Author's Notes: This is what you get after editing 9 tapes (@ 4hours) of kindergarden kids' activities.....

Ever After Part 13
A Father's Denial

Late August, AC 212

"Granpa! Granpa!"

Duo looked around in wonder and saw a small blond boy running toward him.

"Grandpa!" The boy shouted and threw himself forward, his violet eyes sparkling in delight.

Surprised, Duo automatically opened his arms and caught the boy.

Without hesitation, the boy put his arms around Duo's neck and squealed in delight. "Caught you, Granpa!"

Duo stared at the child bewilderedly. "I'm not your Granpa, I'm only thirty one!"

The child's smile vanished. His eyes became watery. A second later, the child burst into tears.

"Ah hell, " Duo held the child awkwardly.

"Dad! What did you do to my son now?!" A new but familiar voice came up from behind Duo.

Duo turned around, his eyes wide, not wanting to believe the speaker was who he thought he was.

Same violet eyes met his eyes. Same color hair as his, but this one was bound into a tail. The face was very similar to his beloved spouse's and yet there were slight differences.

"Solo?" Duo croaked the name.

"Mommy! Granpa is a meanie!" The blond boy wailed.

Solo shook his head resignedly. "Dad, it's time to accept that you are a Granpa and have been for a while. As a matter of fact, you will be getting another grandchild soon." Having said that, Solo patted his stomach affectionately.

His very big and rounded stomach.


Duo sat up quickly and panted. It took him a few seconds to grasp what had happened.

A dream.

He had been dreaming.

A blond boy with violet eyes. A very pregnant Solo. It was all dream.

Duo heaved a loud relieved sigh. Thank God, it was just a dream. He wasn't ready to be a grandparent yet! Solo was still too young, not to mention definitely male. Well, thanks to J, a male could fall pregnant, but no way in hell would Solo want to be pregnant. Not that Duo would allow it if he had any say in the matter. He didn't want to see his son suffer through pregnancy like his spouse was.

Talking about his spouse....

Duo glanced at the empty spot next to him in the bed then at the clock on the nightstand.

Where was his spouse at this early hour of the morning?

A trickle of fear ran through him. Had it really been a dream? Or he had fainted and been carried back to his bed? Had Heero left him and gone to take care of the grandchild?

The fear drove Duo out of his bed and to the bathroom. He went straight to the mirror and sighed loudly in relief when he saw his 'thirty one year old' face looking back at him. He had only been dreaming then. Having calmed himself, Duo put his robe and stepped out of the room and headed downstairs. He found his wayward spouse in the living room, sitting in front of the neo-plasma television screen.

He stood in front of his spouse and bent down, giving Heero a morning kiss.

"Ohayo, love," Duo spoke fondly.

"You're blocking my view," Heero pointed out flatly.

Sighing, Duo shuffled aside and dropped down on the couch next to his spouse. He noticed the television screen was showing a group of small children running around in a green meadow with a mountain in the background. Duo quickly recognized the scene as a part of the movie he'd taken when Solo's class was having an outdoor trip. It figured that Heero would watch one of Solo's growing up videos. His spouse didn't want to miss any of the recorded events in Solo's past. He had missed too much as it was.

"I remember this one," Duo commented and put one arm around Heero's shoulder's, drawing his spouse close against him. "It was the first outing for the first year class. I took this movie by myself, you know."

"Hn, no wonder it's shaky and has many bad angles."

"Hey!" Duo protested. Heero sure was in a sarcastic mood today.

"You lost Solo," Heero commented. The screen was now showing the frantic scanning of the field.

"He was a fast little devil," Duo muttered. They waited, the camera scanning the field for a few more seconds before it found the six year old Solo. His delighted laughter came loudly from the speakers.

"There he is," Duo commented and started when he saw what his boy was doing on the screen. "What the hell? What is Mill doing to him?"

Heero glanced oddly at Duo and looked at the screen. It was showing Solo amongst his school friends. They seemed to be waiting for several more children so their group would be complete. Milliard was also in the group and currently he had his arm around Solo, lifting the chestnut haired boy slightly off the ground. The gesture was what made Solo laugh in delight.

