Hey, Wufei! What’s up?
I need to talk to you…
Sure, no problem!
In private, if you don’t mind. Can we step into your office for
Uh… I guess. Excuse us Henderson, I’ll get that report to
you this afternoon.
Uhm… so what do you need, Wufei? I haven’t had time to put
together that purchase request yet…
This isn’t work related, Maxwell. Last night…
Crap! Sally told? She promised to wait until I replaced it! Damn it… I’m
sorry Wufei, it was a complete accident!
What? Wait… what are you talking about? Replace what?
She didn't...? I… uh… never mind?
My memory’s going… that little accident was at Quatre’s
place… nothing to do with you. Really.
Nice try, but forget it. What did you do?
Ah man! Look, it was a total accident and I am so sorry. Sally told me
how important it was and I swear to God I’ll find a replacement no
matter how long it takes…
…I’ve already got inquiries out to every major antique dealer
that handles Asian antiquities and I’ll pay whatever it takes and…
…please don’t kill me, it was a complete accident, I didn’t
even see the thing! I was getting my coat out of the hall closet when I
got called in to work last night, and I bumped that little table and…
Ok, since you won’t damn well tell me anything useful here, I’m
going to use my powers of deduction and go out on a limb… you knocked
over the side table in the front hall and broke that blue and white vase
that was sitting there, didn’t you?
Uh… yeah. Wufei, man… I am so very sorry. Sally told about
what it was, and I swear to you I will make this right. Wait… why
are you grinning like that?
Pray tell, just what did Sally tell you about that vase?
That it was an authentic piece produced in the L5 cluster and that you… Wait… she
totally played me, didn’t she?
Oh yes. That tacky thing was a wedding gift from one of Sally’s
weird cousins. You don’t seriously think I would put a priceless
heirloom piece like that on a pedestal table in a high traffic area, do
Damn it! She got all watery-eyed and everything!
And that didn’t clue you in? You are such a sucker!
I am so going to kick her ass…
Not for nine months, you’re not.
Oh, I’m a patient man when it comes to pay back, I can… wait.
What? Nine months? What… what are you saying?
Well, that’s basically what I came in here to talk to you about
in the first place. We were planning on asking you last night, that’s
why we invited you to dinner. But then you got called out and…
No shit? Oh man… are you serious? Pregnant? You’re pregnant?
Like… a baby? A little Wufei-type person?
Well, I expect Sally to handle the majority of that part, but yes… we’re
Oh my God! Congratulations! Holy shit! That’s so cool!
Maxwell, will you calm down a minute! There’s a point here; we wanted
to ask if you would consent to being named the Godfather.
Wait a minute; this isn’t another practical joke, is it?
Please. I leave that to my wife.
For real? You want me to be the Godfather? What… what do I have
Well, there’s a ceremony, but that’s a long way off yet. And
some paper-work designating you the guardian if something happens to both
of us, and… Duo?
Duo, what? Are you…
Something in my eye is all, Chang.
So is that a yes?
Can I get her a puppy?
What? No! And we don’t even know what the baby is yet!
I just have this feeling.
And have you thought about her first car yet? It’s got to be cool,
but really safe. Not one of those cheap tin can types.
Holy shit! Have you started her college fund yet? She’s got to have
Duo… we’re still deciding on the color of the nursery.
There have to be teddy bears. And one of those things you hang over the
crib that plays music. Do you have a crib yet? Hey! Can I take Sally shopping?
What are you grinning at, Chang?
Nothing. I just knew you were the man for the job…
No! Oh crap… don’t!
Get a grip, Maxwell.
Sally… don’t do that! No, no, no… oh hell.
It’s a baby, Duo… not a time bomb. Relax.
Relax?! Are you nuts! What if I break her!
She’s not made of spun glass. Duo Maxwell, may I present your God
daughter. Mei-zhen… meet your Uncle Duo.
Oh wow… she’s so tiny. My pocket change weighs
more than this…
Six pounds, seven ounces.
That sounds way bigger than it is…
Trust me; it felt big enough.
Ewww… TMI, Po!
Duo, you don’t have to whisper; she’s not asleep.
I don’t want to startle her or anything. She’s so tiny… what
if we seem all big and scary?
I think she’ll deal.
God, Sal… she’s just beautiful!
Oh please… she looks like frog. All new babies look
Don’t say that, she’ll hear you! Mommy didn’t mean it,
sweetheart… you’re just perfect.
I didn’t say she wasn’t perfect… I just
said she looked like a frog.
Oh shit! She’s moving! What do I do?
Chill… it’s not like she can crawl off. She’s
not going anywhere. Just make sure her head is supported.
You’re doing fine, Duo. Relax. Besides… I think
she likes you.
She does? How can you tell?
She’s not screaming.
Well, there’s an endorsement.
Oh trust me; it is. She loves the night nurse, but she absolutely detests
it when the lady comes around to empty the trash. Squalls like a Banshee.
She does? When does this woman make her rounds? Do they wear name tags?
Hold it… you are not seriously thinking about running
a background check on the cleaning lady?
Hey… I trust my God daughter’s instincts. If she says there’s
something up, Uncle Duo will check it out.
Oh please… more likely she just doesn’t like
the smell of disinfectant.
Don’t worry, sweetheart… Uncle Duo believes you. That stinky
old lady won’t bother you ever again.
What? What’s that look for?
Dear Lord… she has you wrapped around her little finger, and she
can’t even talk yet!
Just doing my God father duty, Po.
I think this is the beginning of a long and beautiful relationship.
You know… you’re going to have to learn to watch
Oh shit; I’m sorry! Uh… I mean, crap. No… uh… I
mean… oh man. This is gonna be harder than I thought…
Tell me about it…
Oh hi, Duo… back from the zoo already? Where’s
She’s telling her Dad about the tigers, so we should have a minute… I
gotta talk to you.
What’s the matter?
We’ve got a small problem, but don’t worry… I think
I’ve got it under control. Just have to get our stories straight.
Just listen and try to keep up, Po! This is important.
I’m all ears.
Mei asked me today why I call her the Frog Princess.
Uh… ok. And?
And? And?! You don’t go around telling a kid
that her mother thinks she looks like a frog!
Don’t mince words. The point is, I was not
about to tell her something like that, so I told her it came from a book
I used to
read to her.
Yeah. I told her she used to have a book about a Frog Princess. A beautiful,
brave, very confident and talented Frog Princess.
Well, that was an… interesting ‘save’. How’d
that work out for you?
Well, she wanted to know where the book went.
So I told her it was lost. Then she wanted to know what it was about.
And let me guess… you didn’t just say you couldn’t
I supposedly read the thing to her all the time!
I certainly couldn’t
claim I didn’t know! So I made up a plot. And some side characters.
And a bit of a lily pad city kind of thing. With turtles.
