Santa Clarita: An Alien Christmas
Disclaimer: I so didn’t get the rights to Gundam Wing for Christmas, so I still don’t own it.
Mary opened the door to a petite blond and a taller brunet with a smile like he’d been her dearest friend since before she was born. She’d known for two months that the Winners were coming for Christmas. The adults in the family had agreed to extend the invitation to them. After all, Duo and Heero turned out to be mostly just kids, with some special skill sets and occasionally really difficult world views, but just kids, nonetheless. The men on the doorstep presently were not children. For one thing, the taller of them was older than the other three and smile like a sweet and harmless old friend, the house AI had already tagged him as a potential threat and fed the data and recommendations to her even as she smiled her own greeting back. “Welcome! Duo’s just finishing his school work for the day and Heero should be in from the barns in a couple of minutes. Please! Come in! Would you like some hot chocolate or some coffee?”
Quatre pulled cashmere and doeskin gloves from elegant fingers. He wore an emerald earring and a perfectly tailored gray suit. Trowa held his coat for him as he slipped free of the thick black trench coat. “I’d really like a martini. Would it be alright if I have the presents I’ve brought, brought in?”
“Of course, to the presents. We don’t allow under aged drinking. Besides, Duo’s still on probation so we don’t have any alcohol on the premises.”
Quatre reached for Mary’s hand, caught it and brought it to his lips. “Probably for the best. We’ve brought a guest. I hope it won’t be a problem.”
Only then did Mary notice the very willowy figure behind Trowa. Covered in a green silk cloak, thick and quilted, the hood far enough to cover the figure’s face, at first Mary feared it was some kind of Arabic woman practicing customs that Mary wasn’t sure she was comfortable with, but as the hood fell back, there was the most beautiful Asian man, taller than Quatre, with a grace of movement that came with strength and training. “Mistress, for caring for my friends, you have my deepest gratitude,” Wufei said.
Quatre still hadn’t let go of Mary’s hand, even as Wufei reached for it. She tugged to get her hand back, to take a step back from this person, who also wasn’t a child. “I’m married. Just so we’re all clear.”
“Why so am I!” Quatre said with a brilliant smile.
Trowa accepted Wufei’s cloak and the head of the Chang clan wandered into the living room, entranced by construction paper chains and little colored lights. “Did Duo do all of this?”
“Of course not,” Mary snapped, pointed at the coat closet by the front door when Trowa looked at her expectantly. “I’m not sure we really have adequate security for world leaders.”
“I have taken care of security,” Trowa said as easily as if he’d picked up milk on the way home.
“Well, it looks like the decorations that Duo used to do.” Wufei reached out to touch the tree. “It’s a real tree!”
“It is. It’s in a pot though. Duo pitched a fit when we tried to cut one down.”
“Duo’s decorations had more bullet casings,” Trowa pointed out. “There are other children living here.”
“How does that impact anything,” Wufei asked, hands again tucked into his wide embroidered sleeves.
Kait came running down the stairs, Duo right after face all twisted up in a snarl, an eyepatch over one eye, hands out like he was a monster. He roared and she giggled, running straight for Mary. “Mama! Don’t let him get me!”
Duo was down the stairs then, lanky and inches taller, more muscle than when he’d arrived, a raggedy black tee-shirt splattered with glitter paint that trailed up over his face and into his hair. “It’s too late! You must pay!” He was on his knees, reaching around Mary’s knees as Kait dodged and giggled.
She lunged to the right and then at him, a marker in her hand. “Never! Monster!” She jumped and Duo caught her, falling over behind the couch.
Quatre’s mouth slowly fell open. Wufei’s face had gone down right pale, his shoulders hunched in anxiety. Trowa moved to put Quatre behind him one hand moving to the small of his back. In all of the struggle, laughter filled the living room.
“Duo!” Mary shouted, trying to get his attention, worried about his friends.
He dragged himself up over the back of the couch, Kait’s arms around his neck, a big red heart drawn on his cheek. “What?! My homework’s done! I swear!”
“You have guests!”
He held onto Kait’s arms as he stood up, his other arm moving to support her from below. “Sandy? But then he saw them and the world just stopped. His grin went wide and full of summer sunshine! “Q! Wu! Trowa! OH my god! Does ‘Ro know?” He danced around moving closer to Quatre. Kait hiding her head behind his neck.
Mary moved in and took her, holding her on her hip.
Duo threw his arms around Quatre, an arm out for Trowa and motioning for Wufei at the same time! “I can’t believe you’re here! Why didn’t you tell me? Oh my god!”