"They are playing, Duo."

"He was hugging Solo!"

Heero raised an eyebrow which silently said 'So?'

"He...he wasn't supposed to..." Duo said weakly, aware that he was acting strange if not stupid.

Heero snorted and turned his attention back to the screen. Duo also focused back on the screen, scolding himself for thinking perversely about two innocent little boys. The screen showed the children playing a tug of war game. He smiled slightly, remembering how Solo had pouted and almost cried when his group lost. Duo's smile disappeared when he noticed little Milliard was now comforting a tearful Solo.

By hugging him.


Duo growled. Heero sent him another odd look which made Duo realize what he was doing. The dream he'd had seemed to be affecting his mind more than he'd thought. Duo shook his head and resolved to watch the movie without having any further strange, suspicious thoughts.

However, as the movie went on, Duo couldn't help but notice how closely Mill and Solo interacted with each other. The screen now displayed Solo joining in the eating contest where the rule was to demolish the hanging big cracker without using their hands. He watched as Mill cheated and held the cracker in front of Solo so his son could eat the food easily. A quick glance told him that the scene had brought a fond smile to his spouse's face. Duo also watched how the two children took their lunch together and how Mill gave his chicken to Solo who openly drooled over it. After the lunch scene, it was time for more games. In one of the games, Mill tackled Solo to the ground. That was when Duo couldn't help himself anymore.

"Why the hell did Mill keep targeting Solo!?" he snarled.

Heero looked at his older spouse as if he was losing his mind. "Maybe because Solo was wearing black and Mill, as one of the white group, had to catch any member of the black one?"

"There are other black members," Duo growled as he watched Solo tried to crawl away from Mill but the blond boy jumped on top of him and kept him there.

"Caught ya!" Mill's young face came out of the speakers. His voice held the satisfaction and delight of a child.

"Don't give up, Solo!" Duo heard his own voice came out of the speakers and the camera shook for a while. He remembered that he had been holding the camera with one hand while the other hand waved encouragingly at his son. His past self obviously thought there was nothing wrong with the way Mill was pinning Solo to the ground Duo thought bitterly.

Solo was laughing beneath Mill and trying to free himself.

"Give it up," Mill stated, grinning victoriously. He kept Solo on the ground using his entire weight. "You can't get away from me."

"Alright, alright. I give up," Solo laughingly admitted his defeat.

"Yes!" Mill said pompously. "You're at my mercy now!"

"There! There you see?" Duo jumped up from the couch and pointed to the screen. "That blond brat is planning to harass Solo!"

"Duo, Milliard was six year old on the movie," Heero pointed out. "He is just playing with Solo."

"At six years old, I was been 'playing' pick pocket which was an adult job," Duo growled and then snarled when the screen showed Milliard, arms around Solo, drag Solo toward where the white group had made a base. "Get your perverted hands off him!"

"Duo, Solo would flee if Milliard didn't restrain him like that," Heero tried to reason with his suddenly, irrational husband.

"Nonsense, it was just his underhanded tactic to get his hands on my son." Duo was glaring at Milliard who was still hugging Solo on the screen. "Just wait until I get my hands on you. I'll make sure you never..."

Duo stopped ranting when the screen suddenly went black. He turned towards Heero, planning to ask why the hell Heero stopped the movie, but one look at Heero's dark scowl and Duo wisely shut his mouth.

"Duo..." Heero's voice sounded lethal.

Shit, he had forgotten about his spouse's mood swings. "Yeah?"

Heero glared at Duo. "You've noticed how close Milliard and Solo are before and you've even made teasing comments to me about them being together."


"You didn't seem to mind if they got together."

Uh oh, Heero crossing his hands over his pregnant stomach was never a good sign.

"I don't mind them being together," Duo said, trying to placate his spouse. Unfortunately, he seemed to say the wrong thing. If anything, Heero's glare went up a notch.

"Then why did you make a ruckus over six year old, innocent behavior?"

"Uh...." Duo swallowed. "I changed my mind..."

"You what?"

Uh oh, the glare went up to omae-o-korosu level.

"I don't want Solo to date so soon," Duo quickly elaborated. "He's only fourteen! Still too young!"

