face.
Because today was your very first Christmas,
I wanted everything to be perfect.
I hope it was.
* * * * *
Catherine looked at her host with a knowing smile. "Oh, come now, Quatre-kun," she said pointing her finger at his nose. "Don't think that I don't know that you have been eyeing my brother for the most of the evening. Am I right?"
"W-Well, I...that is..."
Catherine released a soft laugh before placing her hand on his shoulder. "Quatre-kun, my brother is a very introspective individual. He knows more than he shows visibly. Don't think that he is oblivious of your eye either."
"Trowa may not show his emotions, but I do know he has them." Quatre diverted his gaze. "I just don't know if he has them for me..."
Catherine's voice softened to a more affectionate tone. "Quatre-kun, you're a very sweet and kind person. A perfect match for my brother. How can you give up already without even trying to express your feelings to him?"
"I-I know, but.."
"But nothing. I want you to go and find him now. In fact, I have a feeling that this is the exact Christmas present that my little brother wants this year..." she added with a secretive smile.
Quatre's blue eyes widened. "Really?"
Catherine tilted her head to the side, smile widening. "Did I say something?"
Quatre chuckled softly, before thanking her and exiting the room.
Looking right, then left, he spotted the youth hidden in the shadows, staring out a window.
Quatre noted something different about the boy.
Trowa was smiling.
* * * * *
Duo gawked at Heero before shakily beginning to unwrap the gift in his hands. Opening the lid, he frowned, puzzled. He lifted out a square hand controller, a single circular red button in the center. He looked over to Heero, eyes questioning.
Heero answered by leading him out of the room and the front door. Positioning him so that he faced the house, Heero indicated for him to push the button. His breath caught in his throat as he did.
Written on top of the Winner household were the words...
Aishiteru, Duo Maxwell. Zutto. Will you marry me?
Duo's vision began to blur as tears welled up at the corners of his eyes. Turning around slowly, he looked at Heero, face full of disbelief.
Heero stood, face emotionless, however his eyes mirrored a hint of anticipation.
Duo rushed forward, knocking them both down into the snow. Grinning widely with droplets of tears falling down his face, he kissed Heero. "Of course I will, baka. I ca-can't believe I doubted...you're unbelievable you know that? Kami-sama, you had me worried, but I should have known you'd pull something like this--this was the best Christmas I could ever have! But I feel like a real jerk now. I didn't get you anything--"
Heero stopped his babbling with a firm kiss, before brushing away the wetness from his fiancé's cheeks. "Having you is all I've ever wanted. Merry Christmas, Duo."
With a lopsided grin, Duo sniffled. "Ah, Merry Christmas, Heero."
* * * * *
Trowa remained standing by the window, unaware of the new presence a few feet away from him.
With hesitation, Quatre approached him, a little surprised at the display of emotion on the usually unemotional boy.
Trowa must have heard him coming, for the moment Quatre was in front of him, his mask was firmly set back in place.
Saddened by this action, Quatre lowered his eyes for a second, reservations about what he was about to do rising again. He then took a look outside the large window as well, delaying his motive for the moment.
What he saw made him smile warmly. Outside he could see Duo standing, mouth agape, staring at the roof of his house. Heero was standing a few feet behind him.
"Heero can be quite the romantic," he said aloud.
Receiving no response, not that he expected one, he continued. "I think it's wonderful what their doing. If only..." he shook his head, before turning his attention to the one beside him. "Trowa, I-I have something to tell you."
Trowa eyed the blonde patiently, curiously.
Taking a deep breath, Quatre took the plunge. "I've been watching you for a long time Trowa. You're different than anyone I've ever met. Your concern for your friends, your subdued but still existing kindness, and countless of other things have drawn me to you. You've become very special to me. Trowa...suki da."
Seeing no reaction from the brunette, except prolonged silence, Quatre bowed his head, beginning to regret what he just said. He was startled when calloused fingers lifted his chin up so that he now stared into depthless green eyes.
Before he could speak further, his lips were sealed by the one he longed for day and night since the first time they had met. After the initial shock had passed, Quatre closed his eyes, delving himself into the kiss.
Once their lips parted, Quatre opened his eyes slowly.
Trowa gazed at the smaller boy, a small smile graced his lips, his eyes expressing the same emotions as the blonde.
Quatre understood, words or no words, and embraced the other, burying his face into Trowa's chest.
"Merry Christmas, Trowa."
Wrapping his own arms tightly around the blonde, he whispered, "Merry Christmas, Quatre."
* * * * *
Meiran loosened her grip around her husband and looked up into his eyes. "Wufei...why aren't you inside?"
Wufei shrugged. "Like you said, socializing was never in my interest."
Meiran frowned and shook her head disapprovingly. She took a few steps away from him. "I worry about you sometimes, you know," she spoke over her shoulder. "You distance yourself quite often from your friends. I don't know about you, but I certainly wouldn't want to live the rest of my life in complete isolation, utterly alone every waking moment.
"It isn't healthy," she added with a smile.
