Disclaimers:  I do not own Gundam Wing or any of its characters.

Notes:  Howard and Lily pack and leave the little farm.



Secrets



Part Five


Lily stretched her arms out over her head, sighing gratefully.  The last of Howard’s belongings had been packed onto the
wagon.  She did a quick check for her children, Quatre included, wanting to know if they had gotten into any trouble.

Une was looking up at Howard’s horse which was tethered to the side of the wagon.  She was looking at it in that adoration that
all girls have for equines.  Solo and Duo were securing the crates that the chickens were in.  But it took Lily a moment to find
little Quatre.  When she did, she almost laughed at the sight she found.

The little imp was trying to open one of the crates that held a chicken.  Lily quickly rushed over to scoop him up into her arms.  
“Quatre . . . we’re taking them with us, but they can’t be harnessed like the other animals.”

Quatre pouted and reached for the chicken with his small hands.  “Wanna hold!”

Lily blinked and then laughed.  “You can’t hold the chicken, sweetie.  It’s almost bigger than you are.  I promise they’ll be fine
in their crates.”

She carried him to the front of the wagon.  She, Duo, and Quatre would be riding in the wagon with Howard.  Howard had
already stated that Solo and Une would ride his horse, to which Une had been so very happy.  Lily climbed up and sat with
Quatre on her lap.

“Quatre, sweetie, do you know why we have to leave?”  She asked, adjusting the headband that covered the tops of his pointed
ears.  She wouldn’t have anyone hurting this child for what he looked like . . . the only way to ensure that though, was to hide
his appearance.  Lord knows why anyone would hurt such a gentle soul as Quatre.

Quatre nodded.  “Bad men.”  He said, a frown marring his young face.

Lily smiled sadly.  “That’s right.  The bad men will come and make sure that you aren’t here.  So we’ll all be safer if we move
on.”  She caressed his face when he made a small whimpering sound.  “It’s not your fault.  Okay?”  She felt her heart lighten a
little bit when Quatre nodded, wiping at his teary eyes with a little fist.  “From now on, Quatre . . . I am your mother.  Duo and
Solo are your brothers and Une is your sister.  Do you understand?”

Quatre squirmed a little until he was hugging her.  “Yes . . . Mama!”  He said, giggling a little.

Lily smiled and hugged Quatre in return.  “There’s my good little boy.  Everything will be all right.”

Howard walked over and took a seat beside Lily on the wagon.  He smiled at Quatre and ruffled his hair lightly.  “Everything’s
secure.  You both ready?”

Quatre blinked and pulled himself from Lily’s body as he looked from her to Howard and back a couple of times.  “If you
Mama, who he?”  Quatre asked, pointing to Howard.

Lily frowned in thought.  She hadn’t truly considered that.  “I don’t know.  I suppose ‘uncle’ fits.”  She looked to Howard.  
“That is . . . if you don’t mind?  There would be people who would think it odd or completely inappropriate for a woman to be
living with a man who isn’t her husband . . . and people tend to frown if too many years separate spouses.  No one will think
twice of a brother helping his younger widowed sister to raise her young children.”

Howard blushed.  “Well . . . I always wanted a sister.  I’d be honored to call you and the young ones my family.  Are you going
to tell the other little ones?”

Lily nodded.  “I’ll explain to Duo.  Perhaps you can tell Une and Solo?”  Then she smiled as her youngest clamored onto the
wagon.  “All finished?”

Duo beamed at her proudly.  “Yup!  Whatcha talking with Howard ‘bout, Mama?”  He asked, his expression shifting to one of
confusion.

“I’ll go have that talk with Solo and Une . . . and leave you to this.”  Howard smiled, then climbed down from the wagon.  He
walked over to the horse and knelt down in front of where Solo and Une were standing beside the animal.

Lily turned her attention back to Duo, smiling down at him.  “We were just talking about how he’s going to be your uncle from
now on.”  Lily said.  “It’s safer if people think he’s family, just like Quatre.  So, from now on, he’s my brother . . . your uncle.”

