Author's Notes: Many thanks to my beta reader for her help in this chapter. I absolutely have no experience in baby shower and have to do some researches about certain baby equipments *sweatdrops*
Ever After Part 12
20th of August, AC 212
Duo was working in his office when his secretary announced there was a request for video conference from the Winner Enterprises' president and the Peacecraft Royal family's head. Duo snorted when he detected the awed tone his secretary spoke in. Midori had been working for him for three years but still found it hard to believe that the multi-billionaire, Quatre Winner, and famous politician, Relena Peacecraft, would call him personally to talk about business.
"You better not make them wait, sir," his secretary spoke again.
Duo rolled his eyes and dismissed his secretary. Honestly, while he was not quite as rich as Quatre, Duo was still a billionaire himself. Midori didn't need to sound as if he should be grateful for the conference request. And moreover, whatever Quatre and Relena wanted to talk about, Duo was sure it was definitely not about business.
"Connect to video conference," Duo commanded the computer system. A big panel screen flickered to life in front of him and displayed Relena and Quatre in two separated windows. "Hello Quatre, Relena."
"Hi Duo," they both chorused back.
Duo felt a flicker of apprehension at the eager and simultaneous greetings. The last time he'd heard them use that tone, he'd ended up as a speaker for their Triple S event. Thankfully they had known each other for so long now that he didn't worry about pleasantries. "What are you two planning now? I'm not going to participate in your Triple S event."
"Hey, it's Same-Sex Society, not Triple S," Relena protested. "And we are not going to ask you to be a speaker again anyway. Your speech five years ago was boring."
Duo grinned unrepentantly. "I'm glad to hear that."
Relena rolled her eyes. "Men! We are not here to talk about that, you know. It's about a private matter."
"Private?" Duo raised his eyebrows. "So, why are you calling me at the office? I appreciate the entertainment of seeing my secretary flustered at your calls though."
Quatre chuckled. "We want to talk to you without Heero knowing."
"You haven't done any shopping for baby items yet, have you?" Quatre asked.
"No, I'd planned to take Heero with me next month to do that," Duo replied.
"That's good, we're definitely going to have it then," Relena beamed.
"Have what?" Duo asked warily.
"Why, a baby shower party of course," Relena smiled innocently.
"Baby... shower...?" Duo looked horrified.
"Don't worry, Relena and I will arrange everything," Quatre quickly reassured the father to be. "You don't have to do anything. Just clear yours and Heero's schedule for Sunday next week."
"Quatre and I will arrange everything," Relena spoke up, cutting off Duo's protest. "This will be a wonderful event for Heero. This is his first ever baby-shower, isn't it?"
Good old Relena, Duo smiled ruefully. It was no wonder she was such a successful politician. The woman knew he wouldn't protest when it came to Heero. His husband's first pregnancy hadn't been a completely happy one. Now that there was a chance to show Heero another aspect of happy pregnancy, Duo wasn't about to deny him, no matter how embarrassing it could be for him. "Yeah, it will be his first. Smart excuse, princess."
Relena tilted her head slightly to the side and just smiled innocently.
"Any requests before we head off to plan the party?" Quatre asked.
"Yeah, no 'sniffing the soiled diaper' game." Duo shuddered as he remembered the last baby shower party he'd attended. It had been Sally's fourth pregnancy, two years ago. He'd gotten dragged into the game, which had resulted in him avoiding chocolate for a few months after.
Quatre and Relena laughed. They obviously remembered Duo's experience two years ago.
"Okay, no 'soiled diaper' game, check." Relena grinned. "Quatre and I will discuss and plan the party then. See you next week, Duo."
"I'll give you the details of time and place on Monday," Quatre spoke. "Until then."
Duo said his good-byes to his two friends, disconnected, and then continued with his work. He had been working for only a few minutes when his secretary entered his office and deposited a stack of papers on his desk.
"Here are the reports on our latest branch, sir," Midori said.
"Thank you, Midori." Duo barely glanced at the stack as he concentrated on his computer.
"Did the business talk go smoothly, sir?"
"Huh?" Duo lifted his head and looked questioningly at his secretary.
"The conference with Winner and Peacecraft?" Midori elaborated.
"Oh, the conference, yeah everything went fine."
"I'm glad to hear that." Midori looked relieved then excused herself. Duo watched his secretary leave his office and shook his head in amusement. If only she knew what Quatre and Relena had talked him into.
A thought nudged his mind and Duo shuddered at the possibility of it happening. He hurriedly dialed Relena. He should have thought about requesting a no pink color theme for the decorations.
"Guys, help!!" Solo pleaded once he sat down at the table occupied by other M-five. They were in the coffee shop where they often hung out.
"No greeting at all?" Mariemeia raised one eyebrow. "It must be a big problem then."
"I'm guessing that it has something to do with a certain baby shower party which Dad is having fun arranging." Midii smiled.
