"Hey I'm New!"

Written By: Dùlin

View Gift Art for Hey I'm New!

Archive: This arc is archived on this site with permission. Do not reproduce it anywhere without permission.

Disclaimer : Someone told me I didn't own them. I'm still reeling from the news. And I still have no money if you want to sue. Hey, if I did own them, I'd probably be too busy to experiment some PWP scenarios to have time to even think of writing this !

Rating : Probably PG-13 in the beginning, but PG-15 is safer for the rest because of language and other stuff

Warnings : AU, high school fluffy fluff --> teenagers discussing love, sex and relationships. Shounen ai and het romance and sap. Bit of OOC-ness of the 'I am normal' kind. Mild Relena-bashing (it won’t last for he whole story, since I found out I am unable to be mean to that girl for extended periods of time)

Intended for fun and relaxation, although I'm not sure I'll be able to keep it completely angst-free. Angst just seems to creep up everywhere I go. In fact, it's not me, It's Kawaii Lil' Lia who says it, teenagers angst away about anything, so ... *sighs*

Pairings : Main 2+1 and 4+3+4, 5+M. Unreciprocated R+1 and H+2. 6+9, Solo + Cathy, Odin + Sally

Dedicated to 'the stalker' (she knows who she is).

"Hey I'm New!"

Chapter 1

“Heero, hurry up or you’ll be late !”, Meiko Yuy called her son. “Odin is waiting for you in the car !”

“Did I hear ‘Heero’ and ‘late’ in the same sentence ?”, her husband joked as he passed behind her. “Doesn’t match. Heero wouldn’t dream of being late on the first day in his new school.”

“Well, I just hope he’ll find friends this time”, Meiko Yuy sighed. “If only we hadn’t had to move again … Thank God the Changs moved with us. At least, neither Heero nor Wufei will be too lost like this.”

“I’m coming, okaa-san (1) !”, a young voice answered from upstairs, quickly followed by the owner of the voice, a young man with the graceful Asian features of his mother and the blue eyes and messy brown hair of his father.

Meiko Yuy eyed her son from head to toe. It was the first Western school without uniform he was attending. He had adopted what seemed to be the universal uniform for young high schoolers around the world, faded blue jeans and a white T-shirt.

Heero grabbed his backpack, waved goodbye to his father who was now sitting in front of his breakfast and joined his half brother in the car.

“We got to get Chang, right ?”, Odin asked as he started the engine.


“Alright, let’s go then.”

Half an hour later, the three youngsters got inside Waterfalls High, looking for the principal’s office. Odin was perfectly comfortable, he had changed schools so often that he couldn’t remember a year when he had finished a grade in the same school he had started it, but his younger brother and his friend were looking around uneasily. The fact that they both had very recognizable Asian features that were not very common around here didn’t help, since everyone was stopping in their tracks to look at them and whisper in small groups.

“Relax, guys”, Odin whispered. “This is not an execution, okay ? So try not to be too grumpy with people and to make friends !”

The usual “Hn” that was his brother’s favorite reply came, and Chang Wufei only smirked. Odin sighed. Those two were impossible. He just prayed for no one to piss them off. It would do no good if they were kicked out of school because they had gotten into a fight.

“Is that clear, Maxwell ?”, Principal Une asked as she escorted the blond teenager out of her office.

“Sure Ma’am”, Solo Maxwell answered, mock-cowering. “I swear I’ll never ever try that again.”

Principal Une sighed.

“I know it only means next time you won’t get caught, Maxwell. Honestly, between you and your brother, it’s a wonder I didn’t get a coronary sooner !”

“Damn ! And to think you’ll have to be the one restraining Duo once I graduate … Uh, good luck ?”

“Enough, Maxwell”, Une chastised, but she couldn’t help the smile that crept on her lips. “Don’t add insolence to mischief.”

“Aye aye, Captain.”

“That’s Colonel to you”, the tall brown-haired answered without missing a beat, and being rewarded with the famous Maxwell Roar of Laughter. “Mr Kushrenada will be expecting you next Wednesday for your detention.”

The Maxwell Roar of Laughter died to become the Maxwell Indignant Whine.

“Why ? It wasn’t even in his class that I …”

“I believe that’s quite enough, now, Mr Maxwell. Last time I checked, I was the principal and you were a mere student here. May I add a mere student who broke the rules.”

“Yes, Ma’am”, Solo sighed dramatically. “I’ll be on time.”

“I’m counting on it.”

Principal Une opened her door, only to have her secretary point three young men in the waiting area.

“The new students, Principal Une.”

“Oooh, newbies, goody !”

Solo almost pounced on the three boys. The tallest one had short blond hair and green eyes and just smiled. The other two, shorter and with matching Asian looks, took a prudent step back.

“Mr Maxwell, one of the rules here states that you are not to bodily harm your future comrades on their first day”, Une said tersely.

“But I was just saying welcome !”

“I can think of a better way, Mr Maxwell. Why don’t you wait there until I’m done with them and then you’ll show them a bit around while leading them to their classes ?”

“Sure ! I’m already late for class, so …”

“And you know perfectly well why. Follow me”, she added for the three new students.

On the whole, Odin thought Principal Une was nice and if the boy they had met outside her office was any indication, this year would prove to be interesting. As usual, his little brother’s face, along with Chang’s, didn’t betray any of their thoughts. They politely listened to Une’s speech and nodded, but didn’t say a word. Odin would have growled at them if he had thought it could do any good, but if there was something those two were, apart from anti-social, it was stubborn. So Odin only sighed and hoped once again that Heero and Wufei would find friends and act normal.

As soon as they were out, the blond young man who had been there before pounced on them again.

“Hey ! Welcome to Waterfalls High ! I’m Solo Maxwell !”

“Odin Lowe”, Odin answered, shaking hands with Solo. “This is my little bro Heero Yuy and Chang Wufei.”

