Disclaimers:  I still don’t own anything.

Notes:  Part four of my Christmas story.  Can’t think of anything else to say.  Enjoy the story.



Christmas Memories
Part 4



Wufei wrapped a towel around his sweat-dampened neck.  He had just finished with his daily morning workout.  He reached up
and pulled the band out of his hair, letting the tightly pulled back strands of ebony hair fall about his shoulders.  He wiped the
sweat from his brow with one hand as he walked to the bathroom, intending to take a shower to get rid of all the perspiration
covering his body.

The sound of his vid-phone ringing attracted his attention.  He turned and walked over to the device, quickly switching it on
without a second thought.  Trowa’s face appeared on the screen.  

Wufei was shocked to see a small cut on Trowa’s face, surrounded by a large reddened area.  Obviously, it had been caused
by him being hit with something, possibly a hand.  But who had done it, Wufei wondered.  Still, no matter how curious he was,
he wouldn’t pry into Trowa’s personal life.  It truly was none of his business.

“Barton.”  Wufei greeted with a slight nod.  “What is the purpose of this call?”

“I’m calling to invite you to a Holiday party at one of Quatre’s estates.”  Trowa replied.

“I am not interested.  I have much better things to do than waste my time on some mindless holiday.”  Wufei replied, reaching
out to end the transmission.

“Wait, hear me out.”  Trowa said, stopping Wufei before he cut him off.

Wufei sighed.  He really had no interest in parties for Christmas or otherwise.  “Make it quick, I have things to do.”

Trowa nodded.  “Quatre’s ill, and he wants to see all of the pilots, including you.  It’ll just be a small get-together, only the five
of us and the Maguanacs.”

Wufei frowned, hearing that the Arabian was sick. He did consider the other pilots to be his friends, even though he had never
said it aloud.  “How sick is he?”

“He’s stressed, taking on too much work and not accepting help from anyone.  All the stress has made him sick.  He’s got a
high fever, barely any energy.  This party could go a long way in helping him relax.  If he doesn’t, he’ll just continue to get
worse.”  Trowa replied, keeping his features calm although his one visible eye showed concern.

“Very well . . .”  Wufei agreed.  “I shall attend.  When should I arrive?”

“As soon as possible.  Quatre will be relieved to know you are coming.”  Trowa said.  “We’re at the estate in Colorado.  You
remember where it is, right?”

“Of course.”  Wufei replied.  “I will be there soon.”  

“Thank you, Wufei.”  Trowa said, ending the transmission.

Wufei sighed.  He turned and walked to the bathroom.  Now it was time for that shower, then he would pack.  He was only
going because his friend was ill.  If Quatre was healthy, he wouldn’t even consider the thought of celebrating such a foolish
holiday.  Who needs presents anyway, it was nothing but nonsense.


*****


Duo snapped his head up, hearing his phone ringing.  He hadn’t even realized that he had dozed off, sitting at the desk in the
office.  He had been going over the paperwork, as much as that really mattered to him anymore.

He answered the phone, blinking groggily as Rasid’s face came into view.  “Hey, Rasid, what’s up?”  He asked, placing his
cheerful mask into place.  No need to let anyone else know how meaningless life was to him.

“Master Quatre requests your presence at a celebration.”  Rasid said, his tone less than inviting.

“A Christmas party?”  Duo gasped, surprised.  “But I didn’t think Quatre celebrated Christmas.”

“He doesn’t.”  Rasid said.  “Master Quatre has taken ill, and Mr. Barton feels the presence of friends will help in his recovery.  
Their suggestion on how to get you all here, was to call it a Holiday celebration.”

Duo nodded, not liking the sound of Quatre being ill.  Even if the blonde didn’t care about Duo, Duo couldn’t help but feel
concerned for Quatre.  “Yeah, I’ll be there.  Never was one to pass up a party.”  He paused.  “Where exactly are you guys
anyway?”

“Colorado . . .”  Rasid replied, beginning to give the address.

“No need for the address.  I remember the place.”  Duo said, smiling.  “Tell Quatre I’ll be right there.”

He switched off the vid-phone and grabbed his coffee mug.  Taking a swig of the liquid inside, once again a mixture of old
coffee and whiskey.  He winced at the feeling it left as it went down his throat.