"And aunt Relena as well," Milliard added ruefully. "She called our house this morning, informing us about the party. She and mother spent an hour discussing decorations and gifts."
"Uncle Quatre told my parents about it last night. Mom is beside herself with the party," Meiran grinned. "She's driving father up the wall discussing the baby gifts. Thankfully she's refused to have her own baby shower party this time."
"Well, I think that after having had your baby shower party, your mother has had enough," Mariemeia snickered. "I can still remember how embarrassing it was for your father."
"There's no way you remember it! You were only eight years old at that time," Meiran snorted.
"Hey, it was a memorable party," Mariemeia grinned. "I remembered your father swearing off baby shower parties after that. What's his reaction to this party by the way?"
"He refused the invitation at first." Meiran rolled her eyes. "But then Mom told him that the least he could do for Heero is to attend his party."
"Ah, guilt trip," Midii smiled. "I'm sure uncle Wufei accepted the invitation then?"
"Yeah, though when I left home this morning, he was still trying to find excuses to avoid the party."
"Guys, can we focus here?" Solo piped up while his friends snickered.
"Of course, of course." Milliard made a show of giving Solo his full attention, which got him a slap on shoulder from his friend. "Ow, so what's your problem?"
"What else? The baby gift, of course!"
"What's wrong with the gift?" Mariemeia asked.
"I don't know what to get! This is a first time for me. What's considered a nice suitable gift? What if my gift is similar to someone else's gift?"
"Calm down, Solo. Dad has compiled a list of all suitable gifts here." Midii produced a piece of paper from her bag. "You can see which gifts have already been claimed by certain families and which gifts are still up for grabs."
Solo grabbed the paper and poured over it. Curious, Milliard leaned closer to the violet eyed boy and read the paper as well.
"Leave it to uncle Quatre to arrange such a thing," Meiran spoke up as Solo read the list. "Well I know what present my parents will give. They discussed it so loudly that I couldn't help but hear."
"I know what Dad's and Father's gift is as well." Midii smiled.
"Lucky kids to have their parents taking care of the gifts for them," Mariemeia muttered. "I will have to prepare the gift by myself. Lady Une has refused to collaborate, saying it's time for me to do something on my own."
"Sis, come on. It's not that hard to find a gift." Midii looked pleased. "I also plan to give Heero a gift from me personally."
"You what?" Meiran looked at the blonde girl in surprise then curiosity. "What is the gift?"
"A set of baby clothes that I'll knit by myself."
Meiran groaned, "Oh great, you will make us all look bad if we don't prepare our own gifts as well."
"Well, you'll just have to find your own gift then," Midii smirked.
Milliard looked at away from the paper and gave Midii an amused smile. "Now I know for sure that you inherited from uncle Quatre not only his nice traits, but his deviousness as well."
Midii gave Milliard her most beaming smile. "I knew you would notice my plan. But I think it's a good thing to do to show our support to Heero. You have to admit that we treated him badly when we first met him."
Milliard rolled his eyes. "Another guilt trip. What is it with women and guilt trips? Fine, I don't mind giving a gift, as a matter of fact, I have already got something in mind for it." The blonde boy then proceeded to snatch the list from Solo's hands.
"Hey!" Solo protested.
"Just a minute." Milliard took out his pen from his shirt pocket and wrote his name on the right side of an item. "There, I have chosen my gift."
Solo glanced at the item Milliard just chosen then looked at his friend in annoyance. "I was going to choose that!"
The blonde boy smirked, "Too bad, I got in first. Choose another one." He then ducked to avoid Solo's punch.
"Omae o korosu." Solo growled.
Milliard blinked. "What did you say?"
Solo smirked as he answered, "That's what Mom often says when Dad annoys him."
"What does it mean?"
"Dunno," Solo shrugged and returned his attention to the list to look for another item to give his mother.
Milliard made a note to look in the Japanese dictionary for the meaning of the words.
"Knitted clothes, " Meiran looked thoughtful. "That's a good idea and isn't expensive either."
"Oh Meiran," Mariemeia said exasperatedly to the black haired girl. "You spent your allowance to buy books again?"
"Hey, they are useful books," Meiran protested weakly. "Anyway, it's the thought that counts for the gift." She then turned to Midii, "Teach me how to knit, would you?"
"Well, I don't mind," Midii looked amused, "If you want to, we can start now. I have spare wool at my house that you can use. I doubt we will do anything else today, what with Solo busy searching for his perfect gift and all."
Meiran glanced at the said boy and snickered at the worried look she saw on his face. "Yeah, we better start now. I only have one week to finish the gift."
"Well, I have my doubts in you learning to knit," Midii giggled as she stood up. "But I'll do my best to teach you. I'll see you later guys, Sis. You can have the list, Solo. I have another copy with me."