“Well, since I’m supposed to show you to your classrooms, you’d better show me your schedule, so I see where you belong !”

A quick glance to said schedules later, Solo beamed.

“Good ! You two are in the same group, that’ll save us a trip, and you’re with me, Odin ! Now come on, hurry up, or Dermail will have my ass, I spend half of my time skipping his period and the other half arriving late and sleeping on my desk, so …”

Chattering away, Solo Maxwell led the three new students down a corridor.

“The cafeteria’s over here, but you don’t want to eat too much of the food anyway. I mean, any story you’ve heard about cafeteria food is true here, we had some severe cases of food poisoning, but no one has died yet. There are bets on, though. Library’s that way, but there’s never too many people in there, the librarian’s a bit weird, his name’s Tsuberov and we all think he’s planning to help aliens invade the planet. Hasn’t succeeded yet. You’ll find some empty lockers some way over there to put your stuff, and classrooms have numbers on them so you should find them pretty easily. Sports ground that way, and sport locker room is over here as well. For the rest, use your free periods to explore. Oh, and I don’t know if Une warned you, but we actually elected students on the board this year, so if you got any problem, you just go for Sally Po, she’s a senior and she’s the student representative. Peacecraft was pissed off because she wasn’t elected, but she’s a junior, and god forbid that we actually get her as a representative, ‘cause …”

Heero and Wufei stared at the tall blond boy with gray eyes as he talked on and on, gesturing widely as he did and somehow managing to catch his breath between words without making any apparent effort, as if this was the way he always talked. Odin just smirked at his brother, who glared back at him and shrugged. Solo finally stopped in front of a classroom.

“Here you are, guys”, he said happily to Heero and Wufei. “History of European Literature, with Mr Kushrenada, also known as the Evil Overlord. I dunno why, since no one can seem to remember when he was given that nick and anyway, no one knows why he was given that nick.”

He knocked on the door and a grave voice told him to come in.

“Mr Kushrenada, I’m bringing new students !”

“Let them come in and then go to class yourself, Mr Maxwell”, Treize Kushrenada said.

“Yessir ! Well, here you go”, Solo said to the two young boys, and stepped aside to let them come in the room. Wufei inclined his head and smiled a bit, but Heero Yuy just stared at him for a moment with those impossibly blue eyes, face blank, before getting in too. The door closed behind them.

Solo scratched his head in confusion.

“Did I do something wrong ?”, he asked Odin while leading the other senior down the corridor, his face expressing worry and concern.

“No you didn’t”, Odin sighed. “Heero’s just like this and not a lot of people are comfortable around him.”

“And you are ?”

“He’s my little bro, man, I’ve been living with him for fifteen years and I’m pretty much used to everything he can do.”

“Doesn’t prove anything. I’ve been living with my bro for fifteen years and that kid’s still a mystery to me, I mean, I honestly thought no one in the world could do pranks like mine, but he’s a smartass alright !”

Odin smiled, put at ease by the easy manners the other youth was adopting.

“Just don’t take it personally if Heero is a bit … let’s just say he and Chang didn’t have it easy, and they stick together most times. They don’t like being thrown in a new environment, and they’re not very sociable.”

“Well, I hope we’ll be able to do somethin’ about this, hey ?”

“That’d be great. If it works. They’ve been thrown from school to school since they were three, with our parents moving around and all. Every time they made friends, they would have to leave them after a few months, so after a while, they just stopped making friends and stuck to themselves. I don’t like it, but it’s not like I can do anything about it. When he was younger, Heero used to tell me everything, but now … well, you know how they get, around that age !”

“Tell me about it”, Solo sighed dramatically. “Duo turned into a demon practically overnight. But, still, those two are … a bit weird, no offense.”

“None taken”, Odin assured Solo. “You’re right, they’re totally weird.”

Duo stifled a yawn as he doodled yet another version of the Evil Overlord being knocked over by a chibi Duo sporting black bat wings and a big scythe. History of European literature was really dull. It was the one subject where you could learn everything from a book, and yet they had found someone to teach it. Duo had read his textbook in the first two weeks of school and had become increasingly bored with Mr Kushrenada’s classes since then. The good side of it being his note book was now covered in funny little doodles of various teachers being subjected to punishments by Chibi Death Duo and very fine portraits of his classmates, with two of them appearing more often.

Flapping through his notebook, Duo stopped on a simple portrait of Quatre he’d done one day. Just a few strokes on the paper really, as he had caught his blond friend deep in thoughts, the joyful lights outside lighting the golden hair. Looking up, the braided boy stole a glance to the real life version of his drawing and smiled a bit. As usual, Quatre was listening to the teacher and writing notes on his sheets in that neat elegant writing of his, and even managed not to look too bored. Of course, maybe that was not because the class was interesting, but because Trowa’s hand was rubbing his thigh under their table. Duo’s smile grew wider and he winked at his green-eyed friend.

The calm doziness of the room was broken as someone knocked loudly. Duo straightened in his chair a bit as Mr Kushrenada said “Come in.” The teenager’s smile was firmly back in place a few seconds later as his big brother’s head suddenly poked from outside. Duo waved at Solo and got a wink back.

“Mr Kushrenada, I’m bringing new students !”

“Let them come in and then go to class yourself, Mr Maxwell”, Treize Kushrenada said.

“Yessir !”

Solo disappeared again, probably to gesture the new students in. Then they came in, and Duo lost all pretense of being interested in his doodle as his pencil fell on the floor.

The first one to come in was obviously Chinese. He was wearing black baggy jeans and a tight white t-shirt. His black hair was pulled back in a ponytail and little wire-framed glasses were perched on his nose. Slanted dark eyes were watching around the class with interest. Duo was not the only one to notice just how fine he was and how the bright white t-shirt made a contrast with his honey colored skin.