How delightful. Please tell me the next part, even
though I can probably guess…
She wants me to find a copy of the damn thing!
What a shock.
But don’t worry, I’ve got it all figured
out. Hilde works with a guy who actually published something once. Some
Yeah, technical manuals and children’s books; there’s
a real connection…
…he’s got to have contacts. Hilde’s pretty good with
writing stuff, and I’m going to get her to work with me and I’m
going to come up with enough stuff to fake a book…
Are you serious?
…and Heero met this kid at the tea shop he goes to, who apparently
doodles all the time and since she’s putting herself through art
school, I’m pretty sure she’ll hire out to do the illustrations…
Dear God, you are serious…
…I’ll stall by telling her it’s out of print and I’m
having trouble finding a copy…
Maxwell, four year olds don’t really use that
kind of logic…
…I should be able to have something put together
inside of a month or two and…
I don’t believe this…
Hey! It’s your ass I’m trying to cover here, and… oh
wait, here she comes. Mums the word.
Mommy! The zoo was cool! I like the tigers bestest!
Did you get to see the snake house too?
Yeah! There was ones bigger than me!
Cool. And were there frogs?
Yep! Ribbet! Ribbet!
I love frogs. Aren’t they cute?
Me too! They hop like this!
Are you Mommy’s little frog?
Ribbet! Ribbet! Mei the frog!
And that’s why you’re the Frog Princess,
Yeah! Wait… what about my book?
Uncle Duo was confused. That book was about a bat,
ok? He’ll get
you another copy tomorrow if we can’t find yours.
All right, go wash your hands for supper.
Ok! Thanks for taking me to the zoo, Unca Duo!
The title of the book is Stella Luna. And it’s
still in print. And should only cost you about five bucks instead of
fees. You can thank me later.
Somehow, there’s something seriously wrong
Beauty, and frogginess, are in the eye of the beholder, Maxwell.
I think I hate you.
You’re just jealous of my awesome Mommy skills…
‘Duo, seriously… there is nothing to be embarrassed
‘Not even getting in to the whole mud-covered aspect
of this whole debacle, you want to explain how making an entire first grade
class burst into tears isn’t embarrassing?’
‘They weren’t all crying… most of them
had gone home already. It was only a hand full. And that one teacher…’
‘Not helping, Yuy.'
‘And Mei-Zhen wasn’t scared; she thought
it was a fun game.’
‘I threw the kid down in the mud, Heero… somehow,
I don’t think this is a ‘game’ Sally is going to thank
me for teaching her.’
‘You thought you were protecting her.’
‘It was a car back-firing, for God’s sake! A
stupid car! I don’t even remember moving! Just *bam* and we were
on the ground wallowing in the damn mud and all the kids were screaming
about the crazy man!’
‘The noise scared them too, Duo… it wasn’t
just you. Uh… I mean, it wasn’t just you that scared them,
not that it wasn’t you that was scared. I mean…’
‘Just stop. Either way is pretty damn pathetic. Wufei
is never going to ask me to pick Mei up from school again. Or anyplace
else. I probably traumatized her for life. I’ll be lucky if I’m
ever even invited over again.'
‘Mei-Zhen would mutiny… you’re
her favorite uncle.’
‘Favorite, lunatic uncle.’
‘Stop it. Wufei understands. And Sally will
get over it as soon as we finish getting the mud out of the carpet.'
‘She called me a degenerate juvenile delinquent.’
‘That was before you explained. She just thought
you two tracked mud in to the house for fun.’
‘As opposed to… for not fun?’
‘You know what I mean…’
‘Fun or not fun, Wufei is going to kill me and…’
‘Uncle Duo! How come you’re sitting outside
in the rain? Mommy says you can use our shower too!’
‘That’s ok, pumpkin… Uncle Heero is going
to take me home in the back of his truck and I’ll clean up there.'
‘In the back of the truck? In the rain? Wow!
You know the best games ever, Uncle Duo!’
‘Your Dad doesn’t seem to think so. Isn’t
he coming out to… uh… talk to me?’
‘Daddy is all watery right now, but he said he’d
come out in a minute and bring you some of his clothes to wear.'
‘Yeah! Uncle Heero told Daddy about that scary car
that made that loud noise and Daddy told Mommy you’re… a… a…’
‘Hero, I believe, is what he said, Mei-Zhen.’
‘Thanks, Uncle Heero! Yeah, Daddy said something with
big words about tent… tensi… uh…’
‘Intentions, Mei. That Uncle Duo’s intentions
were most honorable.’
‘Yeah! And he said he’s very lucky to have a
friend who’s… uh… ‘
‘To have a friend as self-sacrificing as Uncle
Duo who would put his life on the line to protect his daughter?’
‘Yeah! You ‘member good, Uncle Heero! But there
wasn’t any line, so I don’t get that part. But Daddy will be
out after he finishes blowing his nose.’
‘Thank you, Mei-Zhen. Why don’t you go back in
where it’s warm now.’
‘Ok! Bye, Uncle Duo!’
‘I was trying to tell you that Wufei understood.
‘But… watery? I made Wufei get… ‘watery’?’
‘Having kids will do that to a guy.’
‘Watery. Heero… I think that’s worse than
him being mad at me…’
Morning, Duo, sorry I’m late; the nurse had
some paperwork and… hey, what’s wrong?
Hey, Heero. Oh nothing… I’m fine.
Do you need more pain meds? Should I call the nurse?
Nothing like that… calm down.
Then what’s wrong? You look like… I mean… are you…?
Just something in my eye, Yuy.
Are you sure?
Wufei dropped it off when he visited this morning. Mei made it.
Wipe that smug look off your face, asshole.
Well, it certainly explains the… uh… something
in your eye.
Not my fault. She called me her favorite uncle and drew me flowers and
And what’s the green thing here by the… uh…
That’s a rose. And the green thing is a frog.
If you say so.
Hey! She’s only six! That’s a pretty
good frog for a six year old!
What are you laughing at?
Good thing I’m not the jealous type.
Asshole. Do I get my good morning kiss, or are you going to just continue
being a smug jerk?
Not my fault you’re so amusing when you’re
busy being manipulated by a six year old.
I am not being manipulated!
Yeah? Then why is there a beagle living at our house
belong to us despite the fact that we feed it, walk it, and give it house
room? Oh… and pay for it.
How was I supposed to know that being a father gives
you powers of immunity to the big, watery eyed thing? I couldn’t say no to her, and I didn’t
think for a second that Wufei could either!
That’s pretty much the definition of ‘manipulated’.
At least I stopped with the dog. I did say no to the pony.
The hell. I said no to the pony. You were looking for rental space at
every stable in the tri-state area. I have no problem with the word no.
I was not! I say no to her all the time!