"We were fucking at fifteen."

Duo grimaced. A swearing Heero was a pissed off Heero.

One wrong word and he would surely be sleeping on the couch tonight. It seemed he had to be honest. Not that he could ever be anything but honest.

"If Solo dates Milliard now, he will get married soon. And then they will want to have children. That means we will have grandchildren! I'm still thirty one years old, for God's sake!"

"And I'm eighteen, so?"

Whatever reason Duo had disappeared with the mental image Heero's words invoked. He couldn't help but grin at the image.

"Now what are you grinning for?"

"I imagine no one would believe you are a grandfather at the age of eighteen." Duo's chuckles held a slightly hysteric edge. "You would be the grandmother, actually, which is more unbelievable. Imagine, an eighteen year old grandmother!"

"Omae o korosu!"

It was the last thing Duo heard before he felt the air in his lungs driven out. For a pregnant person, Heero sure packed one hell of a punch. That was Duo's last thought before the blackness swallowed him whole.


That night, Duo sat down on the couch, grumbling at his spouse's stubbornness. For once, no amount of begging and pleading had managed to save him from the lonely night on the couch.

A hard object prodded his behind. It was the remote for the television set. Duo glared at the remote as if it was to blame. He then threw the remote aside.

The impact accidentally caused the remote to turn on the television set.

The neo-plasma screen came to life. It showed Mill and Solo hugging each other and laughing loudly. Duo glared at the blond boy.

"We got another Black!" Another boy approached Solo and Mill. He was carrying a branch. "Don't fight us!" the boy said to Solo. However, Solo was still playfully struggling with Mill and ignored the boy. The boy's face became red and without warning he swung the branch towards Solo. Solo cried out as it hit his shoulder.

"Hey!" The camera shook as Duo heard his own voice shouting at the boy. He remembered he had been angry at the boy for hitting his son. What he didn't remember was Mill's reaction to it. The blond boy released Solo at once and pounced on the attacking boy.

"How dare you hit him!" Mill snapped at the boy. He took the boy's collar and shook him. "No one hits my best friend!"

The boy cried then and struggled to escape. Mill released the boy's collar and the boy didn't waste any time, running and crying toward his mother.

The camera shook then. Duo remembered that he had followed the boy, wanting to have a word with the boy's mother. Though the scene was shaky, Duo could see that Mill went back to Solo and comforted him.

He watched his son's tearful but smiling face as Mill hugged him. Then the camera became too shaky to watch. Duo fumbled for the remote and stopped the movie. He then closed his eyes, replaying the last scene. Solo's smile was the smile of innocent, free from burden. It was pure happiness. And the one who made his son smile so freely was the blond boy hugging him.

Duo sighed and settled into the couch. Okay, so Mill could date Solo if he wanted to. But as Solo's father, Duo would make sure they didn't have sex until Solo was twenty five. By that time, Duo might be more acceptable to the idea of being a grandfather.

.........Heh, a father could dream, couldn't he?


"This morning was strange," Solo said while he was having lunch in the usual cafeteria with Milliard, Midii, and Meiran.

"What was strange?" asked Midii.

"I came down and found Dad sleeping in the couch."

"He what?" Meiran tore her eyes away from her book.

"Sleeping in the couch," repeated Solo.

"He finally pissed your Mum off, huh?" Milliard commented.

"At first, I thought that too," Solo gulped his drink, "but then I noticed something else."

"What was it?" Meiran asked as she closed her book. Solo's tale was more interesting at the moment.

"Mum was sleeping in his arms."

"Huh?" Solo's friends had a frown on each of their faces.

"Exactly my thoughts too. Anyway, my coming down woke Dad up. He looked up blearily at me before he noticed he had Mum with him."

"What did he do then?" Midii asked eagerly.

"What do you think?" Solo asked dryly. "He looked as if Christmas had come early and kissed Mum awake. He didn't let him up for air for a long, long time."

"That's nothing strange then," Milliard commented.

"Well, the strange thing was, when I said I would leave them alone and meet you all here, Dad mumbled something about not minding being a young grandparent at all."



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