Monsoon Season
by Violaine

The storm raging on outside, lightning, thunder, rain and hail, mirrored Wufei's inner turmoil almost eerily. The gargantuan grandfather clock in the main den of the Winner estate chimed four times, resonating it's cry through the room, down the halls, and outside as well, as if in an attempt to out-voice the thunder that clapped almost every minute. It seemed as if wars were being waged everywhere in the world. There was the obvious war of course, then the one between that old clock and Mother Nature, the one in Wufei's head and heart, and unbeknownst to the Chinese boy, the one in Heero's head and heart as well. Perhaps if he were sober he would understand Heero was fighting the same emotions Wufei was, but his sobriety had long been tossed out the window.... just a little over two hours ago, to be exact.

Wufei was on a covered balcony, which was connected to the first floor den the grandfather clock stood in. He'd done nothing for the past hour and a half but lie on a chaise lounge watching the rain, and drinking. The now bone-dry bottle of Wild Turkey lay on it's side on the concrete patio, being rolled back and forth by a drunken Asian hand, attached to a very drunken Asian boy.

Softly, and in no way resembling the voice of an inebriated fifteen year old, foreign words started to flow out of Wufei's mouth as a gradual, old melody took form on the wind. The sound was inexplicably sorrowful, perhaps something akin to a mother mourning for a son lost in battle, and the quality of the voice was mesmerizing. Who would have ever known Chang Wufei could sing? But sing he could, even in his state, and the rich, dark tones escaping his lips could only be described as simply heavenly.

"Shuo Fengyang, dao Fengyang
Fengyang benshi hao difang.
Zicong chuliao Zhu huangdi
Shi nian dao you jiu nian huang.
Dahu renjia gai hangye
Xiaohu renjia mai erlang
Nujia meiyou erlang mai
Shen beizhe huagu taxiang" *

The words floated out into the humid, moisture saturated air like dandelion seeds on the breeze. Wufei closed his eyes and sighed, placing one foot on the ground to stop the spiraling earth in his head. Just as he inhaled to repeat the verse he just sang, a low grumbling sound found it's way to his ears, originating from inside.

"Stupid baka. Can't even try to be human for the sake of conversation. Got a damn stick up his ass."

The large french doors that stood between Wufei and the voice were thrown open,and a quite agitated and scantily clad Duo Maxwell, wearing nothing more than boxer shorts, emerged from inside. He stopped his footsteps upon discovering the Chinese pilot lying on the chaise and cocked his head to the side, for the moment, forgetting about the complicated, anal boy upstairs.

"Wu-man?"

Wufei rolled over onto his stomach slowly, so as not to upset the great amount of alcohol in his stomach, or make the obvious 'spinning disease' he'd acquired known to Duo. He tilted his head up to assess the lanky form in front of him, and narrowed his already bleary eyes at him. His hair was still down, and from the earlier action of rolling over, it was stuck to his face from the fine sheen of sweat there.

"Go 'way, Juo." Chang's words were horribly slurred, exceedingly different from the song he'd sung just a few minutes before, but before he even spoke, the empty liquor bottle on the ground told Maxwell that he was drunk. And not just drunk, but completely inebriated.

A short, silent snicker managed to push it's way out of Duo's mouth, followed by a full out explosion of laughter as the braided boy hunched over and slapped his own knee. A huge, beaming grin was plastered on his face, and those violet eyes sparkled in amusement.

"Jesus Christ, Wufei, you're three sheets to the wind!" Duo let another round of laughter come out as he clutched at his sides and snorted through each breath.

"Dere are no sheets in the wind. Only dust... in the sheets. Sand and wind and dust," offered Wufei. In order to make his non-existent point, he sat up on the chaise lounge and waved his arms furiously as if to mimic... who knows what. He wavered, once his brain realized that his body was now upright, and his equilibrium finally kicked in. He shook his head and blinked a few times, then grinned, yes grinned, up at Duo.

"Know what I meeeean?" asked the drunkard.