Sure, Maxwell. That’s why you spend half your evenings watching
little kids scramble around a soccer field, chasing a ball like a bunch
of rabid ants, while I’m at home where it’s warm and comfortable.
Uhm… about that…
No. Forget it. You may be getting released today, but you are not going
to be up to sitting out on a cold set of bleachers! I forbid it!
I’m not stupid! I know better than that!
I uh… want you to go and tape it for me.
Are you serious? No way!
Ah, come on, Heero… I haven’t missed
one of her games yet.
No way am I leaving you home alone while I go stand
around in the cold with a stupid video camera…
Please? For me?
No way! I… ah hell. Don’t give me that
I promise I’ll be a good boy and won’t go against the doctor’s
orders or anything.
For your whole recovery? Not just today?
Well… at least this week?
Deal. But I’m holding you to it. I get seven
full days before I have to start hiding the car keys and bribing the
neighbors to call me
if you leave the house.
Done! But you have to get there early to get a good
seat to get good pictures! And don’t sit anywhere near Mrs. Hart… woman screams through
the whole game, and I wouldn’t be able to hear anything on the tape.
And make sure Mei sees you. You have to yell for her when she does something
good; the kids with a big cheering section get more respect. And can you
maybe cheer for the little Adams kid too? His folks don’t ever seem
to show up. Or maybe his Mom sits in the car, I’m not sure. But he’s
kind of klutzy and nobody else cheers for him and I feel bad for him. Oh,
and it’s my turn to take the team out for ice cream after the game…
I… just got totally suckered, didn’t
I thought we were using the word ‘manipulated’?
Mei… honey, are you up there?
Uh, ok… so who am I talking to then?
The Frog Princess! And the Frog Princess doesn’t want
to talk right now, Uncle Duo.
Well, would the Frog Princess like an ice cream bar, cause
sort of melting…
Chocolate, of course.
Well, ok. If it’s just gonna melt anyway. I guess you
can come up.
Thanks. Uh… here. Mind if I sit down long enough to
Nice tree house you got here.
Your Dad did a real good job on it.
Though I bet your Mom made those pillows. Never seen lily pad shaped pillows
Uh… you just dripped ice cream on your pants.
Your Mom won’t be happy with me if that stains.
I don’t care if Mommy isn’t happy.
Mei! That’s not nice!
So? I’m not very happy right now either! It’s not fair! I
don’t want a baby brother!
But why not? I think a new baby would be cool!
He’ll want to play with all my stuff! And he’ll
want to come up in my tree house!
Well, sharing is always good…
I don’t want to share! This is my tree house! Daddy
made it special for me!
Maybe your Dad will make him his own?
Uncle Duo… this is the only tree in our yard!
Uh… I could buy him a tree now, and we could plant it out back and
maybe it would be big enough by the time he’s old enough to climb?
Don’t cry, sweetheart! What’d I say?!
I’m gonna have to share you too? You’re my God father and
I don’t want you to be… his God father too!
Oh trust me, honey… I couldn’t handle another kid. You’re
all the God child I need. We’ll just get your Dad to ask Uncle Heero
or something, ok?
Well… ok. And we can still go to the zoo? Just the
two of us?
Sure. Though we can take the new baby places sometimes to…
I don’t want to! He’s already getting Mommy and Daddy! He
can’t have you too!
Uh… what? I think I’m missing something here…
The other kids told me at school when I told in show and
tell that I was getting a baby brother! They said this is ‘the end’!
They said that things will never be the same! That babies are just stinky
cry all the time and they take your Mommy and Daddy away from you!
God, kids are like little tiny rumor mongers, aren’t they? Sheesh,
sweetie… didn’t we have a nice long talk about not believing
everything people tell you, after that little misunderstanding about people
who shave being werewolves?
Yeah? So what part’s not true?
Well… babies do kind of stink when they need changed, but the rest
of the time they smell kinda good. Like baby powder and stuff. And they
cry sometimes, but they’re pretty easy to make happy… they
just want to be clean and dry and fed.
And they don’t take your Mom and Dad away.
But they won’t have any time for me anymore. Tommy said so. He said
that’s what happened when he got a little sister.
Well, see? Right there’s the difference! You aren’t getting
a sister… you’re getting a brother. All the difference in the
Oh yeah… you’re the Frog Princess, right? Well, every Princess
needs minions, don’t they?
Well… yeah. But I thought Uncle Trowa and Uncle Quatre
were my minions?
Only when they have the time to play Simon Says with us… a
baby brother will be here all the time, see?
And he has to do what I say?
Well… not exactly. This is like… uh… a
I don’t think I’m going to like this game…
No, it’ll be fun! See, the idea is that you can’t make the
new baby do what you say, but you have to make him like you so much that
he wants to do what you say! Yeah… I like that idea; that covers
all the bases, right?
Is this a new game, Uncle Duo? Cause you don’t seem
to know the rules.
Well, I think this is a game that will have to evolve a little
bit as we go. Since… you know… we haven’t met the new
What if he’s mean?
You aren’t mean, are you?
Maybe a little bit. I told Daddy I didn’t want Mommy to be fat anymore
because she’s no fun now that she’s all big. Daddy wasn’t
I’ll bet not. You don’t tell a hormonal woman she’s
fat. Listen, sweetie… your Mom will get over that after the baby
gets here. You should have seen how big she was before you were born!
Yes, really. She’ll be her old self again, your Dad won’t
be so up-tight, and the new baby won’t be mean. Your Mom and Dad
did a pretty good job raising you so far, so I think they’ll manage
to keep this new kid in line.
And he’ll be my for real minion? All the time?
If you play the game right and are really nice to him so
that he likes you lots. Then he’ll follow you around like a loyal puppy and be
more than happy to do whatever you say. Uh… ask. Whatever you ask.
Cool! I’ll never have to clean my own room again!
Uh… ok… wait, maybe I should rethink these rules…
Are you sure you’re ok, Mei? Here… let
me get the car door.
I’m fine, Uncle Duo. It’s just a sprain… not
like I broke it!
Oh God! Don’t say that word! I still feel sick to my
stomach just seeing you sprain it!
You’re such a dork sometimes… big, tough Preventer
Hey! Even big, tough Preventers can get nauseous seeing their God-child
take a header off the high ramp.
If that Johnson kid hadn’t crossed my carve on purpose, I’d
Oh, don’t you worry about that Johnson kid.
Uncle Duo! What are you planning? You can’t do anything to him… it’s
not illegal to be a jerk with a skate board!
Not illegal… just stupid. There are other ways of teaching
punks a lesson, Princess.
Don’t worry. I’ll just sick Uncle Heero on the kid… a
little hack here… a little hack there, and Mr. Johnson will find
himself repeating the seventh grade. A couple of times.