Quatre hugged him as tightly as he could and Duo ran a hand soothingly over Quatre’s hair, smoothing it down, holding him like Alan held him sometimes.
“We didn’t tell you because we weren’t sure until this morning that we’d get permission. Relena’s coming too.”
“No,” Mary snapped. “This is not fucking Geneva!”
Kait laid her hand over Mary’s mouth. “Bad Mama. That word makes people unhappy.”
Wufei had inched closer at that point and didn’t flinch too much when Duo flung himself at him, holding him and even lifting him off the ground for a moment. “OH man! Look, let me introduce you! See, this here is Mary. She’s pretty much in charge of well everything. She does all the shopping and she has a fine lab. The little one in her arms is my friend Kait. Kaitie-bun, these are my friends. This is Wufei and Quatre and Trowa.”
“I don’t like’em. They smell like alcohol.”
“Wulll, maybe a bit, but they’re still good. I promise.”
Kait lifted her head from Mary’s shoulder, eyes narrowing accusingly. “Does this mean we can’t make no more cards?”
“Maxwell,” Wufei said cautiously, a little unsettled. “You have glitter in your hair.”
“Wulll, yeah, uh, so, Kait and I are making cards for her gymnastics club. Do you all wanna help? We have like fifteen more to make.”
Quatre swallowed and for a moment he looked every bit the chairman of the board of a multi-trillion dollar company. “I would also like to point out that you have a heart drawn on yoru face.”
“What happened to your eye,” Trowa asked.
“It went bang,” Kait said
“Did it now,” Quatre said, suspicion in his voice.
“Well, I kinda was working with a new design for car’s engine and I well, I got a bit of shrapnel in the eye. Martha’s growing me a new one.” Duo grinned apologetically. “It wasn’t really a bang.. it was more like slush. Heero was pissed.”
Mary held up a hand. “Okay. That’s it for me. You boys go help Duo with those cards. Dinner will be ready in an hour. Try to be done.”
Kait squirmed out of Mary’s arms to run back to Duo. She grabbed his hand and he scratched the back of his head.
“Duo’s my brother. Are you going to be my brothers too?” She swiped the marker towards Quatre’s pale gray slacks, but he easily dodged.
“Yeah,” Duo said, sweeping her up and over his shoulder. “They’re your brothers too. Come on up to my room. I got some clothes you all can wear,” he shouted as he ran back up the stairs.
Quatre’s head tilted to the side, his whole body shaking for a moment.
“What have they done to Duo,” Wufei hissed. “Do you think it’s some kind of... mind manipulation?”
Heero came in through the kitchen door, heard their voices, and quickly toed his boots off. His hair had grown out to his shoulders and he had a feather that Duo had given him braided in. He wore jeans, a tan tee-shirt with the Arapaho flag on it. He grinned when he saw them, moved to embrace them, and Quatre wanted a martini in the worst way.
He gripped Heero’s shoulders and stared into his eyes. All he could feel was peace, happiness, love, pride, calm, and he coudln’t understand why his empathy skills weren’t working. “What’s wrong? What are they doing to you?”
Heero laid a hand on Quatre’s shoulder. stared into his eyes, gave his shoulder a squeeze. “I know we’ve changed. I’m studying to be a shaman on the reservation. We are both well. We’re glad you’re here.”
“A shaman,” Wufei asked, one eyebrow arched.
Heero nodded. “Just go with it. There is time enough for everything. Right now, we’re just working on being happy.”
“Duo’s missing an eye!”
“That was an accident and it’ll be healed in a couple of weeks. “What you’re feeling from me, from him, is true. Everything is good.” Heero laid an arm around Quatre’s shoulders and guided him up the stairs.
“You’re really... happy,” Quatre asked at the top of the stairs, only then, his hand on Heero’s chest, realizing how very unhappy he was, how he’d forgotten what happy actually felt like.
“Ee. Duo too. He complains sometimes, but as strange as it sounds, his complaining is some kind of vent and safety. It’s counterintuitive. We’ve found a home.”
Quatre’s fingers laced with Trowa’s and between them passed an unspoken promise to change their lives to have some of what was here.
“Just wait till Peacecraft gets here. Things will get really interesting,” Wufei said, sliding past them, the long Chinese gown he wore brushing the floor.
Then it was Heero’s turn to pale. “Relena’s coming?”
“Merry Christmas,” Trowa said, slipping past them both to find Duo’s room.
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