But then again, when the second one came in full view, Duo really lost his breath for good. The boy had Asian origins, the caramel skin and slanted eyes told that much. But his hair was a dark chocolate brown, and his eyes were of the most piercing blue as he detailed his new classmates. ‘And the body matches the rest’, Duo thought as he let his eyes roam free on the small but very well-built boy.

“Duo, you’re drooling”, Quatre whispered, trying not to sound too amused.

“Just tell me how I could not drool, Cat ? I mean, it’s inhuman to be exposed to this before noon. Pure, unadulterated drooling material ! You should be drooling too !”

“Sorry, Duo, but I don’t think it’d be sensible to drool on someone else when my boyfriend’s sitting just there.”

“You may drool, Cat”, Trowa said completely deadpan. “I give you leave to drool. I am drooling.”


Quatre was in the process of turning to his boyfriend to swat him when he noticed the girls. Relena Peacecraft looked like God was talking to her, and whatever He was saying, it looked good. Following her gaze, Quatre soon noticed that the object of her fixation was the blue-eyed boy. Beside Relena, Hilde was looking bored, and soon came back to her favorite pastime, namely drooling on Duo. On Relena’s other side, Dorothy Catalonia was watching the whole scene with a lot of interest and trying to understand the new dynamics of the group. And Meiran … Quatre frowned. Meiran was positively glaring at the Chinese boy and she did not look happy. Quatre poked Trowa in the ribs, making the ticklish taller teenager squirm in his chair.

“Cat ! What ..”

“What’s wrong with Meiran ?”

Both Duo and Trowa turned to look at the Chinese girl, who was still furiously glaring. Then, they turned to the waiting Chinese boy … to find him glaring right back.

“That’s weird”, Duo commented. “Ya think she knows him or something ?”

Trowa shrugged.

“We’ll know soon enough. How much do you wanna bet by nightfall Relena will know everything there is to know about those two ?”

“Oh, come on, Trowa, Relena’s not that bad …”

Trowa shot a pointed look to his boyfriend. The blond teen blushed.

“Okay, she is that bad”, Quatre admitted, “but still it’s no reason to …”

“Class”, Treize Kushrenada interrupted, “This is Chang Wufei and Heero Yuy. They will join your group for the rest of the year. Please welcome them and try to make them feel at home. Boys, find a seat and let’s keep on with our lesson.”

To Duo’s dismay, Heero Yuy did not choose to come sit next to him at the vacant table who was only waiting for him (or so Duo liked to think). It was Chang Wufei who came here, and Duo settled for drooling on him for the rest of class.

“Hey ! Hope you’ll like it here !”, he whispered excitedly as the dark-haired boy slid into his chair.

Wufei did not answer, but nodded in acknowledgement and offered a small smile before taking out a note book and a pen.

Heero had been left to find the last free table in the room, namely between Trowa and Dorothy. Duo had to be careful not to laugh out loud as Relena Peacecraft’s eyes became all gooey and shining with bright sparkles.

“Welcome, Heero”, she chirped loud enough to be heard by her neighbors.

To absolutely no avail. Heero purely and simply ignored her, taking out his own notebook and settling to listen to the teacher. Relena looked taken aback. Duo thought it was probably the first time someone did that to her, ‘cause God forbid any of them would be left alone not knowing the wonderful and delicious miss Peacecraft. But the new boy had just looked straight ahead, not even turning his head to acknowledge her presence.

Duo turned to Quatre who was very busy not to laugh too at the look on Relena’s face. Trowa, for his part, was examining his new neighbor. Green eyes caught Prussian Blue ones for a second, and Trowa’s lips curved into a little smile.

Once the bell rang, Wufei and Heero took all their time picking up their stuff. Dorothy had to push Relena out of the classroom since the girl obviously wanted to wait for Heero.

“Don’t make a fool of yourself in front of everyone”, the tall blonde snapped. “If you really want him, there’ll be other times.”

And Relena had to admit her friend was right. Staying to wait for the boy who had ignored her in front of the whole class would be commented and gossiped about for weeks, so Relena sighed and made her way out with a last longing look to her Prince Charming …who only glared at her, his face void of any expression.

Heero had hoped everyone would get out and forget about him and Wufei, but his neighbor, the tall teenager with green eyes, and his two friends, the blond and the one with the long braid, were still there, chatting and looking like they always were the last ones out of a classroom.

“Hey guys”, the braided teenager said excitedly. “Ya didn’t choose the best class to crash in, y’know ?”

“It was quite interesting”, Wufei said, trying to appear neutral.

“Sheesh, what are you, a saint ? Kushrenada is boring as hell ! Whatever … Did Solo show you ‘round a bit ?”

Wufei nodded, trying not to smile too obviously when witnessing Heero’s mild discomfort with the situation. His Japanese friends was not used to people getting friendly with him. Wufei was more open, but Heero had always been the only stable point in his existence while moving from school to school, and his blue-eyed friend was always wary of new elements.

“That’s good !”, the braided teen continued. “I’m Duo, by the way ! Duo Maxwell ! Solo’s my big bro !”

“That explains some things”, Heero muttered under his breath, so low that only Trowa heard him and had to fight a chuckle.

“Hi”, the blond boy said with a gentle smile. “I’m Quatre Winner.”

“Trowa Barton”, the tall green-eyed boy said.

Wufei nodded to each of them, and Heero grunted his usual “hn”.

“Well, I hope you’ll feel alright here”, Quatre said, still smiling. “It’s quite a nice school on the whole.”

“We got Biology next, you guys know where the labs are ?”, Duo asked, and both Heero and Wufei shook their heads. “S’okay, just come with me, we got a ten-minute break anyway, maybe you could use it to get a locker, I guess ya didn’t have time for that yet, right ?”

