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

Notes:  Another time skip.  Eight years have passed since the previous part.  Quatre is now eleven years old.  Heero and Duo get
into some trouble in the village.



Secrets



Part Ten


The years passed by quickly in the village, and Lily was content to watch the children grow.  All of her young ones were
becoming adults now . . . her youngest, Quatre having turned eleven not all that long ago.  Children simply grew so quickly . . .
Lily could remember changing their diapers as if she had done it only yesterday, and now they were so independent.

Quatre’s hair was long and lovely.  He had grown it out just like Lily’s other children . . . this way, he fit in more and didn't look
as if he were any less a member of the family.  It was woven into a thick braid, trailing down past his waist like a golden rope.  
He would be a beautiful young man . . . Lily knew that for certain.

She shook her head and glanced out the window at where Quatre and Wufei were playing.  Those two were almost inseparable.  
It was a relief, actually.  Both boys had begun showing magical talents and a few mishaps had happened with their budding
abilities.  Nothing dangerous, however.  It was mostly that they turned Lily’s strawberries an interesting shade of blue . . . or
unintentionally made objects fly across the room.  It was nothing that worried Lily.  If it had only been Quatre showing such a
talent, she would be terrified, but because Wufei, a human boy, was doing the same things, Lily felt more at ease.

Lily turned her attention to the large tree nearby the house.  In it, was a simple tree house where she knew that Heero and Duo
were catching up.  Heero had just gotten home from a trip with his mother, and was due to leave in just another week.

Lily smiled warmly.  The boys were both thirteen now, and were gangly and awkward with the fact that they were growing
quicker than their coordination could.  She knew, however, that Heero would lose his scarecrow build and that Duo’s voice
would stop squeaking on him.  ‘Poor Duo . . . He loves to talk, and when Heero isn’t here, he goes so silent.’  She chuckled as
she watched them clamber out of the tree house and head to the village.  They were probably heading to walk with Solo, who
was helping the local grocer while the man was down with a cold.

Solo had gone through his own awkward stage.  Currently though, he was considered one of the most eligible bachelors by
most of the young woman of the town.  At age sixteen he was seen as quite the catch.  He had shot up to become quite tall, and
his muscles were well-formed due to him being the man of the house and doing most of the heavy chores, such as chopping
wood and carrying heavy loads when Howard couldn’t do it himself.  His time in the sun had given him a splendid tan, and he
had a naturally pleasant disposition and a quick mind that made him intelligent as well as good-looking.  But though the eyes of
many a girl fell upon him, Solo only had eyes for one . . . and that lucky girl was Wufei’s elder sister, Meiran.  Lily shook her
head with a bittersweet smile.  Solo looked so much like his father.

The sound of a door opening upstairs, signaled that Lily’s eldest child was coming down.  Une had no shortage of admirers
herself.  The main difference between her and Solo was that she tended to prefer reading and studying than spending time with
any of the boys of the village.  Most were undaunted though, but she never made even the slightest hint that would lead any of
the boys on.  Lily didn’t mind that Une had no interest in the boys of the village.  On the contrary, she simply wanted each of
her children to be happy . . . that was all any mother could want for her children.


*****


Duo laughed as he ran along with Heero.  He was happy now that his best friend was back.  Maybe this time, Heero would be
able to stay.  After all . . . Mr. Yuy had died during Mrs. Yuy’s previous business trip, and Duo knew that his mom might not
mind letting Heero use the spare room.  He was determined to mention it to his mother later.  He was sure she would agree.

They paused just outside of the main center of town.  “Hey, Heero!  I’ll race ya to the well in the center of town.  Loser buys
the winner a cherry tart.”

Heero smirked.  Each time he came home, he and Duo would race at least once.  So far, each race had ended in a tie.  The result
being that each of them had bought their own tarts or whatever the treat was that Duo wanted that day.  Duo was sure he’d win
this time.

“You’re on.”  Heero nodded.

Both of them kneeled into starting positions.  Duo grinned at Heero.  Sure, Heero’s legs were a little longer, but Duo often ran to
and from the village to bring lunch to Solo.  “One . . . two . . . three . . . GO!”  At that, both boys started running.

Heero and Duo ran at the same speed for most of the race.  Then Heero put on a burst of speed that would guarantee him the
win.

Unfortunately, Heero didn’t spot the small stone in the road.  He went down with a loud thud.

Duo winced in sympathy and stopped running so that he could help his friend up.  Sure he could have taken the win, but he didn’
t think that would be fair.

“Thanks.”  Heero mumbled, his head bowed as he dusted himself off.

Duo smiled, lending a hand in brushing the dirt from Heero’s shoulders.  “Don’t worry about it.”  He replied, setting his hand on
Heero’s arm.

“What’s the matter . . . forget how to walk?”  A crude voice spoke up.  “Or maybe you just CAN’T walk anymore after getting
your ass pounded by the village idiot here.”

Duo blushed and bit his lip.  He’d never told anyone that he was starting to look at Heero as more than just a friend, not just
Heero, but most every other guy in the village as well.  Still, he didn’t want Heero to know of his attraction.  What if Heero
thought he was disgusting for it.  There were people that found same sex relations to be distasteful . . . this village was quite
tolerant, there was a nice couple of men down the road from where Duo lived that were welcome by all in the village and not
seen as disgusting individuals for loving each other.

Heero’s voice was cold as he straightened, facing off against the brute.  “Duo is not an idiot.”

“Gotcha wrapped around his finger, doesn’t he . . . or maybe he wraps his fingers around YOU.”  The bulky youth sauntered up
to Heero.  “Does he make you scream?”