"Bye Midii, Meiran; meet here again tomorrow, okay?" Milliard answered.
"Sure. I want to know all about Solo's progress in his quest searching for the perfect gift," Meiran grinned. "See ya!"
"I think I will go as well, I need to start hunting for a gift." Mariemeia stood up and winked at the boys. "See you tomorrow."
The girls said their good-byes and left the two boys in the coffee shop. Milliard sipped his coffee and watched Solo who was oblivious to the world. Solo had his shoulder length hair bound but a few strands had escaped the strap and fell on either side of his face. He was chewing his lip as his violet eyes focused on the paper. Milliard wondered why he hadn't noticed how soft Solo's lips looked before. Come to think of it, Milliard remembered how soft those lips felt when they....
Milliard jerked in surprise. He realized that Solo was looking at him intently. Surely Solo couldn't know what he was thinking, right? And why the hell he was thinking about Solo's lips anyway?
"Uh, yeah?" Milliard stuttered, hoping he wasn't blushing.
"I have decided on my gift," Solo pointed to a line on the list, which read 'baby toys'. "Help me choose them, will you?"
Having got over his surprise, Milliard leaned back and questioned Solo in his usual calm way. "Why should I help you? It's your gift not mine."
Solo glared. "Because you should know what's best for a younger sister. You have one after all."
Milliard grimaced. "Gillian is not your usual sister. Her favorite toys are you and Heero."
"In that case then, I can enlist you as a toy for my sister." Solo's smirk widened then. "Now that I think of it, when she is looking for a groom to marry, I'll sic her on to you."
"Don't you dare!" Milliard looked horrified at the prospect of having his own stalker.
Solo smiled innocently. "Help me choose the toys then."
Realizing he had been tricked, Milliard sighed and consented to helping his friend. Later, when Solo dragged him into various baby shops, he wondered where his verbal skills had gone. He was supposed to be the sly one, who could get people to do what he wanted with just a few words!
The Day Before The Party
"Don't pull too hard on that thread, Meiran. Run the needle slowly..."
There was a ripping sound before Midii could complete her sentence.
"Arghhh!!" Meiran threw her knitting needles and wool down. "I give up!! I'm not cut out for this kind of work!"
"What will you give Heero then?" Midii asked as she knitted the last piece of her own gift.
Meiran frowned but then she cheered up. "I know what to do!"
"What?" Midii asked curiously.
"It's so obvious and such a practical gift!" Meiran grinned and gathered her bag. "I need to purchase a few things. See you at the party!!!"
"What's so obvious and practical?" Midii shouted but her friend had already left the room.
"So, Wufei, what excuse do you have for me this time?" a very pregnant Sally asked her husband, hands on her hips.
"None, Sally." Wufei grimaced then stated morosely. "I'll attend the party."
23rd of August, AC212
"Duo, where are we going?"
"You'll see soon," Duo answered as he stopped the car at one of Quatre's guest houses.
Heero eyed him suspiciously as he ushered the pregnant boy up the steps to the door. "This has nothing to do with the baby shower surprise party, does it?"
Duo missed the final step and stumbled forward. Fortunately he managed to balance himself so his face didn't collide with the door. He then turned toward his Japanese husband. "How did you know?!"
Heero smirked. "Solo needs a lesson in subtlety. He was acting different, as if he was trying to hide something the past few days so I did some investigating. It wasn't hard to find out what he was up to."
Duo cursed inwardly. Trust his son to ruin the surprise. "Can you at least pretend to be surprised?"
Sighing at the loss of the surprise, Duo gestured toward the door. "Open it then."
Heero opened the door and stepped inside. A chorus of 'surprise' greeted the Japanese boy as Duo stepped in and stood beside his spouse. The older man was watching Heero's reaction and groaned when Heero only blinked his eyes to show his surprise.
"Heero! You're not surprised!" Relena exclaimed.
Duo berated himself. He should have guessed where Solo got his horrible acting skills from. Heero might be a genius when it came to technology and fighting but he had zero talent in acting. Even when they were laying low during the war as students, Heero hardly managed to blend in. And it appeared that the poor acting skills had been inherited by Solo. It was his fault that the surprise was ruined after all. Like father like son. Or in Heero's case; like mother like son.
"You know." Quatre accused the pregnant boy. His aqua blue eyes flashed dangerously.
Heero nodded. No one dared lie to Quatre. It was no use after all. The blonde billionaire could detect lies easily.
"Who told you?!" Relena screeched.
Both Quatre and Relena trained their eyes on Duo who realized that he was the prime suspect because he lived with Heero and could have accidentally spilled the secret.
Being the focus of an angry politician and billionaire, Duo had no compulsion in pointing out the culprit. He indicated his son who stood amongst his friends with his finger. "Solo did," he said. That transported Quatre's and Relena's focus to his son.
