Author's Note: Summer holiday is here at last!! Expect more chapters of this and Enslaving Heero soon *grins at her newfound freedom and kicks all her textbooks and reports away*

Ever After Part 7
Snippet of Adolescence Moment

After Colony 212
12th of June

Milliard Marquise was an intelligent and sly young man. He could make most of people do what he wanted with just a few chosen words. He had as much charisma as his father in leading people. He was also a fourteen year old boy with an imp for a sister. His words were nothing when it came to the five year old girl, who was currently hugging his right leg. His charisma was zero when he had his sister with him. "Gillian, let go of my leg!"

"No!" The little girl glomped her brother's leg tighter, "Take me with you! I want to meet my Solo!"

"I'm not going to Solo's house!"

"You will," Gillian said without any doubt.

"No, I won't."

"Yes," Gillian wailed. "Yes yes yes yes yes!!!"

As his sister cried louder, Milliard wondered who was the more provocative and slier between them. If his mother heard her wails, she would scold him and of course order him to take the imp with him. Eventually, Gillian would win. Milliard sighed in defeat. "Fine fine, I'll take you to Solo's house."

"Yay!!" Gillian stopped wailing at once. She let go of his brother's leg and followed him to the car, strutting along the way.

When the Marquise siblings arrived at the Yuy-Maxwell house, they were greeted by Heero who was tending the flowers at the front gate.

"Big stomach, that's Heero!" Gillian ran out of the car and approached the Japanese boy happily.

Milliard grimaced at his sister's comment and was thankful that they were still far enough distance away that Heero couldn't hear her. He made a note to lecture the imp later. On second thought, he would just ask his mother to do that. Gillian would obey his words when the sun rose from west, which meant it would never happen. Milliard walked behind Gillian and smiled at Heero. "Hi Heero, Gillian wants to meet her Solo."

Heero looked down at the girl. "Sorry Gillian, Solo went out for fencing just now."

"Nooooo." Gillian started to wail.

"Do you want to play with Wing in the garden instead?" Heero offered then, at Gillian's eager nod he whistled. A puppy appeared from a bush nearby and ran toward them, barking happily. Gillian squealed in delight and went to play with the dog.

Milliard watched Heero's eyes soften as the Japanese boy watched the girl and the puppy ran to the garden in the back.

"She made you bring her here again?" Heero turned to him.

"Uh... yeah..." Milliard nervously looked around.

"Duo is at the office, don't worry."

Milliard turned his head back to the Japanese boy and smiled sheepishly. "Sorry."

"Don't be," Heero snorted, "It's Duo's fault and mine too. That baka is too possessive." Heero's eyes softened at the last sentence.

Milliard smiled, "But you love him nevertheless."

Heero just answered him with a slight smile. "So do you come here to find Solo or just follow Gillian's plea?"

"I'm looking for Solo." The blond haired boy wondered why his heart suddenly throbbed loudly when he said his friend's name, "I want to discuss our group's assignment."

"He is in the fencing club," Heero said, "Just go there, I'll look after Gillian."

"Thank you, I'll do that." Milliard said his goodbye and returned to the car where the driver was waiting.

He found Solo where Heero had said he was, in the fencing club, practicing with other fencers. Solo had seen him and signaled him to wait for ten minutes. Milliard nodded and took a seat. He watched Solo dodge the opponent's fence agilely, showing technique after technique fluidly, almost as if he was dancing instead of fighting. As his heart throbbed in faster rhythm than usual, Milliard sighed and remembered the day when his heart started this peculiar behavior.

It was sometime around March, a week after white day. He had grumbled and regretted his lie on the white day. It had resulted in his impish sister begging him every day to take her to Solo's house to meet her beloved Solo. He had refused the imp that morning and got scolded, when he arrived from his school later, by his mother with Gillian sniffling in her arms. So it was inevitable that he found himself and his squealing sister in front of Yuy-Maxwell's household.