“No, we didn’t”, Wufei admitted. “Thank you.”

“We’ll … catch up with you later, Duo”, Quatre said, suddenly blushing. “Trowa and I have … some place to be.”

And he almost dashed outside, trailing the taller boy beside him by the hand. Heero watched their joined hands with a surprised expression on his face, then jumped as Trowa winked at him while going out. He reddened a bit when he realized he had been staring. When he looked up, he caught a strange expression of sadness on Duo’s face as the braided teen followed the exit of his friends. When he realized he was being watched, though, Duo shook his head and smiled ruefully.

“Gee, those two, since they got together, they take every chance they get to go grope each other in cupboards, I swear ! They’re sooo cute !”

The two Asian faces wore matching expression of disbelief and inquisitiveness.

“What ?”, Duo asked. “Never seen a gay guy before or what ? You’d better get used to it, ‘cause those two are always all over each other, y’know ?”

Wufei’s cheeks turned a deep shade of pink and Heero looked away, embarrassed, leaving Duo to wonder what he had said exactly to provoke that kind of reaction.

The braided boy led his new classmates to the locker area, and waited as they both chose lockers. He heard Heero mumbling something about inadequate security, and then, Wufei told Heero something in a foreign language that brought a little smirk on the other’s face. Duo watched avidly as those two interacted with each other in what seemed to be a long-rehearsed routine. And he drooled for all he was worth.

For a long time, Duo had tried to convince himself he was honestly happy for Quatre and Trowa. The blonde had been his best friend since grade school, and Duo had sincerely thought for a while that they were going to end up together. Then Trowa had showed up and Quatre had fallen hard for him. They were perfect together. But Duo couldn’t help feeling a bit lonely now.

He was used to being picked on because he looked a bit like a girl, with his delicate face, huge blue-violet eyes and long braid. But being used to it didn’t make it any easier to bear, and seeing his best friend happy with his love only served to outline his own loneliness.

Duo snapped out of these depressing thoughts when he noticed Meiran coming closer, followed by Hilde. The Chinese girl made a bee-line for Wufei, smirking.

“So Chang”, she called out loud, “couldn’t wait to run after me after I left, could you ?”

Wufei looked up from his locker, saw who was talking to him and smirked right back.

“You wish, Long”, he answered ironically. “You still haven’t changed, have you ? Always think you’re the best of the clan and everyone should look up to you and worship your ass ?”

“How dare you ?”, Meiran growled.

“You started it.”

Duo felt a tug on his sleeve and turned around.

“Let’s go over here”, Heero murmured to him. “It could get nasty.”

“But why ? And shouldn’t we call someone to make them stop ?”

“Hn. No use”, the Japanese replied. “Believe me, it’s better to be out of their way if they get serious.”

“Oh wow, but you made a full sentence. No wait, three full sentences. And I was starting to think you couldn’t talk !”, Duo joked.

“Hn. Baka.”

Duo frowned.

“I got no clue what this means, but I get a strange feeling it’s not a compliment …”

Heero just shrugged, and turned back to the argument, his face expressing nothing.

“I don’t even want to talk to you, Meiran, so just leave me alone”, Wufei was saying.

“That’s too easy, Chang ! I spent half of my childhood being asked to follow your shining example, you don’t seriously think I will stand it again, do you ?”

“No one is asking you that”, Wufei said flatly. “You’re the one who always wants to measure yourself up to me, so don’t make it look like I’m the bad guy here.”

No one saw Meiran’s hand move, but the slap rang in the hall. Wufei didn’t even stagger back, his cheek reddening under the blow.

“Ni shi shia jun (2)”, the Chinese girl spat.

“Bu shi (3).”

“I hate you!”, Meiran yelled before storming off.

“What was that all about ?”, Duo asked, wide-eyed.

“Hiya, pals!”, Solo said, bounding into the quiet Senior study room and effectively blowing the quietness away. Odin was following more sedately. “I got a rookie !”, Solo added excitedly, pointing to Odin.

“We can see that, sweetie”, Lucrezia said, sighing and closing her book. “Will you please stop jumping up and down like that ?”

“Yeah, that would be nice”, Milliardo agreed. “You’re giving me a headache already. And what about keeping the volume of your voice at an acceptable level for us mere mortals ? We don’t have Duo’s ears, you know ?”

“Too bad for you, Milli !”

“Don’t call me that”, Milliardo said tiredly for the hundredth time.

“Whatever you say, hon !”, Solo replied.

“Wassup ?”, Sally asked, coming in behind them. “Oh, hey, Solo ! You found someone to listen to you chatter endlessly ?”

“Come on, Po-girl, you know that you want me deep inside”, Solo sighed.

At that point, Catherine got up and smacked him. Solo let out an indignant yelp and turned to face the girl.

“What was that for ?”, he asked petulantly.

“If you don’t know it, then I can’t help you”, Catherine replied with a smile and a wink to Sally.

“Honestly, Solo, you should know better than flirting with me in front of your own girlfriend”, Sally laughed. “And anyway, if I ever had to pick one of you guys in the Maxwell family, I’d go for Duo.”

“My brother’s gay”, Solo pointed helpfully.

“I know that. Doesn’t mean I can’t drool.”

Odin watched with a smile as the small group of friends interacted. Solo had gone to Catherine, wrapped an arm around her waist and was currently pretending to beg for forgiveness. The girl acted as though she wanted to play it rough, but her small smile just showed that she was gonna give in any second.

“Are you going to introduce me at any point ?”, Odin finally asked, which had the expected effect to draw everyone’s attention to him.

“Sure, sure!”, Solo answered, going back to his new friend. “Everyone, this is Odin Lowe. He’s just arrived here with his lil’ bro Heero and that other guy named … how was it again ?”

“Chang Wufei”, Odin said.