Yeah. And maybe he’ll suddenly be on file for seventy-five
over-due library books or something.
That one was lame. Nobody will believe he reads.
Point. Well, I’ll just leave it to Heero… he’s
much more inventive than I am.
Uhm… why are we just standing out here on the sidewalk anyway? Why
aren’t we going in?
I was kind of enjoying my last moments of life… your
Dad is going to kill me, and then beat my corpse to death.
And I’m going to get grounded. We don’t actually have to… you
know… tell him…
Mei, that would be lying to your Father, and as attractive
as that option is… I’m not going to set that kind of example
Please. Like I’ve never lied to Dad before…
Don’t want to know! Don’t want to know! Don’t
want to know!
Well, wasn’t it lying when we said we weren’t
going to the skate board park to begin with?
Uh… technically I never said I wouldn’t take you. Wufei just
said he didn’t want you going, and I sort of… you know… acknowledged
the fact that he didn’t want you going.
Slick, Uncle Duo.
God… I really do suck at this role model thing, don’t
I? I really should not have taken you…
I’d have just gone myself. I go every chance I get… I
just usually have to walk.
Yeah. I know. Which is why I figured it didn’t matter. But that
still doesn’t mean I’m not going to tell your Dad what happened.
Technically, we don’t have to tell him anything… he was going
to be late getting home from work tonight; he’s not home yet.
He may not be home now, but I don’t think that’s
going to heal before he gets home, Frog Princess.
Duh! We don’t tell Dad… we tell Mom and let her
Not the word I was looking for, sweetheart…
Maxwell, I fail to understand what we're doing here. I really
have no desire to mingle with this sort of... crowd.
They're just kids, Wufei... not gang members or anything.
Could have fooled me. But besides that, neither of us has any interest
in this so called sport.
Maybe not, but somebody who is very important to both of us does.
Please tell me this isn't a lame attempt to convince me this would be
a suitable crowd for my daughter to hang around with?
Uh... not really, buddy. More like an attempt to make you see what's right
in front of your face.
What? Speak up, Maxwell... I can't half hear you over this noise. Do they
have to blast that incessant music so loud?
It's all part of the ambiance, dude. Think of it as the music that ice
That's hardly the same thing. There's no art to this... this... hooligan
Skate boarding is not just for street kids, Wufei. And it's a perfectly
valid sport; there are leagues and tournaments and...
Oh sure. Like that boy there, I'm very impressed with the way he's rolling
back and forth.
Just watch a minute; he's got to build up momentum.
For what? So he can go really fast? Or maybe... crap! What did he just
It's called a kickflip. His name's Johnny and he'll probably follow that
up with a 360 kickflip... yep. That.
That's just suicidal!
But don't tell me you can't see it takes skill?
Skilled suicide is better, how? Since when do you know so much about this
Since last summer. Uh... about the time Mei sprained her wrist...
What? Speak up, Maxwell. I said, why do you know so much about the local
punks and their suicidal tendencies?
I know because it's important to my God-daughter, so I made a point of
Mei-Zhen's fascination with this... 'sport' is nothing but a passing fancy.
I imagine there is probably some... boy that attracted her attention. I
suppose they're at least in shape, but they're hardly appropriate suitors.
She'll get over it.
Three years is hardly what I would call 'passing' and the only interest
she has in this crew is kicking their asses.
Maxwell, if you're going to talk to me, damn well speak up.
Just watch for a minute, will you?
I suppose, since you dragged me all the way down here, we can watch for
a few minutes. But if you think this is going to change my mind about allowing
my daughter to come down here and hang out, forget it.
Stop being so close-minded. It's a sport like any other. It takes skill
and talent and nerve. Can't you at least see the attraction?
Oh, I imagine it's nothing but an adrenaline rush. If I admit it takes
a certain amount of skill, can we go?
Not quite yet...
Maxwell, I had hoped to have time to... What the hell?!
Shhhhh! You idiot! Not so loud! You'll break her concentration!
Are you insane? That's my daughter!
Oddly enough... I'm well aware of that!
Is she... what the hell? Are you telling me... oh my God!
Good, isn't she?
Maxwell! Get her the hell down from there before I kill you!
Chill out, man! Just watch for a minute...
I don't want to watch, I want my child the hell off that... that thing,
and down on the ground where... oh my God!
You keep saying that. Will you just shut up, already? People are starting
to stare, and if you're not careful she's going to see us. That would be
bad while she's doing... that.
How... how long has this been going on?
I've been trying to tell you; since she was about thirteen.
Yeah, yeah; I know. You forbid it, you told her no, you said she couldn't.
Been there, had that conversation, got the t-shirt. Can we just skip ahead
to the reality?
The reality where I kill you and then ground her until she's forty?
No, damn it... the reality where you look out there and see your daughter.
The daughter that has every bit of genetic stubbornness you had to give
her. The daughter who isn't five years old anymore. The daughter who is
as rebellious as her parents could ever have hoped she'd be... and who
still wants to show you how good she is, so bad she can taste it.
I had this talk with her...
I know you did. So did I. So did her mother. And here we are anyway. I
don't know why this and not... whatever the hell else you would have her
be doing. But this is important to her and she's poured herself into it,
and she's good, man.
She just wants her Daddy to be proud of her.
I've always been proud of her.
Of course, you have. But this is the thing that she wants you to be proud
of her for. Because this is the thing that's important to her.
Important enough that she lied to me.
If I know Mei, she probably never actually said...
And where did she learn that little trick?
Stop glaring at me! She's a woman... she didn't need anybody to teach
her that trick.
She most certainly is not a 'woman'! She's just a child!
Look again, man. Look again.
When did that happen?
I have no idea... but it's kinda scary how it happened so fast. Oh, watch!
Here's her big finish...
What big... OhmyfreakingGod!
Relax, that's her signature move.
Signature...? She has a signature move?
Yeah. And you hear that applause? When you're a chick, you don't get that
unless you're really damn good. You have to hold your own when you play
with the boys in this sport.
And my daughter... holds her own?
She’s a Chang, isn’t she?
She really is, isn’t she? It makes me think
about my parents…
They’d have been proud.
The hell! They’d have let me have it for raising
such an out of control child!
Good thing you’re you, and not your parents.
Sometimes I think you’re the father here…
Oh, please! If I had to live with the kid, I’d probably strangle
her. You two only fight so much because you’re so much alike.
That’s what Sally says.
Your wife is a smart woman.
Funny; she says that too…
Mei, seriously... don't you think this is something you should
be talking to your folks about?
Oh please, Uncle Duo! Mom would want to take pictures, and Dad would just
start a background check and then go sharpen his sword!
And he's going to come after us with that sword if we end up giving you
I'm not looking for advice! I'm looking for an opinion, and at least I
know you guys will talk to me like the adult I am, and not like I was still
Mei, your Dad talks to everyone like they were twelve...