While Solo tried to defend his innocence to Quatre and Relena, Duo took stock of the living room. The place was decorated in soft pastel colors. Baby theme banners hung from the ceiling and baby related pictures decorated the walls here and there. The color theme was a mixture of pastel red, green, blue, and yellow, giving the room a warm feeling despite the many decorations.
Satisfied with the room, Duo scanned the people. They were scattered around the room. Some were sitting and some were standing. Winner, Chang, Peacecraft, and Marquise families were all present in complete number, including Wufei's five daughters. Lady Une and Mariemeia were also present. Duo was a bit surprised to see that android J and Howard were also present. He would have to thank Quatre and Relena for including them because he had forgotten about them. Finished with scanning the people, Duo then turned to his spouse and realized that Heero wasn't beside him anymore. He looked around and saw him walking towards Solo. His intention to defend Solo was obvious.
Duo rolled his eyes and went to join his spouse. It took a few minutes to clear the surprise issue before Quatre and Relena calmed down. Heero was then ushered to the most comfy couch. Once he'd sat down, Relena announced that it was present time. Quatre produced a pastel blue bag and offered it to Heero.
"Since everyone wants to be the first to give you their present, we will decide the turn randomly. I have papers with our names on them in this bag," The blonde man explained to Heero. "Pull one out, Heero."
Heero did and read the name on the piece of paper. "Peacecraft."
Relena squealed in delight and went to the bedroom where the big gifts were stored. She came out with a baby stroller. She pushed the stroller in front of Heero and beamed happily. "This is from Dorothy and I. It's the latest in baby strollers. It has a UV protection cover and heat feature so your baby won't get cold."
Duo winced when he noticed its soft pink canopy and the frilly drapery around the legs. He was thinking of a way to get that stroller out of existence when Dorothy leaned towards him.
"Don't worry, you can change the canopy and remove the drapery easily. I made sure of that," the blonde woman whispered.
Duo sighed in relief, "Thanks, Dorothy. Your spouse is frightening with her pink obsession."
Dorothy snorted. "You haven't seen all of it. In the bedroom..."
"I don't want to know," Duo said hurriedly.
Dorothy laughed. She then turned to her spouse who was talking about the stroller's features while Heero studied the gift.
"Time's up, Lena. It's someone else's turn to give their gift now," Dorothy said to her spouse then addressed the pregnant boy. "Hope you like the gift, Heero."
Heero nodded slightly. "Thank you, Dorothy, Relena."
Relena beamed as she was dragged away by Dorothy.
"Next turn!" Quatre announced as he dangled the pastel blue bag in front of Heero. Duo took the chance to nudge the stroller aside while Heero drew another piece of paper.
"Mariemeia," Heero read the name on the paper.
The young woman stepped forward and smiled as she offered a small, wrapped box with a bow on top of it to Duo who proceeded to tear the wrapping off straight away. It revealed five 4x4cm data disks.
"They are songs for both mother and baby," Mariemeia explained. "I compiled the songs into five categories as you can see on each cover."
Duo picked out one disk and saw 'Mother's Relaxation' written on it. He looked at his spouse who had taken the 'Sleeping Baby' disk then at Mariemeia who'd started to look nervous. Duo smiled at the redheaded young woman. "This is great, Meia. Thank you."
"Yes, thank you, Mariemeia," Heero seconded.
Mariemeia smiled proudly. "You're welcome."
After setting the song disks on the table next to his couch, Heero drew another paper from the bag. "Chang."
Wufei grimaced while Sally whooped in delight. Since she had her youngest daughter in her arms, Wufei was the one with the present. She turned and ordered her husband. "Give them the present, Wufei."
The Chinese man stepped forward and set a rather large, wrapped box on Heero's lap. Following Duo's example, Heero tore the wrapping instead of opening it cautiously. The gift turned out to be a complete set of soft baby clothes.
"I picked out the clothes myself," Sally announced proudly. "I've put in some pajamas, a hat, socks, and gloves with matching colors and styles as well."
Duo looked at the pile of clothes. They were of a simple design, mainly soft yellows and greens in color. Duo spotted one pink dress and grimaced at Sally. "You couldn't resist buying this one, could you?"
"Duo, pink is a girl's color. Every girl will have at least one pink item," Sally scolded the violet eyed man while Meiran and Mariemeia muttered something that sounded like 'not me'.
Duo rolled his eyes but let the matter go. It was only one dress after all. He would see whether he could 'misplace' the dress somehow. He then heard his spouse let out a slight noise, which could only fall into the happy category.
Turning to see what had captured Heero's attention, Duo saw his spouse holding up a baby version of a yukata with red and gold color variation.
"Wow, this is beautiful." Duo stared at the garment.
"Wufei suggested this one," Sally said as she looked at her husband proudly.
Wufei looked uncomfortable as everyone focused on him.