The door was opened by Heero, who was wearing straw hat, blue jeans, and moss green tank top. The straw hat indicated that he was working at his garden. Heero smiled widely at them, "Hi Mill, Gillian."

Milliard blinked in surprise. First, Heero wasn't a person who smiled often or widely. Second, he usually called him Milliard, not Mill and certainly not in a cheerful way like at the moment.

"Where's Solo?" Gillian asked straight to the point.

Heero looked perplexed for a moment and then smiled sweetly. "I'm sorry. Solo is out, Gillian. He didn't say where he went."

Milliard was surprised when Heero shot a glare at him while Gillian wailed her disappointment. He realized then that he was looking at violet eyes instead of blue eyes. The blond haired boy did a double take then. The hair was chocolate brown but it was longer than Heero's usual style and most of it was tucked into the hat. Add that to the violet eyes, the comprehension hit him hard in the face and made his jaw drop. "Sol..."

"Gillian, there are chocolate biscuits in the kitchen. You can have them, if you want to. But do be quiet; uncle Duo is still sleeping upstairs." The violet-eyed Heero said to the little girl while his hand muffled Milliard's mouth, "I have something to discuss with Mill here. We will be in the garden."

"Okay!" Gillian stopped wailing and ran inside to find the biscuits. Other than Solo, Heero's chocolate biscuits were Gillian's favorite. She quickly disappeared and left the two boys alone.

"Sol..." Milliard tried again as the hand released his mouth and stopped as the violet eyed boy dragged him from the house and into the garden. He brought the blond boy into far corner and looked around before bending closer to Milliard and putting his forefinger on his mouth in silence gesture. "Ssstt! Call me Heero!"

"So you're Solo!" Milliard looked at his friend up and down. Now that he knew, he could see the differences clearly. Solo's figure was more filled and his expression was more open than Heero's was. It was usually easy to tell apart them since they had different hair and eyes color and different clothing styles as well. Solo preferred wearing cut off knee length jeans and t-shirt while Heero usually wore long jeans and tank top. But now as he saw the boy in front of them, Milliard had to admit that Solo and Heero looked very much alike at this moment.

"Why the hell are you impersonating Heero?"

Solo snorted and sat down on the low stool, gesturing him to sit down on the other stool near him. "It's Dad's fault."

"How so?" Milliard sat down slowly, still eyeing his friend in wonderment.

"Mom wanted to go out by himself, but Dad didn't allow him so Mom tried to sneak out this morning. However, he was caught by the guard Dad placed for this very reason. Mom said he wasn't a fragile doll. Dad said it was for the baby. They quarreled but then made up." Solo rolled his eyes up, "Dad is still napping from their make up session." Milliard thought that was way too much information for him and squirmed.

"Mom wasn't sleeping, though and was very irritated for being caged in the house. I went home and was asked to do this," Solo gestured to his clothes, "We dyed our hair. I'm pretending to work in the garden while Mom is out there, wearing my clothes and doing whatever he wants to do."

"Won't your Dad recognize you?"

"That's why I wear this hat and sit here," Solo tapped his hat. "Dad won't interrupt Mom's gardening so as long as he sees someone like Mom in the garden, he will think Mom is here."

Milliard shook his head, wondering how uncle Duo will react if he knows this conspiracy. "Don't you worry about Heero?"

"Of course I do." Solo glared at Milliard, "But he glared at me when I refused...."

Milliard chuckled. Solo looked like a kitten being scolded. His heart throbbed faster as he watched Solo tugged a particular leaf from nearest plant and nibbled on it playfully. Here in open flower field, wearing straw hat, and showered by sunlight, Solo looked beautiful...

"Hey, Mill."

Milliard blinked and looked at Solo who stared at him in awe, "What?"

"You look beautiful, you know."

Milliard wondered why his heart throbbed faster.