Be nice, Heero. Ok, Mei... just ask already.
It's not that big a deal, I just wanted to know if you guys believe in
love at first sight.
Mei, get real... there isn't any such thing. That's just physical attrac...
Heero... you didn't even let me finish my sentence.
Well, you already answered. You obviously don't believe, and I do.
Oh come on... you can't seriously believe that one person can just know
at first glance, that a perfect stranger is 'the one'!
Yes I do.
Where's your evidence? Where's the logic? That's just... trashy romance
I have the evidence of my own eyes.
So you've seen somebody struck by this 'first sight' thing and you somehow
know that this hypothetical couple is going to be together forever?
No, I've been somebody struck by this first sight thing.
What? Wait... what are you trying to imply here?
I didn't think I was implying anything. I'm saying that I knew the minute
I set eyes on you that, assuming we survived, we'd be spending our lives
But... Heero... I freaking shot you!
So? What's that got to do with the topic? I still felt the same.
I shot you twice!
I... I... kind of feel like an ass now.
Well, when did you fall in love with me?
I'm not really sure. I... I guess I was pretty obsessed with you, or I'd
have never gone in and broken your sorry butt out of that resource center...
And we'd only really had the one meeting before that. That obsession had
to have started somewhere.
So... I knew? But I didn't know! Is that still valid?
Wait! Guys... I'm confused! Is that two yes answers, or a yes and a no?
I believe, Mei, that the answer is yes with reservations.
But... is it still love at first sight if you don't know it's love at
first sight? That doesn't seem like a good standard of measurement...
Duo, do you love me?
And do you remember a time you didn't love me?
Uhm... if I say before I met you, that just proves your point, doesn't
it? But I can't remember when it happened exactly, so I can't refute your
point either! Arrrgh!
There you go, Mei... two absolute yeses.
No, damn it! I'm still a no! Or at least a yes with reservations!
Ok, so maybe I should have just asked Mom...
Oh, Uncle Duo! You didn’t have to bring me
Who says they’re for you… maybe I brought
them for this little guy here?
Well, he’s a really generous and sharing kid, and he’ll
share with his Mommy.
Oh God, that’s so weird… you can’t
be a mother!
You sound just like Dad.
We’re old, Princess… give us time to
Oh, so ancient! Shall I call the nurse to bring you a walker so you can
get over here and give me a hug?
Don’t be cheeky, brat… or you’re
not getting the Hershey bar a smuggled in for you.
Chocolate? You brought me chocolate? I love you,
Uncle Duo… now
Here… don’t choke on it trying to inhale
it. Am I allowed to hold him?
Of course. You’re on the list with Mom and
I am? Way to make a guy feel special!
You are ‘special’. At least that’s what Uncle Trowa
says. Or maybe that was ‘peculiar’…
Language, Uncle Duo.
Oh crap! Not that again! It took me months when you
were little! Your Mom is still giving me a hard time over ‘shit’ being
your third word.
It was? Are you serious?
You’ve never heard that story? Dadda… Momma… and shit?
I tried and tried to get you to say Uncle or Duo or even Maxwell, and out
you popped with ‘shit’. Your Mom was pissed.
I… can imagine.
She threatened to cut my God father rights off if
I didn’t watch
my mouth. Hey there, little guy… what big, dark eyes you have! Oh,
you’re going to be a handful, you are… I can tell already.
You really think? He’s been pretty quiet so
Give him time, Princess. He’s a Chang… no
mistaking that. Get ready for a stubborn streak a mile and a half wide.
Kids… they’re your parents revenge. Don’t worry… Uncle
Duo will be around to baby-sit now and again.
About that… I was kind of hoping that God father
Duo would be around to baby-sit now and again.
Of course I… wait… how do you mean that?
Would it be all right, do you think, if you were
father too? I mean… are there rules about that sort of thing?
Well, you know my motto about rules…
So… is that a yes?
Of course, Princess! I would be most honored.
Thanks, Uncle Duo.
Oh! Look at him stretch! You’re a big boy, aren’t
you? Such a handsome little guy!
Oh please… he looks like a frog!
Uncle Duo? What?
Something in my eye, Princess… just something in my eye. Hey, there
little tadpole… welcome to the family.
Mei? What are you doing here? I thought you and Sean
Oh, Uncle Duo… I need a drink. A really stiff
drink. One of your specials.
Uh… ok. Come on out to the kitchen and tell me what’s
going on, I thought you guys were taking Alex to the park today?
We were, but… then everything just went to
Language, Mei. You want chocolate or vanilla?
Chocolate! And make it a double! With extra caramel!
Whoa. Rough day?
The worst. I… I’m the worst mother ever!
Princess, you are not! What on earth is going on?
Alex said he hated me!
Hey, don’t cry! He said what? But… ok, hold on and let me
get some tissues and why don’t you start from the beginning?
Gimme my milkshake first!
There’s no sprinkles…
Mei, I haven’t kept sprinkles in the house
in a lot of years.
You mean… you only kept sprinkles for me? Really?
Heero is not really a sprinkles kind of guy. Now
come on… tell Uncle
Duo what happened.
It was awful! We were getting ready to go to the
park this morning but it got chilly out last night, so I got out Alex’s jacket. Only he
wouldn’t let me put it on him.
Well, he’s never been a big one for… well,
clothes in general.
Tell me about it! The kid would be a nudist if we
let him! But I couldn’t
let him go out without a jacket on! He’s so… so… stubborn!
Wonder where he gets that…
Nothing. Just, sweetie… stubborn is the definition
of a two year old.
So what happened?
I told him if he didn’t let me put on his jacket, we weren’t
Oh no… an ultimatum? You never want to give ultimatums unless you’re
ready to back up the threat.
Which is why we’re not at the park.
Ouch. Wouldn’t give in, huh?
No. And… and… Oh, Uncle Duo! That’s
when he said he hated me!
Aw, Princess… don’t cry. He didn’t mean it. Kids say
all kinds of crap when they’re mad. He’ll get over it. Where
is he now?
Sean put him in time out and sent me over here.
Smart man. Listen sweetie; you are not a bad mother. A bad mother would
have let him go out without his jacket. A good mother is firm. And you
know what sets a good mother apart from a really great one? Follow through.
Then why do I feel like crap?
Empathy. And that’s why you’re going to be a really wonderful
mother. Don’t worry about Alex… he’ll be over it by the
time you get home. Kids are all about extremes. You should have heard some
of the things you said to your folks when you were growing up!
Yeah? Like what?
Oh, the fit you threw when you found out you were getting a brother was
Well, Lian was something of a pain in the butt when he was little. I feel
And I’m sure Alex does too. He’ll get
over it. You always…
Oh, hold on… that’s my cell phone. Hello?