"Thanks Sally, Wuffie," Duo grinned, "I can't wait to see our baby in this yukata. She would surely look lovely in it."
"It's Wufei!" Wufei corrected disgustedly.
"Yukata? But that's for Japanese...." Solo trailed off then exclaimed loudly. "Hey, I just realized that I'm half Japanese, half American!"
Milliard rolled his eyes heavenward. "God, why do you give me a friend as dumb as him?"
"Ditto," said Meiran, Midii, and Mariemeia.
"Hey!" Solo glared at the other M-five while the adults chuckled. He then decided to ignore them and turned to his parents, "Anyway, since I'm half Japanese, I can wear a kimono without attracting attention then!"
"Isn't a kimono for a female?" Milliard asked.
"There's one for a male as well, baka," Solo answered his friend and then turned to Heero. "Can I have one?"
"If you want to spend half an hour putting it on," Heero spoke up. "It's not a practical outfit."
"So, you have worn a kimono before?" Duo looked at his spouse curiously.
"Just once," Heero answered. "Mainly to know how to put it on in case I needed to wear it as a disguise..."
"Hmm..." Duo contemplated the image of Heero in a kimono. Maybe he could persuade Heero to wear a kimono later. Duo looked at his spouse and amended the time frame. Much later when Heero wasn't pregnant anymore.
"So, where can I buy a kimono then?" Solo asked excitedly.
Duo turned to his son. "I'll buy one for you later. I think we're going to stock more kimonos for Helen as well." That got him a big smile from his son. Duo's eyes caught the sight of Milliard then. The blonde boy was looking at Solo in a strange way that made Duo snicker.
The violet eyed man bent to his spouse and whispered in a conspiring tone. "It looks like Milliard has a crush on Solo. He's imagining how Solo would look in a kimono."
Heero snorted. "As if you didn't have the same look as Milliard just now. I'm not going to wear a kimono, Duo. It's impractical."
"I agree," Dorothy spoke up. "I tried one on once. Once is enough for a lifetime in my opinion. It's very restricting."
Duo pouted. He opened his mouth to do some persuading but Quatre interrupted. The blond billionaire was dangling the blue bag in front of Duo this time. "Draw the next person, Duo."
Vowing that he would find a way to get Heero into a kimono later, Duo took out a piece of paper. His violet eyes lit up as he read the name on it. "Howard."
"Finally, it's my turn. " Howard stepped forward. "I just finished them this morning so I didn't have time to wrap them up." He held up four bracelets and gave them to Heero.
Duo took one bracelet from his spouse and studied it. It was one long plate connected with series of chains on both sides. There was a small touch screen on the middle of the plate. "Howard, this is..."
"It's a baby monitor in a bracelet form," Howard grinned smugly. "It can detect when the baby is awake, has a breathing problem, and some other features. You can set the bracelet as either the baby monitor or the feedback receiver. I made four for you because I figured out both of you and Solo will want to monitor the baby."
"Neat." Duo turned the bracelet and saw the chains could be removed for adjustment. "This is great, Howard. Thank you."
"Yes, this is a first-rate piece." Android J joined the conversation. He took one bracelet from Heero and studied it. "The work is very accurate and detailed. I think I can add a feature to monitor Heero's pregnancy into this."
Duo thought it was a fine idea and was about to ask J to add the feature when his spouse refused.
"No," Heero glared at his android mentor. "The monitor will only make Duo fret more. I have enough of his babble for now."
"Hey!" Duo protested but quickly shut up when Heero turned his glare to him. In the background, he could hear Sally saying something that sounded like 'Don't even think about asking J to do it for me' and Wufei's 'I'm not that suicidal, woman' reply.
"Okay, the subject is closed." Quatre, always the peacemaker, offered the blue bag to Heero who drew Meiran's name.
Grinning, Meiran stepped forward and gave Heero ten pieces of paper. "These are coupons for ten baby-sitting sessions."
"So this is your obvious and practical gift?" Midii commented.
"Yup!" Meiran said to her blond friend then addressed Heero. "I have had a lot of experience baby-sitting my sisters for years so you don't have to worry about my skills."
"I don't," Heero replied. "Thanks, Meiran."
"You're welcome," the Chinese girl beamed. "You can use the coupons whenever you and uncle Duo want a night of uninterrupted sleep."
Her wink and the way she said the last word indicated that what Meiran meant was an entirely different meaning to the word sleep. Duo was torn between being amused or embarrassed. But the promise of ten nights of uninterrupted sex kicked the embarrassment away. He grinned widely and snatched the coupons from his spouse's hand. "Thanks girl! I will make a good use of these." In fact, if he ran out of the coupons, he was sure Meiran would appreciate an additional allowance in exchange for her baby-sitting services.
Looking at his grinning father's face, Solo groaned. "Great, there goes my sleep. They will surely go at it all night long."