“That’s it ! They’re both in Duo’s group, so you should meet them soon. Bit grumpy, but they look nice enough. Anyway, Odin this is Milliardo Peacecraft.”

Solo pointed to the tallest young man in the room. Milliardo was a good 6’2, maybe a bit taller. Odin mentally catalogued him as basketball player. Yet what was remarkable about him was the long shock of white blond hair that fell almost to his waist, and piercing very light blue eyes. ‘Interesting’, Odin thought. ‘Quite the looker and yet I’m quite sure no one messes with him ‘cause he looks like a girl.’ Milliardo definitely didn’t look like a girl, that was for sure.

“You mentioned that name before”, Odin said carefully, trying to remember when exactly he had heard it.

“Oh, you told him about Relena”, Milliardo sighed. “My little sister”, he explained to Odin. “She could be a nice girl except for the fact that she’s spoiled rotten to the core and convinced the world revolves around her.”

“You should watch out, Odin, she’s got a thing for oriental guys !”, Solo said. “That lil’ bro of yours and his friend could become her next targets.”

“Why that ?”, Milliardo asked, raising a pale eyebrow. “No offence, but you don’t look oriental at all”, he added for Odin.

“That would be because I’m not, or just a little. I’m Russian, actually. Heero is my half-bro. Same dad, different mom. His mom is Japanese.”

“He’s just great to look at, you should see that !”, Solo interrupted. “He’s got that slightly tanned skin, and the slanted eyes, and high cheekbones, and under all that gorgeous brown hair, he’s got blue eyes. Blue ! Relena’s gonna drown in her own drool !”

“Thanks for the mental image”, Milliardo smirked with a disgusted face. “Well, maybe it would help her wake up a bit to the real world, though.”

“Anyway, next to Milli here, we have his girlfriend Lucrezia Noin. Watch out for her, she’s Italian and possessive. No touching her boyfriend unless she’s given express permission to do so.”

“I’m not that bad !”, the brunette protested.

She was actually quite tall too, with black hair falling in front of her face and deep blue eyes that were almost purple on the edge. And, Odin noticed, her hair also had some purplish color in it.

“You are that bad ! Remember last year, at the Prom ?”, Solo teased.

“That’s different. One, you were drunk, and two, you’re a bisexual and you were blatantly hitting on my boyfriend !”

“You’re quite lucky I didn’t have my knives with me”, Catherine groaned.

“I know, sweetheart”, Solo cooed. “This magnificent person, by the way, is Catherine Bloom, and also my girlfriend for the time being.”

Catherine raised an eyebrow.

“Come on, love of my life”, Solo said, “you know what I mean.”

The girl was as tall as Solo, with curly auburn hair and the strangest gray eyes. She grinned.

“I need someone to help me practice this week-end, Solo-babe”, she said very sweetly, “because Quatre invited Trowa and Duo for a sleepover, if you remember correctly.”

“Oh, hell, I had forgotten ! Odin, any chance you might invite me out some place very far away from here ??”

“Why that ?”, Odin asked, very surprised, even if Solo’s reaction was too melodramatic to be true.

“You see, that girl of mine here lives in a circus, and she’s a knife-thrower. A damn good one. Usually, she practices with Trowa, her little bro, but when he’s not there, I’m designated to volunteer, see what I mean ?”

“You live in a circus ?”, Odin asked Catherine.

“The big tent, not far from the campus”, Catherine answered. “Trowa and I live in one of the trailers there. We have a permanent location here, which is just as good, since I was beginning to get sick of changing schools all the time. And now, I have a boyfriend and so does Trowa, so we really don’t want to move out again.”

“Oh yeah, I forgot. Trowa Barton, who is in your bro’s class, is Catherine’s half brother”, Solo cut in. “Not like you and Heero though. Same mom, different dad. And that nice young man is also Quatre’s boyfriend, and Quatre is Duo’s best friend. Duo, my brother, in case I lost you.”

“You nearly did”, Odin confessed. “Who is Quatre ?”

“Quatre Winner. Son of the big rich Winner guy. You’ll meet a lot of Winners around, he’s got I don’t know how many sisters, lil’ Cat. They’ve been here for ten years, I think and all of us have had at least one Winner in one of our grades. His eldest sister is on the admin board, or something like that, and she’s also the school doctor. They’re easy to recognize, they all got blond hair and blue eyes, which is strange since they’re all Arabian.”

Solo looked in the void for a moment, as if considering a mystery of nature, then shrugged.

“You’ll meet all of our brothers and sisters eventually, anyway. They’re more or less all in the same group. Maybe Heero’ll get friendly with them.”

“Maybe, although it’d work better if they tried to get friendly with Heero. Never mind”, he added hastily when he saw the strange looks people were shooting him. “Is anyone here American ?”

“You mean apart from me and Duo ?”, Solo joked. “Well, I’d say most of the usual school population is, but in this group, I’m the only one, and we have some nice representatives from all over the globe. As I said, the Winners are from Saudi Arabia, Mil over here and Relena are from Northern Europe, some little monarchy called Sank Kingdom, Lu is half Italian and half German, Cathy is French and her brother was born in Spain and his dad was English. Long Meiran arrived from China two years ago. And I think Dorothy Catalonia is from Norway. And you’re Russian, Wufei is Chinese and Heero half Japanese and half Russian. Quite a nice melting pot, if you want my opinion.”

“What about me ?”, Sally asked.

“I just kept you for last ‘cause you’re complicated, hon”, Solo said absentmindedly. “This is Sally Po”, he added for Odin.

The young man looked at the blond girl. The name sounded Chinese, but the girl had honey-blond hair tied into French braids and light gray-blue eyes. The only indication of Chinese descent was her slightly slanted eyes.

“Lemme see if I get this right this time”, Solo kept on. “Sal here is a quarter Chinese, two quarters Sweden and one quarter American. She’s our Mix Girl.”