Yeah, I’m still at Uncle Duo’s. He is? He does? Ok… I’ll
be home in a few. Love you.
Tadpole over it already?
Yeah… guess we’re going to the park after
all. Sean says he even apologized!
See? Told ya.
How’d you get to be so smart, Uncle Duo?
Lots and lots and lots of practice with the Princess of Stubborn.
I have no idea who you could be talking about.
Somehow, this does not surprise me…
Should have known I’d find you out here, Chang… only time you
ever work on this old motorcycle is when you’re pissed off about
I am not ‘pissed off’ Maxwell, I am… meditating.
Is that what we’re calling it now? Uh… little less torque
there, buddy, or you’re going to round off that… uh… never
So… you want to talk about it?
Which one of them called you?
What makes you think anybody called me? Maybe I just
happened to come over to see…
Stuff it. I just had a fight with Mei… of course
one of them called you.
I’m not ratting anybody out, but your wife
and your daughter love you.
Not at the moment they don’t.
Love weathers all things. Sometimes it gets a little
wet and soggy and bedraggled while it’s doing it, but it endures.
Maxwell, that was the worst analogy you’ve
come up with in a long time.
Hey, it’s been a long day and I’m working without a script
here, cut me some slack. And you’re not holding up your end of the
Well, I’m sure you already got an ear full
Or Mei. I’m not falling for that old trick.
Not a rat, remember?
Don’t suppose it matters anyway… they’re
a united front on this one.
I gotta confess that I’m on their side here,
You usually are!
Now, that’s not fair! I took your side over
the prom dress thing!
For all the good it did us…
Well… yeah. We lost, but the point is we went down together. I think
I’m a pretty fair guy and I’m willing to listen to your side
here… if you’d just stop beating around the bush and get to
telling me your side.
What the hell is there to tell? I do not approve of the man that my daughter
has chosen for herself.
Her husband, you mean?
Wufei… buddy… they’ve been married for two years and
have given you a handsome little grandson. You have got to stop referring
to him as ‘that boy’.
He is not an appropriate suitor.
We’re way past ‘suitor’ here. Wufei, seriously… he’s
a good guy. They adore each other. He’s a wonderful daddy. He’s…
A bum! An out of work bum!
He’s not ‘out of work’…
My daughter is supporting his sorry ass! My grandson
six months old and she’s gone back to work, while that… that… boy
stays at home and plays Mommy!
Mei went back to work because she loves her job.
Not because she had to. Sean quit his job because they decided together
that they wanted their
child raised at home and not in a day-care. Sean loves Mei, he adores Alex,
Loves the damn free ride! He’s nothing but a beach bum! A long-h… uh… I
Don’t you play the long haired card, Chang
Wufei, or I will kick your ass across this garage and back again.
Damn it… you know what I meant! He’s just a…a
I… did not know you could do ‘Valley’ speak,
that was pretty good…
Oh, shut up.
Wufei, you really have got to get a grip here, you’re
going to alienate your daughter.
I… know. I just can’t help it. When I
thought about her growing up and getting married, this is not what I
had pictured. I wanted to know
that she had someone in her life who could support her. Take care of her.
Oh please. The daughter of Chang Wufei doesn’t need anybody to ‘take
care of her’. She takes care of herself. And she likes it that way.
Sean does support her. In all the ways that matter.
He’s just such a stumbling, bumbling…
Only in front of you.
What? The guy can’t walk across the room without
doing something stupid.
That’s because he wants you to like him so damn bad he can’t
see straight! When you’re not around, he’s like a different
person. He’d do anything to make you happy.
How about he get a haircut and find a real job?
He would, but as much as he wants to please you… he wants to please
Mei more. The year they got married, he was going to cut off his pony-tail
but Mei threw a fit… she loves his hair just the way it is.
For your birthday party that year. You might have noticed things were
a little tense between them that day.
I had. It gave me hope my daughter was coming to
her senses. I had hoped… ow!
What was that for?
For being an insensitive jerk. Chang, when in the hell are you going to
learn to trust your daughter? You have to let her make her own choices.
That’s not what you said about that little
red prom dress.
Well, in that case, she was making the wrong choice.
But in this case… she
knows what she’s doing. You did a good job raising her.
I didn’t raise her alone… and somehow I don’t think
she’d be who she is today if I had.
Should I be apologizing here?
No. It’s a good thing. I’m proud of how she turned out, but
I do understand the influences she’s had in her life.
You should tell her that more often. You know I love
Mei to death, but… you
have to admit she isn’t always easy to live with. She’s never
going to conform to anybody’s idea of who she should be. And that
means her husband has to be the kind of person who can deal with that.
She needs somebody stronger…
Are you saying your daughter needs to be tamed?
What? Of course not!
If Mei tried to marry the kind of person you would
have her be with, there would be nothing but constant fighting. She doesn’t need somebody ‘stronger’,
she needs somebody secure enough to let her be who she wants to be, and
support her while she does it.
You’re saying she needs a lazy, couch potato
of a man?
Dude… seriously… this attitude is not
helping. Sean is not lazy, he works his butt off taking care of the house
and the baby and going
to school. They have a plan and…
He’s going to school?
Yeah, he’s taking night classes. They figure once Alex is in school,
he’ll go back to work. He’s got a five year plan…
So he’s milking my daughter for his education?
Ok… that’s it! Enough already! You, Chang
Wufei need to pull that stick out of your ass. Mei loves Sean. Sean loves
Mei. They are married
and the only thing standing between them and their happily ever after is
you and your stick. Get over it, or you are going to lose your daughter.
Am I clear?
I thought I was clear? Too many words? How about
this… grow up!
You can’t force me to just… suddenly
You know what sounds like a fine idea to me? A father
and son-in-law bonding trip. How about you, me and Sean go away for the
weekend? We’ll go
rent a house by the beach and…
Ok! Ok! God, you’re worse than Sally!
You over your snit?
I’m not done… meditating, but I might
possibly manage to contain my annoyance over this job thing.
And you’ll quit glaring at Sean every time
he comes into your house?
Ok then. So… you want some help meditating?
Well, I could maybe use a hand getting this bolt
out… it seems to
I can’t imagine why…
Shut up, Maxwell.
Duo? Are you all right? What’s with the ice
Actually, not so much. I’ve had the most spectacularly
bad day. And my head is trying to explode.
Did you take something for it?
Yeah I took a couple pain pills and washed it down with a couple of beers.
And if you open those curtains, I will kill you.
What happened? Things not go well at the park with Mei and Alex?
Things not going well implies a certain amount of
normalcy. Like… Alex
had one of his tantrums or something. No… this was the day from hell.
Some guy tried… some guy tried to grab Alex.
What?! Where…?! No, wait. You wouldn’t be just lying here
if things hadn’t turned out ok. But… what the hell happened?