"Get your room soundproofed then," Milliard remarked.
Solo brightened up. "That's a good idea! Why didn't I think of it before?"
"Because you're too much of a genius to think of a simple answer?" Meiran answered sweetly.
"Omae o korosu."
Milliard rolled his eyes and was about to comment on Solo's choice of words when he heard Duo call his name.
"It's your turn now," Solo said, unnecessarily because Milliard had already approached Heero and Duo, gift in hands.
Once given the gift, Duo quickly tore the wrapping paper and looked down at two books. One was a three-centimetre-thick book. Duo read the title aloud. "'All You Need to Know About A Baby Girl' book?"
"Basically, it's a baby girl encyclopedia," Milliard explained. "And the other book is a compilation of the best bedtime stories from around the world. It also has attractive pictures describing the stories."
Heero took the other book, which was half the thickness of the first book, and browsed it briefly. He then looked at Milliard and thanked the fair haired boy.
"You're welcome, Heero," Milliard smiled slightly. "I'm sure Solo's sister will enjoy the stories. I know mine does."
"I helped him choose that book!" Gillian boasted proudly as she wiggled down from her father's arms and strutted toward Heero. "You know, there's a Sleeping Beauty story in it."
"It's a wonderful book. Thank you, Gillian." Heero set the book aside and looked at the five-year-old girl who'd stopped in front of him.
Gillian beamed. "I'll pick a book for Solo when he's pregnant later!"
There were various reactions in the room at the dark haired girl's comment. Noin looked horrified at her daughter's comment as did Milliard. Since Zechs had been drinking when his daughter made the comment, he was coughing now as his drink went down the wrong way.
Solo stood where he was, not blinking at all while the female of M-five all looked at him worriedly.
Heero blinked once and stared at his son while Duo looked like he'd just swallowed something foul.
Other adults either looked surprised or amused.
It was Heero who finally broke the silence. "Solo is a male, Gillian."
"Male's can't have babies."
"You can," the young girl pointed out.
"I'm an exception," Heero said.
"Solo is too then," Gillian said fully convinced. "He looks like you. If you can have a baby, he can too."
"Can not!" Solo, who had finally gotten over his shock, denied vehemently.
"Solo is still too young! He isn't even married yet!" Duo exclaimed.
"Well theoretically all males can if they drink the mixture I made," Android J commented. "And your reasons aren't valid, Duo. Heero was only slightly older when he had Solo and wasn't married either."
"Granpa J!" Solo shouted. "You're not helping."
The old man android chuckled but refrained from thankfully saying anything further.
Milliard was surprisingly silent. He was staring at his friend in odd way. Usually the blond boy could come up with a valid argument which would appease Gillian, but the words 'Solo' and 'pregnant' had done something to his brain.
"Now, Gillian," Midii knelt down in front of the young girl. "In order to have a baby, Solo would have to marry another male."
"Midii!" Solo hissed loudly but the girl waved her hand, indicating for him to keep silent.
Gillian was frowning at Midii's words. "Marry another male? But I want to marry Solo!"
"That's why Solo can't be pregnant," Midii smiled, "You'll have Solo's baby instead."
Gillian looked thoughtful for a few seconds before nodding hesitantly. "Okay."
Midii nodded back. "Good girl. Let's move to the side so Heero can continue with the other presents."
Everyone was amused by now as Gillian trotted after Midii. Quatre was smiling as he offered the bag to Heero.
"Solo is still to young to have a baby," Duo continued to mutter.
Quatre looked at Duo innocently. "Don't you mean you're still too young to be a grandparent?"
Duo grimaced. "Yeah."
Heero looked slightly pale.
"If it's any consolation, I felt the same when I saw Midii kni... oopss...."
"What?" Heero asked curiously.
"I almost gave Midii's present away," Quatre smiled sheepishly, "You'll see what I mean later. Now, draw a paper, Heero."
Heero drew and showed the paper to Quatre. "It's yours."
"Finally!" Quatre smiled happily and turned to his husband. "Trowa, will you bring it here?"
Trowa nodded and disappeared. He returned a few seconds later, carrying a small round plastic tub filled with colorful items.
"This is a baby bathtub set and water proof toys," Quatre explained. "The set also includes soap, lotion, and shampoo for the baby."
Duo took the tub because it was too big for Heero's lap. He studied the items in it and smiled. Quatre really had outdone himself. There was the traditional yellow rubber ducky, colorful balls, and various other toys. "Thanks, Quat."
Heero picked up a rather big clown head, which had colorful ball as its body and raised an eyebrow to Trowa.
The green eyed man smirked. "I couldn't resist. It doubles as a sort of life belt as well."
Heero snorted and dropped the toy back into the bucket. "Thanks, Trowa."
Duo put down the tub and drew out another name out of the bag. "J."