“Thanks, sweetie”, Sally smiled. “You got it right.”

“Hey, I knew I had it in me, I worked hard and there you go.”

“Well, nice to meet y’all”, Odin said finally once everybody calmed down a little. “I’m sure I’m gonna have a good time here.”

“Oh you will”, Solo answered. “Or my last name’s not Maxwell !”

The bell finally rang and Heero let out a sigh of relief. Relena had managed to sit next to him in their math class and had spent the whole period gazing amorously at him and trying to get his attention by playing with her hair or dropping her pen. Heero had kept his glance fixed on the teacher, trying not to show too much of his exasperation. He was now packing his things, and hoping, in vain, that Relena’s blond friend would come over and scoop her out of the classroom. The last thing he wanted right now was to talk to her.

Duo stole a glance to where Heero was seated next to Relena. He had noticed, of course, that Heero was not paying attention to the girl, but that did not seem to rebuff her. On the contrary, Duo was sure it only hardened her resolve. No one said no to Relena Peacecraft and got away with it. The braided boy saw that Relena was packing her things very slowly, probably intending to speak to him after some people would have left the classroom. He could not let that happen. It was his duty to protect innocent bystanders from the evil Peacecraft. He quickly hushed the little part of his mind that was telling him Wufei Chang was not into the ‘innocent bystanders’ category, and that he was just a horny teenager who was going after a guy he barely knew.

“Cat ?”

Quatre turned away from packing his own things. He too had been observing Heero all day. Or more exactly, he had been observing Duo observing Heero. He knew that look on Duo’s face, and honestly, he was quite happy to see it again. Duo was not one for advertising his homosexuality, even if most of the school knew, and picking up boyfriends in such a little town was kind of difficult. And Heero was cute, too, Quatre added mentally without an ounce of guilt. He freely admitted that had he not been with Trowa, he would gladly have followed Duo on that path. Of course there was no knowing if Heero or Wufei were gay but … just for the look on Duo’s face, it looked worth a try.

“What is it, Duo ?”

Duo pointed to the scene at his back. Heero, packing his things and shooting a long suffering look to Wufei, who was smiling in sympathy, and Relena, dragging her feet to leave, and ready to pounce on Heero as soon as he would get up.

“Oh god, poor guy”, Trowa snickered. “I was sure Rel was over her oriental phase. Looks like not, after all.”

“Tro, it’s not funny !”, Duo almost growled. “We can’t just let her …”

“No, we can’t !”, Quatre heartily agreed. “Can we, Trowa ?”

The banged boy cupped Quatre’s cheek in his hand.

“Do as you wish, kitty. After all, it will make me see Relena going all disappointed and furious twice in one day. I’d pay money for that.”

“I really don’t know what you and Duo have against her”, Quatre started. “She has her head up in space, that’s for sure, but she’s not that …”

“We don’t have anything against her”, Duo interrupted, “she’s the one who’s got something against us. Gee, if she didn’t want to live along scummy things like us, she only had to tell Daddy she wanted to go to a fancy boarding school, but guess what, she wanted a ride on the wild side with us common people, and …”

“Duo !”

“Sorry, Cat !”, Duo mumbled, looking away, a bit embarrassed. “You know I didn’t mean that …”

“I know you meant it and I wouldn’t make the mistake to think you mean the same thing about me”, Quatre corrected.

He raised his hand before Duo could protest any further, then leaned next to his best friend and murmured in his ear : “I’m doing this for you just because I want to see you smile again. I’m waiting for details in case it works out.”

“What ? Cat, wait up ! What are you doin’ ?”, Duo yelped as Quatre suddenly went away to the back of the classroom.

Trowa raised an eyebrow, and chuckled softly.

“You’re in so much trouble, Duo.”

“And how would you know that ?”, the braided boy pouted.

“’Cause Cat has been desperate to play matchmaker for you ever since he found out you were in love with him back then, and he’s been slapping himself endlessly for not realizing.”

And Duo did the only thing he could think of when hearing that. He gaped at Trowa.

Heero sighed and finally began to get up, resigning himself to the inevitable.

“Heero ?”

The Japanese boy almost jumped when he realized that the voice calling him was male and coming from his right, instead of female and coming from his left. He looked up and met quiet green blue eyes and very light blond hair. Quatre, the friend of that braided boy who had shown them around a bit, the one who talked a lot.

Quatre got closer and leaned onto Heero’s desk. Heero almost backed away from the presence invading his personal space, before he noticed something. Quatre’s move had somehow placed the boy between Heero and Relena, blocking the girl from any attempt to talk to him. Heero frowned. Quatre still looked like the living incarnation of candor, but Heero was sure the move had been calculated, although he had no idea why.

“I’ve just been thinking … Duo, Trowa and I are meeting at my house this Saturday for a study session, since we have a chemistry test next week, and they are going to stay the night. Since you’re new and a bit behind, I figured you could come too and we’d help you with the homework and all.”

After that little speech, Quatre smiled. A brilliant, dazzling smile, that Trowa, for one, knew only too much. It was very difficult for anyone to say no to Quatre when he was shooting that smile. But apparently, Heero was immune to it.

And actually, the Japanese boy was about to say that he was not behind in chemistry when Wufei elbowed him. Heero turned to his best friend, and saw him shooting a pointed look behind Quatre’s shoulder, where Relena was still trying to get past the blond boy.


“Excuse me ?”, Quatre asked, politely puzzled.

“He means he’ll be very happy to come”, Wufei translated. “Thank you. We don’t want to be imposing, though.”

“You won’t”, Quatre laughed. “My dad won’t be home, and the house is so big even I still get lost in it. You can stay the night too, if it’s alright with your parents.”

“We’ll be sure to ask”, Wufei said with a smile.

“Do you guys have a ride home ?”