“Okay!”  Duo said, smiling brightly.  He seemed to have no problems with having another relative . . . in fact, he looked to be
rather pleased about it.

Lily looked over to Howard, smiling as she watched the man lift Solo and then Une onto the horse’s saddle.  He made sure they
were both settled there, before climbing back into the wagon and taking hold of the reigns.  “Let’s get going . . . we have a
ways to go before we’re safe to stop.”  He said, then shook the reigns and got the oxen that were harnessed to the wagon to
move.

“Thank you for all your help, Howard.”  Lily said yet again.

Howard nodded.  “No need, Miss Lily . . . or rather I should just call you Lily from now on, seeing as how you are my sister
now.”  He smirked in her direction.  “I’m just happy to have some family again.”

Lily smiled as well.  She wrapped her arm around Duo’s small shoulders, even as she held Quatre’s little body close to her.  She
didn’t want either of them to fall.  Looking back over her shoulder, she saw that Une and Solo were happily riding Howard’s
steed . . . things were going well so far, and that was good.

Hours later, they were traveling through the countryside.  Duo was asleep, resting on a pile of blankets and clothing in a large
trunk that had been set up just in case one of the children or even Lily or Howard needed a place to sleep.  The wagon was quite
a large one thankfully, plenty of room for all of the necessities.  Quatre was also sleeping, but he - small as he was - had opted
to stay on Lily’s lap, secure in the embrace of her arms.

Lily frowned in concern as Quatre whimpered plaintively and sniffled in his sleep.  “Quatre?  Wake up, sweetie.”  She
whispered, tenderly rubbing the child’s back as Quatre opened his eyes.  “It’s okay, Quatre . . . I’m here.”

Quatre’s sad little eyes looked up at Lily, brimming with crystalline tears.  “Mama?”

Lily smiled at Quatre.  “I’m here, Quatre . . . Oh!”  She blinked as Quatre clung to her with all the strength his tiny body could
muster.  “Quatre?  What’s wrong?”

Quatre sniffled against her.  “Bad men came and hurt you!”  He cried, his body beginning to shake from his sobs.  “I sorry,
Mama!”

Lily clucked her tongue in sympathy and hugged Quatre tenderly.  “Sshh.  It was just a bad dream, baby.  I’m all right, see?  I’
m not hurt at all.  It was just a bad dream.”

Howard turned to her and frowned at Quatre’s trembling form.  “What’s wrong?”  He asked, concerned.

Lily smiled softly at the kind gentleman.  “He had a bad dream.  It must be because of all the stress.  He’ll be all right.”  Lily said,
even as she gently rocked Quatre back and forth, trying to calm the distressed child.

Howard nodded, apparently satisfied with her answer.  “Well . . . we’ll reach a village in about a half hour.  We can stop for
lunch and pick up a few supplies.  I still want you and the kids to get some new clothes, can’t be wearing those every day.”

Lily blushed a little in embarrassment.  They had been wearing the same clothes since they had met Howard all those days ago.  
And to be quite honest, the garments were in desperate need of a good washing.  “Yes, thank you.  But . . .”

“No, buts.”  Howard said, smirking at her.  “I have enough money . . . been saving up for a long time now.  Never had anything
worthwhile to spend any of it on until now.”

Lily nodded.  “A new set of clothing would be greatly appreciated.  But I won’t accept your kindness unless you buy something
for yourself as well.”

“It’s a deal.  I’ll get myself a new pair of boots . . . mine are quite worn out.”  He said, then urged the oxen to move faster.

Lily turned her attention back to Quatre, softly stroking her fingers through Quatre’s silken hair, hoping to calm him.  Quatre
looked up at her, and cuddled closer, sniffling a little.  “No like bad dweams.”  He whimpered, rubbing one hand over his teary
eyes.  

“You’re safe, Quatre.  I won’t let anything happen to you.”  Lily pressed a kiss to his forehead, smiling when he snuggled
against her.  She just continued to hold him, offering silent comfort to the boy.



To Be Continued . . .