Duo clutched his hands into fists and planted himself between Heero and the bully.  “Leave him alone, you jerk.”  Duo hissed.

The bully snorted.  “Possessive, aren’t we?  I wonder why . . .”  With that, he pushed Duo aside and reached out to grope
Heero, one arm wrapped around Heero’s waist to keep him from retreating, while his other hand fondled the front of Heero’s
breeches.  “Oh . . . I can see why now.  My but you are well endowed for a kid.  Maybe it’s you who makes HIM scream.”  He
said, leaning forward and taking in a long deep breath of Heero’s neck.

Duo was seeing red.  He cared for Heero a great deal, maybe even more than cared.  He wasn’t about to lose that because some
jerk decided that they were fair game to play with.  But it was the whimper from Heero’s lips that truly made Duo mad, the fact
that Heero was shivering and pushing at the bully that was touching him.  Heero was scared.  Duo didn’t want Heero to be
scared.

Duo leapt forward, knocking the jerk over.  “You bastard!”  He screamed, pulling his fist back and striking the older boy firmly
in the face.  He did it again and again, not caring that he was defying one of the most important rules that his mother had been
teaching him since he had been little.

Duo kept hitting him, only striking arms after a while since the boy had raised his hands in defense.  He was a coward . . . but
then again, that’s what all bullies were.  Most would back down once they were confronted.  And this one was no different . . .
he was begging Duo to stop, trying to get out from under him so that he could scurry away like the rat he was.

Only when someone grabbed Duo around the waist and hauled him up, did Duo finally stop hitting the jerk.  He kicked and
fought to get out of the grip of whoever was holding him back, wanting to teach that jackass a lesson.  But the arms around him
were stronger.  Without Duo holding him down, the bully got to his feet and ran off, stumbling as he got away.

“Let me go!”  Duo shouted, trying to wriggle away.

“That’s enough, Duo!”  Solo’s deep voice replied.

Duo gulped.  Oh boy, he was in serious trouble now.  Duo took a breath, letting himself calm.  He looked to the side, seeing
Heero standing there, his head bowed.  Heero was shivering, his arms wrapped around himself.

“Oh, God.  Heero . . . are you okay?”  Duo asked, pushing at Solo’s arms.

Solo let him go this time and Duo ran over to Heero’s side, grasping his arm.

“I . . . I’m okay, Duo.”  Heero said, raising his gaze briefly to give Duo a small smile.  “He didn’t do nothin’ really.”

Duo smiled.  “Good.  He should never have touched you like that.”

Solo came over, bending slightly so that he could get a look at Heero.  Duo resented the fact that his brother now towered over
him.  He hoped he’d get taller . . . but that thought was quickly forgotten as Solo set his hand on Heero’s shoulder.

“You sure you’re not hurt?”  Solo asked, looking worried.

Heero nodded.  “I’ll be okay.”  He said quietly, averting his gaze.

Solo looked over his shoulder, calling to Meiran . . . Duo hadn’t noticed the girl standing there before, his mind had been on
other things.  “Could you walk Heero home and tell his mother what happened?  I have to take Duo home . . . Mom’s gonna be
mad as hell about this and I don’t think Heero wants to watch.”

Meiran nodded.  “Yes, of course.  Come on, Heero.”  Meiran replied, gesturing with a kind hand for Heero to follow.

Heero gave a quiet goodbye to Duo before he followed after Meiran.  Duo let his head drop.  He'd made a mess of things and
now he was in trouble.  He sighed, tagging along after his brother as they went back home.  He hoped that mom wouldn’t
punish him too badly.


*****


Lily was fuming as she listened to what had happened.  Duo . . . her son . . . had been fighting.  It was one of the worst things
she could imagine her children doing.  She shook her head, raising her hand to put a stop to Solo’s explanation.

“Enough . . . I’ve heard quite enough.  Duo, go to your room.”  Lily ordered.

Duo’s mouth dropped open.  “But Mom . . . the guy had his hand on Heero’s crotch . . . he was touching him.  I couldn’t just
stand there and watch!”

Lily’s eyes widened . . . she hadn’t known that.  Still, Duo had been fighting and she did have rules that the children were to
abide by.  “Duo, regardless of what was happening, you know how I feel about fighting.  I can’t let this go by without a
punishment, even though your motives were good.”

Duo hung his head.  “Yes, Mama.”  He mumbled, stuffing his hands into his pockets.  “What’s my punishment?”

Lily sighed.  She hated reprimanding any of her children.  “I’ll think about it.  For now, just go to your room and go to bed . . .
no supper for you tonight.”  She said.

“Mama . . . y-you won’t ground me, will you?  Heero’s leavin’ the end of the week . . .”  Duo started, his eyes wide and full of
worry.

Lily felt a smile tugging her lips.  “How about this . . . for the next three days, you are not to leave this house for any reason.”  
She held up her hand to stop Duo from saying anything.  “But . . . Heero will be allowed to visit you.”

“Really, Mama?”  Duo’s face lit up.

“This is still a punishment, Duo . . . just not as harsh a one I would give you if you hadn’t been protecting Heero.  Remember, I
don’t want you fighting.”

Duo ran forward, engulfing Lily in his arms.  “Thanks, Mama.  I’ll remember.  I promise.  No more fighting with the bullies . . .
I’ll go get help next time.”

“Good boy.”  Lily said, smoothing her hand through Duo’s hair.  “Go on now, up to bed with you.”

Duo nodded and let go.  He quietly headed up to bed, a slump in his shoulders as he did so.  He was probably still upset about
being punished, although happy with the fact that he wouldn’t be separated from Heero because of it.



To Be Continued . . .