"My gift is a baby crib," J said straight away. "I didn't bring it here because it's to difficult to be moved. It's been delivered to your house. I have put some advanced features on it. It can swing like a rocker and has temperature adjustment panel. There's also a box to insert disk data, which can play music or your voice, whatever you like. I've also installed a safety protection guard. It will raise a capsule cover over the baby. The cover is fire, water, and bullet proof. I doubt you will need this feature though."
"That's quite advanced feature you've installed there," Howard commented, "Why didn't you make it portable as well?"
"The time wasn't sufficient," J answered.
"I can help you with it," Howard grinned and soon the two of them were involved in a rather hectic discussion.
Duo shook his head as the two old men moved to one corner, still talking. He had a feeling that their kids would get a lot of strange gadgets from grandpa Howard and grandpa J in the future. "We haven't even thanked him yet."
"We can thank him later at home," Heero said as he drew another paper from the bag and read the name. "Marquise."
"Ah, Zechs," Noin called her husband. "Our turn!"
Zechs picked up something from behind him and followed his wife as she approached Heero and Duo.
"I'm really sorry about Gillian," Noin said.
"It's okay, Noin," Duo smiled. "Now what do we have here?"
Zechs smirked and dropped the bag into Duo's arms, "Diapers."
Duo groaned as took the bag.
"We got you a complete set. In the diaper bag, there are terry toweling diapers, disposable diapers, ointment, powder, and disposable wipes."
"There's also a portable changing table in it."
"Portable?" Heero asked.
"Here." Duo rummaged in the bag and pulled out a square white box with a blue button on top of it. "You put this on the floor and press the button. It will transform into a small table which we can put the baby on."
"It's the current trend," Quatre spoke up, "People often complain about how difficult it is to change a diaper on their babies when they are going for a walk. So the company, which focuses on baby related products, came up with this portable feature."
"I bet that company is a subsidiary of Winner Enterprises," Wufei snorted.
Quatre just smiled innocently.
The next paper drawn turned to be Midii. As the girl presented her knitted clothes to Heero, Duo leaned close to Quatre and whispered to the blond man. "I see what you mean."
Quatre smiled ruefully. "I went to her room and saw her happily knitting baby clothes. I almost had a heart attack at the thought that my baby girl was pregnant. I was about to demand who was the father when I remembered the baby shower party I have been planning for a week."
Duo chuckled then murmured to his friend so the others couldn't hear him. "How many papers left in that bag?"
"One," Quatre replied in the same low tone.
"Only one?" Duo raised his eyebrow. "There's still Une and Solo."
"Solo isn't included. He will get the last turn. Serves him right for ruining my surprise."
Duo shook his head amusedly. "You're evil, Quat."
After thanking Midii, Heero pulled out the last paper in the bag. "Lady Une."
"How come I get to be the last?" Solo whined, missing his uncle Quatre's satisfied smile.
Une strode toward them, a box in her hand. "This is for you."
"Thank you," Heero said and accepted the box. He tore into it, revealing a set of baby feeding utensils. There were bottles, teats, a pacifier, sterilizing solution, baby formula, fork, spoon and a matching cup and dish.
"Thank you, Lady Une," Duo smiled.
The older woman smiled back. "I hope you don't end up with the food all over you when you feed your baby this time, Duo."
"That was years ago," Duo protested and elaborated when Heero looked at him curiously. "It was my first time feeding Solo. He had colic and it was hard to feed him."
"I was visiting his house at that time and managed to snap a picture of him covered in cereal," Lady Une tittered.
"Where's the picture now?"
"Gone!" Duo said quickly.
"I still have it," Lady Une grinned and produced a picture from her purse, "I know you'll want to see it."
Duo exclaimed in mock anger but Heero had already seen it. A slight smile on his spouse's face stopped Duo from snatching the picture.
Duo couldn't help but grin. He always treasured those shy smiles Heero gave. He didn't care if the others laughed at his expense. A little humiliation was worth it to see Heero's smile.
After the laughs subsided, Quatre called Solo to present his gift.
The violet eye boy disappeared into the other room and came back with his hands behind his back. Solo stood before his parents and shifted slightly. "Uhm.. I thought long and hard about what to give my baby sister.... Milliard said that little girls like to cuddle."
Duo glanced at Gillian who was hugging Midii. Yup, little girls liked to cuddle. He caught sight of Relena who was standing slightly behind Solo. Why was Relena giggling? Was Solo planning giving a joke gift?
"So you see.... I bought her a cuddle toy." Solo showed the gift to his parents.
Duo stared at the gift in Solo's hands then laughed; a lot. "I should have known, like father like son."
Heero glared at his husband. "Quit laughing, baka."
Relena giggled loudly while Solo looked at his father in confusion. He looked at his gift, a cream and brown teddy bear with a blue tie and eyes. "What's wrong with the bear?"