Violet eyes widened and the smile that had been so readily present on his face only got bigger listening to Wufei. Duo had been around alcohol enough to know to always agree with a drunk, not to mention to milk all the fun out of them you possibly could. He walked across the distance separating himself and the cushioned seat Chang was on, and flopped his butt down right next to him. Desperately, Wufei tried to follow Duo with his eyes, but found it impossible once he left Wufei's immediate line of sight. With a heave he turned to face the boy, regarding him with a look of intoxicated confusion.

"This seat ain't big 'nuff for the two 'vus, BUDDY, why you here?" asked Wufei.

Duo giggled again, looking down at the almost foot of space between the two boys, knowing full well that even another pilot could fit on the lounge as well. His eyes returned to the dark orbs that belonged to the lush sitting beside him.

"Aw, Heero is being a bitch. He came in and ate a slice of pizza, then starting packing up his things. Bastard wouldn't even tell me where he was going, wouldn't say a word. I know he doesn't have a mission, I checked. So I got angry and left. Just my luck to have to share a room with him. Screw him if he can't act like a decent human being," huffed Maxwell.

Wufei was scratching his head, not in thought, but merely because his scalp itched. Dark locks of hair flounced over his face, skimming his shoulders as he did so, seemingly not surprised at all at Duo's words.

"Yaaaaaaah, he's leavin'. Goin' 'way. BYE HEEEEERO!"

A braid swished as the head attached to it cocked to the side again. The boy furrowed his brow in question, looking Wufei up and down, trying to determine if he really knew what he was talking about or if the alcohol was talking.

"What do you mean he's going away? How do you know?"

Wufei shrugged. "I dunno. Figgered he would. He's mad. Thinks I dun love him," Wufei shrugged again, acting as if nothing was wrong at all with that sentence.

For once in his fifteen years, Shinigami was speechless. His mouth opened in a futile attempt to emit a sound, though nothing came out. He merely watched Wufei blink and then look out to the rain that had yet to relent. With the turn of his little Chinese head, Duo thought for a split second about how beautiful the boy was with his hair down. Then Duo himself blinked and came back to reality. He saw that the last words the Dragon had spoken put him on another plane, one exceedingly different than the jovial one he was just on. Perhaps he'd really just thought about what he'd said. Wufei's face was once again complacent and cold.

"Ah, Wufei?" asked Duo.

With a drunken glare out into the night, Wufei responded without even turning to face the other boy.

"Didn't I tell you to leave?"

Duo sighed and watched Chang for a while longer, wondering what on earth was happening between the two. Granted, Heero was never much for divulging personal information, but in the time the two boys had roomed together, Duo thought they had become rather close as friends. Occasionally he'd even talk. Surely Heero would have said something if he was in love with one of his team mates. Gracefully, and with the ease no one else could possibly manage, Duo changed the subject.

"I heard singing earlier, did you?" he queried, as he leaned against the back of the lounge, folding his arms over his chest.

Those words seemed to do the trick. Wufei turned and looked at the now comfortable boy, with evidence of a small grin on his face. His eyes were brighter, though still drunk, and he nodded.

"That wuz me," said Wufei, pride seeping out from his words.

"No way, Wu-man, you can sing1?" was Duo's startled response. He seemed completely enthralled with the subject, totally unaware that Wufei could do anything other than pilot a Gundam, eat rice, and burn incense.

The Shenlong pilot only nodded, eyes wide with child-like assurance.

"It was... Chinese, right?" asked, Duo, trying to keep the conversation going.

Wufei nodded again.

"So tell me what you were singing about!"

For a long while, nothing was said. Wufei reached down to pick up the overturned bottle of Wild Turkey, and brought it up to his chest. Slowly he turned the cap and tossed it out over the balcony after it came off the bottle. Holding the glass up high, he tilted it upside down and squinted, peering into it with one eye. Sadly he tossed the bottle as well over the balcony upon realizing it was empty.

"There wuz a town... really rich 'n stuff. Fengyang. Soooo... they had um, good stuff and a mean emmpurrrurrur. Dads wuz sell ling sons and this one man dint have no sons. So he left," recalled Wufei, trying his best to tell the story correctly. It didn't quite come out how it was supposed to.

Duo blinked a few times and slapped the pilot on the back as he stood up, smiling. He looked down at Wufei before he spoke.