Well, this was going to be a challenge.  He would have to keep up the act of the happy idiot again, not letting them see how
miserable he truly was.  He didn’t need the pity of people who didn’t care enough to write or call.  So, he would just do his
thing, pretend to be happy like he used to, and then leave after the party.  He wouldn’t hang around when he wasn’t really
wanted there in the first place.  He was probably only invited out of courtesy, because they had once been friends.  Quatre
always did have a lot of manners, must have felt that they had to invite him.

He had heard Rasid’s tone.  It wasn’t pleasant.  Of course, it never had been, but this time it sounded downright annoyed, as if
Duo was the last person he wanted to talk to.  Rasid had mentioned that Trowa was there.  Trowa had probably invited all the
other guys personally, forcing Rasid to call the last, unwanted guest, Duo.

Duo sighed, taking another sip of his drink.  “Might as well pack.”  He muttered to himself as he stood.  His legs felt shaky
below him, his entire body aching and tired.  Hopefully, he would be able to get through this party without collapsing.  It would
be tough, but if he tried hard enough, he could probably pull it off without the others finding out how dead he was inside.

As he stepped past the door of his office, he caught sight of his reflection in the glass.  He looked positively horrible.  If he
went like that, they would be certain to know how miserable he was.  Quatre would undoubtedly ask about his pale
complexion, or those large bags under his eyes.  

He was just going to have to hide that somehow, maybe get some makeup to cover the weariness his face showed, a pair of
sunglasses to cover the empty eyes.  He could pull it off.  They would never know, if he did it right.  

Plan set in place, he walked out of the office, returning to the house to begin packing.  No one would ever know how miserable
he was, how much he wanted it all to end.  He didn’t want their false sympathy, their pity.  And once it was over, maybe he
could end it all, all the sorrow his worthless life had become.


*****


Heero had just applied a touch of cobalt to the canvas and stepped back to study his work.  He smiled in satisfaction and put
his palette down.  Painting had become his passion lately.  After the war, he had searched for something to occupy his time,
trying several different things, before he had ever touched a canvas.  

He found he enjoyed this artistic streak he had.  It gave him the opportunity to express things without words, something natural
to him.  He had always been more of an ‘actions speaks louder than words’ sort of person.

He was cleaning his brushes as the phone rang.  He wiped his paint smeared hands off on his smock, then answered the
phone.  “Rasid.”  Heero greeted, with a nod of his head.

“Mr. Yuy.”  Rasid replied.  “I am calling to invite you to a holiday celebration at Quatre’s mansion in Colorado.”

“But Quatre is Muslim, why would he be celebrating Christmas?”  Heero asked, his expression never changing although he felt
confused.

“He’s not celebrating.”  Rasid sighed, his tone conveying annoyance.  “He is ill and Mr. Barton feels that the presence of his
friends will be good for his health.  The holiday celebration is only being used as a reason to get you pilots here.”

Heero frowned at the thought of Quatre being ill.  Quatre wasn’t a weak person, as many people thought at first sight, but still
to hear he was ill, caused Heero to worry.  “Will the others be coming?”  Heero asked, his thoughts drifting to one beautiful
long-haired pilot.

“Yes, you were the last one contacted.  All the other pilots will be here shortly.”  Rasid replied.

“Then tell Quatre I will be as well.”  Heero replied, glad to hear that Duo would be there.  Maybe he could tell the American
how he truly felt for him.  A thought occurred to him.  “And Rasid, tell Quatre I will need an empty room, somewhere to store
a few things.”

“Of course, Mr. Yuy.  It will be taken care of.”  Rasid replied, then the transmission was ended.

Heero sighed.  Finally, he would see Duo again.  Maybe he’d even be able to admit the feelings he had so long since buried.  It
would be the perfect opportunity.  Duo and a holiday celebration.  Since Duo was Catholic, at least Heero thought that he was,
since the American had admitted to living in a Catholic orphanage, he probably celebrated Christmas.  Heero would just have to
find the perfect present for him.

He walked around the canvas and smiled at the image.  “Well, I sure as Hell won’t share this with anyone else.”  Then he
glanced around his studio as an idea formed in his head.  “Perfect!”  He announced to himself.  “Kill two birds with one stone.”
He could tell Duo he loved him and give him a present at the same time.



To Be Continued . . .