"Oh there's nothing wrong with it, " Duo snickered. "It's just that when it comes to women, you and your mother are alike. Teddy bear indeed."
"I sense a story here," Quatre tapped his foot impatiently.
"It's a story that I never share with anyone. Only Relena and I know about it." Duo chuckled.
"What story?" Solo asked.
"Oh, okay then; remember how I told you that after the first war, Heero went to meet Relena at the spaceport?"
Solo nodded. "Yeah, Mom said goodbye to aunt Relena then went to live with you. What does that have to do with a teddy bear?"
"I didn't tell how he said his good-byes, " Duo grinned. "He put a teddy bear in Relena's seat."
"It's not goodbye. It's a gift," Heero muttered.
Duo snorted. "Yeah, a goodbye gift."
"I'd like to think it as my first love's gift," Relena sighed.
"So the teddy bear that has been sitting on our nightstand since our marriage is from Heero, huh?" Dorothy spoke in a slow, dangerous tone.
Relena rolled her eyes. "Don't go getting jealous of Heero. He loves Duo, I love you. It's a gift from one of Gundam pilots during the war. How many people can claim that they have something like I do?"
Dorothy looked thoughtful. "If we ever get short on cash, we can auction that teddy bear. I'm sure many people would pay a fortune to have a Gundam pilot's genuine memorabilia. The cash it would generate could support us for at least a year."
"Not my teddy bear!" Relena shrieked at the same time Duo said. "I'll pay the fortune!"
Heero sighed and waved to Solo to get closer. "Ignore them. Let me see your gift."
Solo held the teddy bear up. "Uhm... is it okay?"
Heero looked at the teddy bear then smiled slightly at Solo. "I'm sure your sister will love it. It's from her brother after all."
Solo smiled back. "Yeah!"
Heero glanced back at the teddy bear. "Why do you choose the light brown one?"
"I like how it looks. Why? Is something wrong with the color?"
"No, it's just..." Heero trailed off as his eyes fell on Solo's friend, the blond haired boy with blue eyes. Blond hair, almost white, just like the bear....
Milliard noticed Heero's look and smiled at him. His blue eyes shone.
Heero looked back at Solo who looked worried. He smiled at his son. "You have chosen well."
"Huh?" Solo looked confused slightly then brightened. "You mean the bear? I'm glad then. Hope my sister will like it as well."
"I'm sure she will," Heero said, not correcting his son's misunderstanding.
"Done with the gift?" Quatre appeared suddenly. "Good! It's game time! They will be held in the family room in five minutes."
Heero addressed his son. "Go stop your baka Dad from his ridiculous debate with your aunts. Quatre and I will meet you two in the family room."
"Ryokai," Solo grinned.
Quatre watched Solo bounced up to his father. "You have been a good parent, Heero."
"Not parent," Heero corrected and stood up slowly. "Friend. I'm only two years older than him."
"No matter how much older you are, Solo is looking to you as a parent. He seeks your approval as much as Duo's. He asked you about the bear. If he thought of you as a friend, he wouldn't seek your approval." Quatre walked slowly beside Heero.
Heero looked at his son who was trying to drag Duo toward the intended room then at his blond friend. "You have gotten wiser."
"I'm always wise, " Quatre grinned then he smiled softly at his now younger friend. "You will be a wonderful parent for your baby girl, Heero. I know for sure."
Heero placed a hand on Quatre's shoulder and squeezed lightly, "Thanks, Quatre. For everything."
Quatre smiled wider. "You're welcome, Heero."
There were games which the younger children participated in eagerly but the older ones tried to avoid. The husbands reluctantly joined in a few games such as a diaper changing contest. However, since most of them were fathers, they didn't have any difficulty, though Wufei protested every step, at least until Sally glared at him.
Android J and Howard couldn't be found anywhere. It seemed they had taken off to work on making the baby crib portable. Heero and Sally didn't join the game for obvious reasons, namely their being pregnant.
After the games, Quatre ushered them into the dining room where the food had been prepared for them. The rigorous games had made most of them hungry. The food didn't stand a chance. The first batch got demolished in less than ten minutes. Quatre had to tell his cooks to prepare the food quicker.
It was almost at the end that Gillian dropped her second bombshell. All the party guests were seated around the table waiting for the food to settle in their stomachs before they returned home. Gillian wriggled from her mother's lap and walked to Solo who was seated between Meiran and Midii. She tugged on Solo's hand. The violet eye boy pulled her onto his lap, "What is it, Gillian?"
"I like you having a baby. Like Heero."
The conversation around the table died suddenly so Gillian's next words were clearly heard by everyone.
"So you see, I'll marry Ramsey. You go marry another boy."
It was a chaos after that statement and also a memorable ending to the baby shower party.
To The Next Chapter
To The Previous Chapter
Back to Akuma's Fanfictions Page
Back to Guests Fanfictions Page
Back to Main Page