"That's beautiful man. You're a damn good singer. Nataku would be proud."

Wufei looked up to face those violet eyes, and as he did, an indescribable sadness passed over him. He shook his head feverishly for only a moment, until he started to feel like he would fall over. Again he looked up at Duo.

"No. I'm a shame. I'm weak. There's Treize and Heero and..." Wufei's words were cut off by a thin hand over his mouth.

"Shhh... Wufei. Don't tell me things you'll regret. Go talk to Heero. I'm sleeping on the couch, I can't deal with him, so take all the time you need. Just go do it while you still can," pushed Duo. He didn't know anything about what Wufei was trying to tell him, but he did know that you could let some really personal things spill out while you were drunk. He didn't want to harbor information that Wufei might be ashamed of later. It was painfully obvious, however, that the boy had feelings for the Perfect Soldier.

Wufei just looked at Duo, as he started to shake his head no again. Duo removed his hand from Wufei's mouth, but didn't allow him to speak, cutting off his head shake with his own voice.

"Do it, Wufei. I'll be on the couch if you need me. Tell me you'll do it?"

Finally the boy relented and nodded affirmatively, instead of negatively. Maxwell flashed him a smile that could light up a nation, then just as silently as he'd entered, he vanished, back into the house, leaving an inebriated, muddled pilot outside to think.


Alcohol freed Wufei from his normal restraining bonds. It allowed him to think freely, speak freely, and move freely, None of which he could do with a sober mind. When he was sober, nothing was more important than pride and justice; the manifestation of the first and the fulfillment of the latter.

Thoughts rushed through Wufei's brain as if they were in an auto cross, vying for first place. He drew his knees up to his chest, wedging his feet on the edge of the chaise lounge. Bony elbows were placed on those knees as he ran his fingers through his hair repeatedly. The world was still spinning at a furious pace, and for a moment, the Chinese pilot thought he'd be sick. After pushing the feeling back down, he realized why the nausea had him him. He was nervous. Downright terrified. There was no way Heero would talk to him after the events that had transpired the night before. He'd ruined his only chance for love. Love? The pilot sighed as he resigned himself to the painfully true fact that he did indeed love Heero Yuy. It was something he'd kept under lock and key for almost a year now, something no one knew about, and something he denied to himself on a regular basis.

Chang growled in frustration at his thoughts and heaved himself up off his seat, wobbling momentarily as he regained his balance once on his feet. Two steps forward enabled him to grab the railing and lean his face out into the cool water that sprayed from the heavens. His lids fell closed, only to pop back open at the upheaval of the earth underneath him, or what he thought was the upheaval of the earth. Jesus, he was drunk. The more he tried to concentrate on forcing himself sober, the worse he got, and more thoughts plunged into his head.

In a barrage of images, Chang Wufei recalled every time he'd ever mooned over the Japanese pilot who was now no more than a walk across the living room, and seventeen steps upward to the second floor. What a fool he was for leaving with Treize. Cobalt blue eyes, and firm pink lips had been only inches away from his own, with rain beating down on their bodies. Heero had actually touched him. Wufei shivered when he remembered how that single finger felt trailing it's way down his jaw. And he'd left with Treize. He'd let Treize take him again that night, as he'd always done. It was almost as if he had a power over him that could move mountains. Another wave of nausea hit him, and again he pushed the feeling down, swallowing hard to regain his composure. What a joke. Wufei sighed as he realized the only reason he was still standing was because he had a death grip on the balcony railing. Suddenly Treize's face found it's way into Chang's head, smiling gently. He cringed at the memory before speaking his name softly.

"Treize...." whispered Wufei. He closed his eyes again, prepared for the spinning that he knew would ensue, and gritted his teeth. "I don't love you... I don't," he whispered again. "You're just... a body. A warm body."

Resolutely, Wufei set his jaw and opened his eyes, standing upright. Well, as upright as he could manage.

"DUO!" he yelled.

Within a matter of a few seconds, the french doors flew open again, and a frantic, unbraided Maxwell appeared, fearing the worst.

"What, what, what?! Are you all right?" Duo asked, eyes wide.