"Your hair reflects the sunlight, making it look like there's halo surrounding your head. You look like angel," Solo smiled widely.

"Um, thanks." Milliard squirmed and looked around, feeling strangely happy. "So what are you doing now?"

Solo gave him an are-you-silly-look. "What do you think I'm doing? I'm gardening, baka."

"Excuse me?"

"Baka, it's Mom's language. It means stupid."

"I'm not stupid." Milliard glared at his friend.

"True, Dad isn't stupid too, but Mom often calls him that, you know. I think it's an endearment for them."

Milliard's heart beat faster.

"However, you are baka. I have to do some gardening to maintain my cover." Solo sighed, "Mom better bring something for me in his escapade. His son is suffering here."

"You don't look like you're suffering." Milliard said dryly. "I think you're having fun with this."

Solo laughed merrily, "Of course! It's not everyday I can trick Dad like this. I once dreamed of having twin brother, you know." His violet eyes softened, "We would swap identities and trick everyone, especially Dad."

"Well, you have had Heero fulfill your dream without him knowing." Milliard smiled at Solo's dreamy face. His friend rarely told him something like this.

Solo looked at him and smiled, "Yeah, I have."

Milliard's breath hitched and his heart pounded violently at the breathtaking smile. He couldn't tear his gaze away from Solo. What was wrong with him?!!

Suddenly the wind blew hard, causing them to break their gaze and close their eyes. Milliard heard Solo's shout then and opened his eyes to see the straw hat flying away. For a few precious seconds, Solo's freed hair danced in the air, framing and reflecting the sunlight. Then his sight was obscured by his own wildly blown hair.

When the wind was gone, Milliard saw the hat perch happily on the oak tree's outer branch.

"Damn!" Solo cursed and approached the tree.

"What are you doing?" The blond boy followed his friend while his hand combed his front hair up, trying to tidy up his hair as best as he could.

"I have to get the hat back. If Dad sees me like this, he will know that I'm not Mom instantly." Solo answered as he climbed the tree up.

"I think we better find a long stick." Milliard looked at where the hat was and shouted at Solo worriedly, "It's quite high and on the small branch."

"It's okay." Solo shouted back. He was near the hat now, climbing on the big branch leading to the branch where the hat was. "I think the branch is strong enough."

Milliard watched worriedly as Solo crawled slowly until the hat within his reach. The dark haired boy extended his hand while he used the other one to balance his body and then grabbed the hat, letting out a triumph shout, which quickly turned into a squeak as the branch snapped, not able to hold his weight anymore. Milliard was certain his heart stopped beating as Solo lost balance and fell down. He ran and extended his hands, catching Solo right on time and together they tumbled down onto the ground.

The blond boy let out a groan as his back impacted with the rough ground and his front bore Solo's weight. For a moment, the only sound heard was the flutter of leaves and the blow of soft wind. Milliard looked at the blue sky and white clouds, waiting his rapidly beating heart to slow down. The weight he bore told him that he managed to catch Solo in time and it was his friend within his arms now. The soft breathing near his ear told him that he was safe and alive.

Solo squirmed and Milliard removed his arms. The brown haired boy lifted his head and upper body, looking down at him, "Are you okay?"

"No," Milliard croaked, "you scared me to death."

Solo chuckled weakly, "Sorry."

Milliard's hand encountered something other than grass. He grasped it and lifted it up. It was the hat that almost sent Solo to hospital. He sighed and put the hat on his friend's head. "Next time, use the stick, baka."

"I'm not baka," Solo huffed and sat up straighter, fixing his hair into his hat. "It was just a miscalculation on my part."

"Yeah, right." Milliard snorted then was silent as Solo wriggled on his stomach. His slow beating heart started throbbing faster again. He wondered whether he should go to hospital to check his body. There was definitely something wrong with his heart.


Both boys jumped at the loud shout. Solo's head snapped to the house's direction and his face went white. "Crap!"