“Yes”, Heero said, thus proving he could actually manage something resembling normal articulate speech. “My brother’s got a car.”

“Oh, good !”, Quatre said, beaming.

Heero shot him a strange look. What was it with the people at this school that they seemed to find everything was beautiful and alive with the sound of music ? But then, he noticed something else. Since Quatre hadn’t moved, he was obliged to leave his seat on the right of the table. Without really knowing how, he suddenly found that Wufei and Quatre had sort of closed the way behind him, and Duo and Trowa were standing in front, effectively blocking Relena from getting close to him. He felt odd. How on earth had they realized he didn’t want her near him, and how had they managed to do that without him noticing ? The only thing that reassured him was that Wufei seemed to trust them.

The little group didn’t break as they went out of the classroom, leaving a very frustrated Relena behind. The blond girl stomped her foot impatiently on the floor, watching powerless as the object of her affection left without a look back. She turned when she heard a low chuckle behind her.

“There’s nothing funny, Dorothy ! I was going to ask him if he wanted to study with me !”

“It is funny”, her friend answered. “And very smooth, the way Winner just outsmarted you. You need to be more subtle, Relena dear. This boy will be a hard catch. It also looks like our little Duo is interested.”

Relena’s eyes widened.

“You mean he could be …”

“I have honestly no idea, but Duo is beautiful, and he could turn any straight guy gay. Even your brother was oggling him the first time he saw him.”

“Milliardo would never …”

“He would and he did. Now, how about annoying Meiran about that little scene she did to the other newbie ?”, Dorothy asked maliciously, dragging her friend out of the classroom. “And we could nag Hilde about Duo and Heero too, that would be fun !”

The five boys made their way out of the school into the sunny Californian afternoon. They were walking, Duo and Quatre chattering away, Trowa holding Quatre’s hand, and the two Asians following and saying nothing. It was alright, until Duo saw his brother. Solo was talking with Odin in the middle of his little clique. The braided boy immediately pounced on him.

“Hey, watch it, cricket !”, Solo teased, closing his arms around the lithe body. “Odin, this is my little bro Duo. Oh, I see you guys have met Heero and Wufei, then !”, he added after a look to the small group.

Duo was avidly looking at Odin.

“Ya’re Heero’s big brother, uh ? You don’t look alike.”

“Duo, be polite !”, Solo groaned.

“Well that’s true ! You know I never lie ! They don’t look alike.”

“Not lying doesn’t mean telling everything and anything to people to their faces, Duo”, Solo sighed.

“Yes, Solo”, Duo answered, taking the look a of little child and fidgeting with the end of his braid.

“Hey, none of that with me, cricket ! Doesn’t work on me, remember ?”

Matching grins reached the brothers’ lips.

“Hey Solo !”, Quatre piped up happily. “Hi guys !”, he added for everyone else.

“Hey Cat !”, everybody answered with one voice, under Odin, Heero and Wufei’s puzzled gaze. Then, they all cracked with laughter.

“Sorry, Odin”, Solo finally said once he had started to use his lungs normally again. “We used to do that before when there was an awful lot of Winners around and it was easier just to say ‘Hey Winners’ to say hello. But now that there’s just Cat and a few of his sisters left …”

Odin shot a look to his brother, who had the look of someone who has just been abducted by aliens and is wondering when he’s gonna get brainwashed, and to Wufei, who was scratching his head and apparently trying to decide if he was the only sane human being around. The tall teenager sighed.

‘What did I hope ? It’s already good they met people who are willing to put up with them, I cannot expect them to crack bad jokes and look happy right now ! But God those two are so stubborn I just wanna kick their ass sometimes.’

Then he noticed the dark bruise on Wufei’s cheek and frowned. Not a fight already ?

“Wufei, what happened to your cheek ?”

The Chinese boy blushed and tried to hide his bruise.

“Meiran is here”, he explained.

“Oh, I see. Yeah, now that you mention it, I think I vaguely remember Solo saying about her this morning.”

“That’s my boy !”, Sally laughed. “You know, usually, when Solo chatters, none of us actually listen to what he says. It’s like background noise, y’know ? Annoying, but you’d be disturbed not to have it around.”

Solo tried to smack Sally and failed miserably.

“Duo, the team’s waiting for us”, Milliardo suddenly said.

“Sure, I’m coming right now !”, Duo said giving him the thumbs-up. “Sorry guys, gotta go hit the basketball !”

“We’ll meet you after practice”, Quatre said. “Trowa and I have a rehearsal with the band.”

“Good ! See ya ! Heero, Wufei, see you tomorrow, guys !”

In a second, the braided whirlwind had started to sprint towards the basketball grounds, followed by Milliardo, who waved goodbye at everyone. Quatre took out a bit of paper, scribbled something on it and put it in Heeros’ hand before the boy could think to protest.

“This is my number, call me if it’s okay for Saturday, okay ? And if you can’t come or have someone bring you, I’ll send a car ! Trowa, let’s go or we’re gonna be late. Bye, everyone !”

“Bye, Cat !”, everyone replied, and this time, Odin joined in.

Sally and Lucrezia soon said goodbye to go work in the library. Solo wanted to spend some quality time with Cathy, and it left Odin with just one option.

“Well, I’m gonna bring those two home, then”, he sighed a bit tiredly. “First days are always tiring anyway, and you guys probably have loads of homework to catch up with.”

“Not that much”, Heero replied very quietly.

“Oh my Gawds !”, Solo guffawed. “He does talk ! Sexy voice, hmm, I like that !”

“No you don’t !”, Cathy protested. “Or if you do at least don’t tell it to me !”

“Sure, babe, sorry, I forgot.”

“You always forget”, she pouted. “You’re lucky I don’t forget how to throw knives when you help me practice, you know. But then, I think if I did, I could plead temporary loss of sanity due to huge relational stress, don’tcha think ?”

