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[ Disclaimer: All rights and privileges to Shin Kidousenki Gundam Wing are trademarks and property of Sunrise, Bandai, Sotsu Agency, and associated parties. The characters of these works are used WITHOUT permission for the purpose of entertainment only. This work of fiction is not meant for sale or profit. ]

A GW fan fic: Wan Chan(Dinner)

By Stargem

Author's notes: This fic has been begging to be written for a long, long time ^_^; Many, many thanks to my cousin and mom who helped with the technical details. I still might be off on some points, but I did my best.

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It was a quiet evening, and most of the light had faded from the sky. The last fingers of sunlight reached through the unlit window of the Winner residence, bathing the five young men within in warm golden rays. Quatre and Trowa were lost in a musical duet while the other three pilots lounged on cushions snagged from the sofa. Wufei was absorbed in reading, claiming a corner of the room for himself. Duo was in a relatively serene state of mind, content to be snuggled up against Heero while listening to the strains of Quatre's violin blending with Trowa's flute. The peaceful scene was suddenly disrupted by a low rumbling. The noise was so startlingly out of place that the music abruptly ceased. Even Wufei looked up, his brow creased in puzzlement.

All eyes flickered to Duo as the noise repeated itself. The braided pilot in question turned red. Sheepishly, he said, "Uh, Quatre? Is dinner any time soon?"

Quatre blinked. Then, he laughed. "Okay, Duo. Is anyone else hungry?"

There were various affirmative answers. The golden-haired pilot nodded. "The cook is still sick though. We'll have to eat outside again."

"Man, I'm getting tired of burgers," Duo groused. He was struck by a sudden thought. "Oi, Wufei, know any good places for Chinese?"

"Several."

There was a lengthy pause as Duo continued to gaze expectantly in Wufei's direction.

"Well?"

"What?" the Chinese pilot asked irritably.

Duo lifted an eyebrow. "So, aren't you going to take us to any of those places?"

Wufei took his time to reply. "Anything is better than your endless burgers, I suppose."

"Say what!?" Duo looked insulted.

The Chinese pilot snorted. "Get changed, all of you. I'll be in the car."

A little later, they were all piled into the car with Wufei in the driver's seat. He was evasive as Duo barraged him with questions about their destination. The other three were content to keep quiet. Eventually, they pulled up in front of a well-lighted building with glass windows giving them a view of the inside of the restaurant. The golden neon signboard proclaimed it as the Lok Thian Restaurant.

"Ni~ice." Duo approved.

Wufei led them up the stairs and conversed with the pleasantly smiling girl at the door in Chinese. She took them to a table beside the window. A waitress materialized by their table with a pen and pad in hand, waiting to take their order. Since Wufei was the only one who knew Chinese, it fell to him to place their orders. He translated his words for his companions as he spoke.

"I've ordered six courses. We're starting with leng pan, which means cold dish. They'll bring in the soup next, and then the meat and vegetable dishes. I've also asked for steamed fish and buttered prawns. Lastly, I've chosen tou sar ping, a type of Chinese pancake for dessert."

Two efficient waiters appeared, placing napkins, plates, bowls, chopsticks, spoons and glasses before the five youths. One of them produced a teapot and poured steaming amber liquid into the glasses.

"What's this?" Duo peered into his glass suspiciously. He didn't particularly like the floating black somethings drifting towards the bottom…

"It's Chinese tea." Wufei said calmly.

"How about the black stuff?"

"Tea leaves."

Quatre took a sip from his own glass and grimaced slightly. "It's bitter."

The Chinese pilot nodded. "It's good for washing down oily foods."

A plate of peanuts and pickled cabbage arrived. Five pairs of chopsticks rose from their resting places and attacked with varying degrees of success. Duo glared at Wufei as he dropped his third attempt. Heero and Trowa had tamed their chopsticks and Quatre was managing skillfully with a little help from the green-eyed pilot seated to his right. Duo put down his chopsticks, muttering under his breath. He decided that he didn't much fancy pickled veggies and nuts anyway. As he glared at his inoffensive plate, a pair of chopsticks appeared in his line of sight, a peanut trapped in its grasp. The chopsticks released its prisoner onto his plate.

"Eh?"

The chopsticks withdrew and returned with another peanut. Duo looked up and was pleased to discover that it was Heero who was stoically transferring peanuts from his own plate. Duo smiled brightly at him, earning a soft snort. They made quick work of the food and sat back in comfortable silence, waiting for the first course. From observing the other noisier patrons of the restaurant, the normal course of action was to fill in the waiting time with small talk, but none of them were much in the way of conversationalists, with the exceptions of Duo and Quatre. Between the two of them, Duo and Quatre supplied light conversation, with Heero and Wufei contributing a grunt here and there. Trowa volunteered few words, preferring to keep silent, as always.

The arrival of the cold dish was greeted with much enthusiasm. Duo poked at the mysterious foods arranged on the plate inquisitively. "Hey, Wu, what's all this?"

"This," Wufei plucked a long string of transparent reddish stuff from a pile, "is spicy jellyfish." He indicated a black heap of transparent eggs. "Pi dan." His chopsticks moved again. "Fried fishballs and boiled crab meat."

Duo managed to master his chopsticks halfway through the salad prawns. The waiters appeared once more to whisk away the dirty plates and replace the cold dish with a large bowl of shark fin soup. Wufei nodded to the waiter holding a bowl of mysterious liquid. The waiter poured it into the soup tureen and stirred it in well. Then, he ladled out the soup for the five pilots and disappeared.

"Vinegar," Wufei said before Duo could ask. "It's for flavoring."

"This is good." Duo said happily after his first cautious taste. He polished off the entire bowl in minutes, much to the amusement of nearby diners and his own dinner companions. "Any more?"

"Plenty," Quatre said, ever the polite host. He reached for the ladle to help scoop another helping for Duo.

The meat and vegetable dishes came and went quickly, with Wufei naming and describing both. The steamed fish took a little longer as they carefully ferreted out any bones before eating the tender white flesh. The buttered prawns arrived shortly after, covered in thick buttery gravy and arranged neatly on a large piece of lettuce.

Dessert was last. Quatre was charmed by the cute little pancakes with sweet orange paste filling. He extracted the recipe from the amused waiter with Wufei as a translator.

"What's this stuff called again?" Duo asked after his fifth piece.

"Tou sar ping." Wufei said, looking pleased that his friends had so obviously enjoyed the meal.

After cleaning up the last of the sweet pancakes, Quatre and Wufei settled the bill. The moon was already in the sky when they left the restaurant. Filled with the satisfaction of a delicious meal, the five pilots concluded their day with a snuggle fest in Quatre's living room though it took a little persuasion to drag Wufei in with them. It was a very surprised servant that discovered his young master and companions sprawled all over the cushions on the floor of the living room the next morning, all sleeping quite peacefully.

~ Owari

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(© April 2000 by Stargem)

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