Milliard followed Solo's gaze and knew he was in trouble as uncle Duo stormed to them with blazing violet eyes.

Solo rolled away and quickly stood up. Milliard tried to stand up as well and gasped when pain shot through his right ankle, telling him that he had twisted it. Hearing his gasp, Solo moved closer and Milliard automatically put his hand on the boy's shoulder to steady himself.

"Get your hand off of him." The sentence was said in cold dangerous tone.

Milliard looked up and felt like turning his tail and running away as violet eyes gleamed with death promise directed at him. His father once said not to anger uncle Duo and he now fervently agreed with him. At the moment, uncle Duo was exactly like his nickname, Shinigami - God of Death.

A dangerous growl slipped out of the thinned lips and Milliard realized he still had his hand on Solo's shoulder. Without thinking, he quickly removed his hand and thus putting his weight on his injured leg. He gasped in pain loudly.

"Mill!" Solo hurriedly grabbed the blond boy's waist and pulled back him to lean against him.

"Heero, stay away from him." Uncle Duo growled even louder while his stance indicated that he was ready to pounce and tear the blond boy limb by limb.

"Dad, be sensible. Mill is hurt!" Solo shouted back.

The violet eyes blinked once, twice, then focused on the boy with straw hat in confusion. "Solo!?"

"Oh shit!" Mill heard Solo's soft curse and realized that Solo had slipped and ruined his cover. He looked at uncle Duo and saw the man eyeing his son from head to toe. The feral look slowly disappeared, replaced by comprehension. Milliard released the breath he didn't realize he had held as the older man took a step back.

"Solo? What the hell are you doing wearing Heero's clothes?"

"Uhm..." Solo squirmed and rubbed his body against Milliard, whose heart started beating faster again.

Violet eyes narrowed at the boy whose eyes had the same color. "And where's your Mom?"

"Uh... you see..." Solo swallowed and turned to Mill, whispering "help me!"

Milliard sighed and looked up. "Uncle Duo?" When he had the man's attention, he told what his son and husband had done.

Five minutes later, they were shoved into the backseat of the car with uncle Duo behind the wheel, driving like a mad man and muttering about no allowance to his son and what he would like to do once he found his run away husband.

"Thank you very much for the help." Solo said in sarcasm.

"Do you really think you could get away from your father after your cover was blown?" Milliard muttered, trying to balance himself as the car swerved to the right.

Solo sighed, "No."

They were silent for some time as the car took turns here and there. Milliard tried not to wince when his twisted leg had to bear his weight.

A hand draped over his shoulders, helping him to steady his balance. "Thank you, Mill."

Milliard looked at his friend. "What for?"

"For saving me."

"It's nothing. That's what friends are for."

Solo smiled and tightened his hold on Milliard's shoulders. "I still thank you."

Milliard just smiled back and leaned his weight against his friend, feeling strangely happy.

"Yo Mill, let's go!"

Milliard was startled from his thoughts. He looked up and saw Solo standing in front of him in his casual clothes, a smile on his face. His backpack containing his fencing clothes was slumped on one shoulder. Those bright violet eyes peered at him. "Are you daydreaming?"

"Don't be silly." Milliard snorted and stood up. "Come on, we have an assignment to do or would you prefer to be with your little bride?"

"Don't tell me Gillian is at my house again." Solo said pleadingly.

"Fine, I won't." Milliard smirked.

Solo scowled. "This is because of you. I'll get you for this someday, Mill."

"You can try." The blond boy grinned and slapped his friend's shoulder. As they walked towards his car, side by side, Milliard had a feeling that uncle Duo would gave him that dangerous Shinigami gleam again.

"Can we stop for some snacks first?" Solo spoke when they had settled in the car. "I'm starving after the practice."


Solo beamed at him.

Milliard smiled back and hoped that whatever he did to uncle Duo was very well worth receiving that deadly glare....



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