“Hey !”

“Okay, bye guys ! Solo, see you tomorrow if you’re still alive, Cathy, good luck and have fun!”, Odin said, taking out his car keys.

“Thanks, Odin, I will”, Cathy answered with a wink, before towing Solo away.

Once in the car, Odin forced himself to start the conversation since it was clear none of the younger boys would. They both seemed lost in thoughts.

“So, you guys met some nice people then ? That’s cool.”

“They’re … interesting”, Wufei replied cautiously.

“Yeah, I suppose it’s a change from Hong Kong.”

“Quite”, Wufei admitted.

“What about you, Heero ?”

“Hn”, Heero replied, gazing outside the window.

“That’s pretty unspecific for an answer”, Odin smirked. “How was your first day, really ?”


Odin took a deep breath and told himself that no, he was not going to throttle his brother so that he would give more than monosyllabic answers. Anyway, both Wufei and Heero were not paying any more attention to him and were conversing quietly in Chinese. Odin grimaced. He knew enough Japanese to understand what Heero said when talking in his mother tongue, but he had never learnt Chinese.

‘Be patient with them’, Odin reminded himself. ‘They both have been thrown in an unknown country, in a totally different culture, with people they don’t know one thing about. Who am I kidding, this is not going too well, is it?’

“So, Quatre is a nice guy, is he ?”, he asked out loud.

Once again, it was Wufei who answered.

“Yes. He invited us on Saturday night for a study session, and to spend the night.”

‘Oookay, I thought Solo and Duo were nuts, but this little blond is even more crazy than them. He invited my brother to his house after knowing him for a few hours ? Either he is crazy, or he is a saint, I don’t know which.’ Odin thought.

“That’s nice of him. He’ll help you catch up with your work.. Will you be the only ones there ?”

“No, Duo will be here too, and Trowa, Quatre’s … boyfriend.”

‘He hesitated’, Odin noticed. ‘Figures, his family’s not that open to that, he probably never even saw two guys holding hands before he came here.’

“No girls ?”, he asked.

“No”, Heero said abruptly.

‘Ooh, I struck a nerve, looks like. Let’s see, they met Meiran, maybe Relena Peacecraft … Hmm, from what Mil told, meeting his sis is good enough to ruin one’s day … And if she tried to jump Heero, of course he’s not gonna take it too well.’

“Well, I met interesting people too, as you saw ! Looks like we’re gonna see a lot of each other, since they all have brothers or sisters in one of the groups and they are all dating each other anyway. There you are, Chang ! You want us to give you a ride tomorrow too ?”

“If that doesn’t bother you”, Wufei said with a grimace. “Mother doesn’t trust me to take the school bus all by myself. I’ve been trying to tell her that people do not attack boys of Chinese descent just because they take the bus to go to school, but she’s not convinced.”

“Figures. You know your mom, kiddo. You can beat people twice your weight to pulp and she’s still smothering you when you get so much as a sprained wrist.”

“Tell me about it”, Wufei said dejectedly. “Well, thanks anyway. See you tomorrow, Heero.”

“Ja mata (4)”, Heero answered.

Odin started the car again.

“Ne, Heero, you sure everything’s okay ?”, he asked after a while. “No one bothered you or anything ?”

“Not yet.”

“It’s good you made friends.”

From the passenger’s seat, Heero looked up at Odin, trying to decide if his brother was making fun of him. Odin knew perfectly well that his charming personality wasn’t the friendly one, and that he couldn’t possibly consider people he had met for the first time today as friends. And yet, in Odin’s voice, there was a nuance of … hope ? Concern ? Heero bit his lips. He could remember the time when he had been so close to his brother he would tell him everything, even things he didn’t tell his own mother. Somehow, in the last years, they had drifted apart. Most of the time, Heero and Wufei would be sent to the same school and Odin would go to some international school where classes were in English. Odin would make a lot of friends, even if for a short time, while Heero and Wufei kept to themselves, tired to have to leave theirs behind. They didn’t like the same things, didn’t hang out with the same people (okay, Heero didn’t hang out at all). And now, somehow, Heero felt like he had let his big brother down somewhere along the way. When had he stopped laughing with Odin ? When had he stopped coming to his room at night to talk in whispers for hours ? When was the last time he had taken the time to actually enjoy some quality moments with his brother ?

“Onii-san …”, he started.

“Yes ?”

“I … thanks for being there”, Heero said in a tone that sounded awfully formal to his own ears, but that was the best he could say now, even if he wished, just for a moment, to find back that innocence he had lost somewhere between two schools.

Odin just smiled and shook his head, but his heart warmed a bit at the soft words spoken. So Heero had noticed something too ? Odin had spied him from the corner of his eyes, almost following his thoughts as they fugitively crossed the delicately chiseled face. Sometimes, Heero was too honest for his own good, but that … that was nice to hear, even if you had to be Odin to understand the real meaning hidden behind those little words. The blond teenager felt a sudden rush of tenderness for the boy beside him, something he had not felt for a long time. He extended his hand and ruffled through the chocolate locks, making them even messier and surprising Heero.

“It’s okay, Heero. I’ll always be there for you, you know. And … maybe you could work on expressing your feelings more clearly for other people to understand. Not everyone’s got a Heero-translator implanted in their brains as Wufei and I do … cricket !”

Heero did something very mature when he heard the nickname. He stuck out his tongue at his brother.

~ * ~

(1) Japanese for ‘Mom’. *winks at Laurence-sama*
(2) Chinese for “You are so pathetic”, kind of a very bad thing to say to someone Chinese.
(3) Chinese for “I’m not”. Yeah, I know Wufei’s got it in himself to answer stuff like that.
(4) Japanese for “See you soon”, mostly said by young people.

~ * ~

Chapter 2

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