"Hai... Duo," Wufei paused, unable to believe he was actually going to ask for help. The words that came next were softer than a whisper, but from the look on Chang's face, Duo understood why.

"He... help me to Heero's door?" Black eyes met with violet, and an approving smile washed over The God of Death's face. Without a word, he slipped an arm around Wufei's back, and Wufei reciprocated by placing his arm over Duo's shoulders. Together they entered the house, trying to prevent anything from being broken due to Chang's stumbling. As they walked, a voice in the back of Duo's head cautioned him that perhaps this wasn't such a good idea after all. The raven-haired boy was truly incapacitated. However the other boy shook the voice away and continued assisting his steps quietly.

"Shay-shay," came the almost silent Chinese thank you from Wufei. He did not look at Maxwell when he spoke, and Duo did nothing but nod quietly. In his head Wufei counted the number of steps to the second floor, as each foot stepped. He knew Heero's room was the first door on the right, just after you had ascended.

One. The One and Only, The Perfect Soldier, Heero Yuy.

Two. Duo Maxwell, The God of Death, the violet eyes vixen who'd taken pity on the inebriated boy and helped him confront Heero.

Three. Trowa... Trowa Barton. Wufei hadn't seen Trowa in days. He missed their chess games.

Four. No. He didn't want to think about the crying Quatre and the swollen cheek he'd given Wufei. Sumimasen.

Five. The shame of the group, he didn't even deserve a name. Wufei hung his head on the fifth step and stopped for a moment. Duo held him extra tight, and tried looking into Wufei's eyes to assess his condition. The eyes were closed, and the un-braided boy watched concernedly until a whisper came from Wufei's mouth.

"I am sorry Nataku, I am weak. So weak. I will make it right," whispered Wufei. He glanced at Duo, then continued on.

Six. Treize's other plaything. He wondered if Treize had the same power over Zechs that he had over himself.

Chang gritted his teeth, knowing all too well that Treize had Zechs wrapped around his little finger as well. Cheating was one of the most dishonorable actions he could think of, yet he still returned to Treize for the affection no one else could give him. He'd counted out the possibility of Heero showing him any emotion of the sort, then once it happened, he'd gone and shrugged him off. Maybe if Treize hadn't been there, things would have been different. Wufei looked down, practically unaware that he'd been walking. He stopped again.

Thirteen.

Thirteen.

"Fuck you, Treize Khushrenada," were Wufei's only words. They were solid, sober, and harsh. Duo said not a word. Contrary to popular belief, he knew when to remain silent, and this was much to Wufei's relief as well. He continued on, eyes no longer on the stairs, but straight ahead and slightly to the right. There it stood, closed tight. Heero's room. The Chinese boy shivered and swallowed hard. Suddenly he was there, facing the door. Hie breaths came in ragged puffs, his head was swimming, his balance was feigning, his eyes were dry, his skin was moist. Black eyes found violet again. That color was like a beacon, and hard to miss when you were drunk.

Duo smiled half-heartedly and instinctively leaned in to hug Wufei very lightly and very quickly.

"Do it," he whispered. With those words he turned and descended the stairs.

Wufei watched for a while, until the top of his head disappeared down the stairs, and turned to take his place on the couch again. His gaze rested back on the door. God, it looked huge, thirty feet high and ten feet wide, bowed in the center and leering at him. That damn gold knob was staring him in the face, smirking. Wufei crushed hie eyes closed, then flipped then open again, still seeing that oddly distorted door. He extended a trembling hand to the knob and grasped it firmly, not only to make sure it was real, but to steady his wavering frame. Again he swallowed a lump in his throat and turned the knob slightly. Unlocked. It was now or never. With a gulp of air he finished the turn and pushed the door open.


* Translation of "Fengyang Huagu Ge", or "The Flower Song":
Say Fengyang, sing Fengyang
Fengyang once was a wealthy town
But since the reign of Emperor Zhu,
famine came in nine years out of ten.
Rich men took to lowly trades,
poor men had to sell their sons.
I myself had no sons to sell,
so carrying my flower drum, I left town.

On to part four. Back to part two.