The short story is Alex is fine. Mei is fine. I’m fine. The asshole
has a broken arm and is in custody. And Wufei is pulling every string he
ever thought about owning, to make sure he doesn’t slip through any
And the long story?
Well, Mei had that appointment and was going to meet us at the park, and
then we were going to do lunch together.
Yeah, I remember that was the plan.
Alex was playing on the slides and I was sitting
on the bench. It wasn’t
too crowded, but there were a couple of other mothers there. Mrs. Rosencrantz
was going on and on to me about little Bobby’s soccer coach not letting
him play, and all of a sudden Mrs. Guildenstern says, ‘Isn’t
that little Alex?’ and… and I look up and there’s this
guy and he’s walking away carrying Alex! I didn’t even freaking
It’s ok… you said it all worked out. Calm down. Here… sit
up and let me rub your shoulders…
Oh God, that feels good. Thanks, Heero. I just can’t
stop that part replaying in my mind.
Well, it’s no wonder your head is killing you… you’re
tight as a drum. So… I assume you chased the guy down and that’s
where the broken bones come in?
Actually… no. I got up, of course, and started after them. But Mei
was walking toward them as cool as you please, and I thought for a minute
maybe it was Sean. The guy was wearing a hoody and I really couldn’t
see him all that well. But, see, he didn’t realize that Mei was with
He just… picked Alex up?
Yeah… God, it was all so smooth and quick. Everything was real calm
and easy… nothing fast that would have attracted attention.
Why did Alex…?
Apparently the guy promised him there were puppies.
Son of a bitch…
Yeah. So anyway, Mei had gotten there and saw the
whole thing. But she didn’t lose her head… she was cool as
ice, Heero. Just kept walking, like she was passing the guy and not paying
him any mind.
But didn’t Alex call out to her? He’s
usually all excited when he sees either of his parents.
The guy had his head turned and he didn’t see her.
We… we really need to have a talk with him.
Oh, I think Mommy has already started the lessons.
Kid will be lucky if he isn’t chipped by nightfall.
So then what happened?
Mei waited until she was practically on top of the
guy, and like I said… I
wasn’t even sure what was going on, but I was moving up behind him… and
all of a sudden she just hauls off and kicks this guy in the nuts so damn
hard he’ll probably have to have them surgically put back into place.
Oh, she had him snatched back so fast I missed it.
The guy staggered around trying to run with his knees together and plowed
right into me. I got in
a good punch to the face, and when he tried to get away from me, he just
got back into Mei’s range and…
That’s where the broken arm comes in?
Somewhere in there. I know Wufei trained her in the martial arts, but
I have no idea what form it is that lets you clutch a toddler and drop-kick
a guy into the middle of next week. In heels and a skirt.
But everybody is ok?
Well, other than this migraine. And I think Mei said
she broke a nail. Oh… and Alex was kind of pissed about there not being any puppies,
but otherwise thought it was the coolest thing he’d ever seen.
Apparently, he did not know that his Mommy ‘knew Kung-Fu’ or
that if you kicked a guy between the legs that they screamed like ‘a
girly baby’. So… uh… guard your nuts for awhile; he thinks
it’s the best game ever.
I’ll… take that under advisement. And
you? Are you all right? Other than the headache?
I… don’t know. I feel like such a horrible
God-father right now. It was my watch…
You do know that you would have stopped the guy yourself
if Mei hadn’t
I… I’m trying real hard to believe that.
How far had he gotten before you saw him?
Just into the grass off the blacktop. By the swings.
I know that playground, Duo. That would have been less than ten yards?
Probably about that…
In your sleep you could outrun anyone short of an
Olympic gold medalist. And with that kind of incentive… I’d
put my money on you even then. You would have caught him. He would not
have gotten away. You know
I… I… thanks, Heero.
Headache getting better?
Yeah, I think the massage is helping. So, would you
care if we had a change of plans tonight? I’d kind of like to go over to Mei’s.
I wouldn’t mind seeing the little guy myself.
Though… do we still have those athletic cups around here somewhere,
because I’m telling you… there’s nothing quite as scary
as a toddler with a new skill…
So, Heero… you love me, right?
Duo… what have you done?
What kind of answer is that?!
The sane one. You are not an insecure man. You know
I love you. Any time you have to ask that question, it means you’ve done something that
I’m likely to… not be happy about.
You’re so suspicious!
No. Just experienced. And experience is the best teacher. The last time
you asked that question, you were calling to tell me you broke your arm
trying to skateboard.
Those things are hard! Anybody could have slipped like that!
And the time before that you were bringing home a
That was not my fault… Ferdinand was supposed
to eventually go home to live with Mei.
Then there was the time I came home from work to find a backhoe in our
backyard installing a playground big enough for a daycare.
I really didn’t think you’d mind…
And I think neither one of us wants to discuss the incident with the science
Are you never going to let me hear the end of that?
So just out with it. What have you done this time?
Nothing! And I resent the implication that I can’t
just come and ask a simple question for no real reason!
Wait… you went out shopping with Alex today, didn’t
What are you trying to say?
That after all these years, you still cannot say no to a God child.
Hey! I say no all the time!
The one and only time you ever said no to Mei was when she asked for her
Only because Sally threatened to do something really
nasty sounding to my balls if I even thought about it…
You’re really not defending your position here.
Oh. Yeah. Good point.
So? What is it this time, Duo?
But… just hypothetically, how would you feel
about a fifty gallon aquarium in the study?
I’m going to kill you.
But… you still love me, right?
Look, Uncle Duo! Look! It’s a lion with stripes!
That’s a tiger, Alex.
No, it’s a lion with stripes. I like lions.
Lions are big and they roar really loud on the TV.
When your Mom was little, the tigers were her favorites.
She liked the striped lions?
No, she liked the t… yeah. She liked the striped
Can we go see the giraffes now?
Well, that’s clear on the other side of the
zoo. How about we go through the reptile house first?
No, I want to see the giraffes now. I like lions best, so I saw them first.
I like giraffes second best, so I want to see them now.
But sweetie, that’s…
Sweetie is a girl’s name, Uncle Duo. I’m
not a sweetie.
Ok, sorry… no more sweetie.
You call Mommy sweetie and Mommy’s a girl.
Yes she is. I said I’m sorry, I won’t
do it anymore.
Grandpa calls me Little Man. I like that one. But
name, so you can’t use it.
Wouldn’t dream of it. How about I just stick
But that’s not special.
Ok. I can go back to Tadpole? How about that?
What’s a tadpole, Uncle Duo?
A baby frog.
And you call Mommy the Frog Princess!
That’s right. So you’re a tadpole.
Ok! But… why do you call Mommy a frog?
Why is Mommy a frog?
Well… frogs are cute.