Wufei crossed his arms over his chest. "Easy for you to say. You don't have to tolerate them, especially Maxwell, every waking moment," he mimicked.
"I would have thought that it'd be a little fun, not the least boring, but that's only my opinion."
She walked straight up to him and poked him on the nose. "Don't you 'hmph!' me."
Wufei sourly wiped his nose and glared at his wife. "I'll do whatever I damned please."
Meiran shrugged. "Suit yourself. I'm just saying that it would be veerrryy lonely being by yourself until your dying days, but that's just me."
Wufei eyed her curiously. "Is this some way of you telling me that it's okay for me to go and meet someone else?"
"Hmm, I guess you could say that. They wouldn't be as wonderful as I was, but you work with what you got."
Wufei sighed. "Women..."
Meiran replied with a grin, which, seconds later, disappeared. "I...I have to go now Wufei."
Meiran laughed and playfully walked around him. "What? Are you going to miss me?"
Despite the mocking tone in her voice, Wufei answered honestly. "Yes."
Meiran stopped, so she now faced him. "I'll always be with you. Maybe not physically," she said, placing her hand over his heart and then touching his forehead, "but as long as I'm in your memory and your heart, I'll always be close by."
She extended her arms, an uncharacteristic wide grin on her face. "One for the road?"
Wufei shook his head, but still hugged her, surprising her when he leaned down and touched her lips softly with his. He moved his lips back so that their foreheads now touched.
"That's something I've wanted to do for a long time."
A slight blush surfaced onto her cheeks, before she suddenly smirked. "You're such a Casanova."
Wufei shrugged in reply, a smile across his face.
Meiran took a step back. "I'll be waiting for you."
Wufei nodded in understanding and watched as she slowly disappeared.
"Until then though...please try to live a happy life with someone..."
Her smile was the last thing he saw.
He turned around and saw Quatre standing next to the door to the house.
"It's awfully cold out here. Why don't you come inside? We're about to exchange presents, and Duo's threatening to throw yours all out the window if you don't come in soon."
Wufei shook his head in disbelief. "I'll be there in a minute."
Quatre's face visibly lit up. "Okay. I'll tell them to wait."
Wufei nodded before the blonde went back inside.
Wufei, once more, turned away from the house and stared up at the sky. Closing his eyes, he allowed for a small smile to edge its way across his face.
Turning on his heel, he went inside.
"Oi! There you are Wu! I was just about to take your presents and--"
"Lay one finger on them, and you'll be keeping Santa company on the roof."
* * * * *
Quatre walked to the kitchen, empty food tray in hand. The party ended with the last guest leaving about a half hour ago. Not long after, Heero and Duo left, apologizing that they couldn't help clean up because they were both really "tired" and needed to get into "bed."
Knowing full well of their intentions, Quatre let them go. Who was he to stand in the way of their "fun."
Scraping the cookie crumbs into the garbage can and placing the tray in the sink, he trudged back into the main hall. 'I didn't think there was so much to clean up,' he thought, running a hand across his forehead.
Upon entering the room, he saw Trowa standing in the middle of the carpet, the song "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" played from the stereo.
Blinking, Quatre took a few hesitant steps towards the other. "Trowa?"
Trowa held out his right hand, a rare smile crossing onto his lips.
Shyly, Quatre accepted it, only to be surprised when the other pulled, causing their bodies to collide.
Wrapping his other arm around the blonde, Trowa began to sway to the music.
With a sigh, Quatre leaned his head onto the brunette's chest. 'Maybe cleaning up afterwards wasn't a bad idea afterall...'
* * * * *
Wufei willingly pulled off the black tie that confined his hair into that tight ponytail. Looking in the mirror, he realized that he hadn't changed that much over the years, appearance-wise anyway.
Walking to the window opposite his bed, Meiran's words came to mind.
"Until then though...please try to live a happy life with someone..."
'Hmph,' he thought, staring out at the star-filled sky. 'Easier said than done.'
Looking up at the dark sky, Meiran's face appeared, outlined in bright, glittering stars. She looked down on him with her familiar arrogant smile; the one he knew so well.
'I know Meiran. I know.' Shaking his head, but with a smile, he walked to his bed.
Pulling the covers up to his shoulders, he soon fell asleep.
Moments later, a soft transparent hand descended onto his forehead, gently brushing the black strands. Wufei shifted into the light touch, body relaxing.
'I love you, Wufei.'
Meiran remained the rest of the night.
* * * * *
Behind closed doors...
"Heero!! Stop pushing so hard!"
"What are you talking about?! I always do it like this. You've never complained before!"
"Well, you never pushed so hard before! AHHHHHHH!!!"
"...well...I was never too attached to it..."
"But I was! Sheez, now what are we going to do tonight!"
"We can go ask Quatre if we can use his."
"No way he would let us. He's been trying to get Trowa to use it first."
"Yea, right. Like *he'll* let us borrow his."
"We can go out now and buy one."
"Are you insane, Heero?! It's the middle of the night, on Christmas Day no less, and you want to go out during a snowstorm to get a new Playstation controller?! Yea, like that's gonna happen."