No they’re not. They’re icky.
Uh… Grandma doesn’t think so. She thinks frogs are cute, so
yeah… that’s why we call your Mom the Frog Princess.
No she doesn’t. I found a frog in the backyard
and Grandma got all upset and told me to take it back outside.
So why is Mommy a frog, Uncle Duo? Does Grandma think Mommy is icky?
No! Of course not! She just… I mean… uh… See,
there was this book that I used to read to your Mom when she was little.
it was about frogs.
I want to read it too!
Ah hell… not again.
Uncle Duo… my Mommy doesn’t allow language
like that. You will have to have time out if you do it again.
So will you read the frog book to me too?
It got lost.
We can find it! I want to see the Frog Princess!
Why do I have this over-whelming sense of déjà-vu?
Is that the Princesses’ name?
How about we go see the giraffes now?
Ok! And then we will see the elephants!
But… the elephants are right over there! Why don’t
we just look at them now, and then go see the giraffes?
Because I like the elephants third best, Uncle Duo.
Why did I not know that…
I’m old, Heero… when did I get to be
You’re not old. You’re just not a teenager
I feel old. I feel so very, very old.
I think it’s more that Alex is so very, very
Kid is going to be the death of me. We must have walked back and forth
across that zoo fifty times.
Well, walking is good exercise…
Fifty times, Heero. I’m not kidding. The child had a mental list
of all his favorite animals and we had to see them in order. In freaking
order! There was no distracting him and… ow! Ow! Charlie horse! Ow!
Hold still and let me stretch it out. Come on… straighten your leg.
There… is that better?
It will never be better again. Can we get a hot tub?
I’m going to
need a hot tub to survive this kid.
He is rather… focused.
Focused?! He is a mini carbon copy of Chang Wufei!
The tone… the
attitude… the freaking posture!
Well, Alex does idolize his Grandpa…
It’s more than that, man. I’m telling you, there’s
some kind of uncanny force at work here…
I think they call it ‘genetics’.
Insidious thing, genetics. You take a mother and you take a father and
somehow they produce... the past! Like, all over again!
They do say that grandkids are a parent’s revenge.
But how did I get involved in this multi-generational act of payback?
You can’t deny you had a rather heavy hand in Mei’s
So I was involved in my God-daughter’s childhood?
This entitles me to a piece of the retributional pie?
Something like that. Consider it turn-about for that whole skateboarding
Oh. Well damn. I might have reconsidered that stance
if I’d known.
No you wouldn’t. You adore Mei, and you adore Alex and you wouldn’t
miss any of this for the world.
Tell that to my knees…
Well, we may not own a hot tub, but we do have a tub. How about I fetch
a little wine and we spend the evening soaking in a hot bath?
Sounds heavenly. Or it would if the bathroom wasn’t
so damn far away. And Heero?
Just bring the bottle.
Well, hey there, Tadpole! What are you doing here? You and your Mom taking
your Grandpa to lunch or something?
Uncle Duo! Don’t call me that here! Just call
me Alex, ok?
Oh… sorry. Not very grown up, huh? So, Alex… what
are you doing here?
It’s Take Your Kid to Work day, but Mom’s office doesn’t
allow it. So Grandpa said I could come to work with him.
Well, that’s cool. You here all day?
Yep. Grandpa got me an official visitor’s pass
and everything, see?
Wow… he got you level two clearance and everything?
Has he given you the grand tour?
We even went upstairs and met Commander Une! She’s
She is? Uh… I mean, of course she is.
Grandpa showed me his office and I got to meet his secretary and his assistant.
Yeah, Miss Johnson. She’s nice and all, but
she kept petting my head like I was five or something.
But Miss Johnson isn’t… uh… I mean.
Sure. Yeah, we can go with that…
Grandpa is going to take me to lunch in the commissary
and then this afternoon, he’s going to take me to tour the training
Oh wow. The whole nine yards, huh? You… uhm… sure
your Mom is on-board with this?
Grandpa said she’d be happy to find out I didn’t miss out
on Career Day after all, so we’re gonna surprise her tonight after
Surprise? Oh, I’ll just bet she’ll be
I gotta go, Uncle Duo! Grandpa is going to let me
see the motor pool too! He says there’s armored cars and everything! Isn’t
Yeah, the guys down in the motor pool are really
cool. They get to play with all the best tools. Just… tell your Grandpa I said ‘hi’.
I will! Bye, Uncle Duo!
Duo? Was that Alex I saw running down the hall?
Yes, Heero my man.... that would be Alex. Here with Wufei. For Career
Day. All day.
Are you serious? How in the world did they talk Mei into that?
Oh, apparently the rule of the day is, it’s
easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.
Oh my God…
Yeah. We should be able to see the fireworks from our place about five
Crap. And we’re out of ice cream…
Want to take off work a few minutes early tonight
and stop at the grocery? I’m thinking we need to stock up.
And let’s not forget the sprinkles.
And maybe a bottle of rum.
That would be for us…
In that case, make it two.
You know what sucks, Uncle Duo?
What sucks, Sweetie?
When your kid gets to be taller than you. You know what sucks more?
What sucks more, Sweetie?
When they don’t have to do what you tell them
I know, Sweetie.
What am I gonna do, Uncle Duo?
You’re going to smile and you’re going
be proud of him.
But every time I look at him, I just want to burst into tears!
I know that too. You do realize…
If you bring up the skate board thing, I’m
going to dump this milkshake right over your head.
Uh… I was just going to point out that he’s not signing his
life away. Just because he joined Preventer academy doesn’t mean
he’ll end up being a Preventer. Lot of kids wash out.
Oh, get real. This has been coming since my damn father took Alex to headquarters
for Career Day.
I don’t think…
Don’t you go defending him! The insufferable
jerk has been grooming my baby for this for years! This is his dream!
Well, I won’t deny that Wufei is thrilled,
Thrilled? He’s beside himself! I’m surprised he’s not
floating around ten feet off the ground! I can’t even talk to him
because I just want to slap that… that proud look off his face!
Well, I think he was kind of disappointed when neither
you or Lian were interested in following in his footsteps…
So he set out from day one to see to it that my little baby would!
I could just kill him! I’ve been wanting to go over there and just… just… deck
him, all afternoon!
It’s really not his fault…
The hell! He bought Alex a toy police outfit for his first birthday! His
While that might have been a little over the top,
it had nothing to do with…
Insufferable, smug asshole. I really just want to go give him a piece
of my mind!
Mei! It was you!
What? Uncle Duo… are you out of your mind?
What are you saying?
Look, kiddo… Alex is my God-son and you can
bet I sat him down for a nice long talk when I found out what his plans
You did? Why didn’t you tell me?
For the same reason I didn’t tell your father every little thing
you and I talked about when you were a kid. The point is… I wanted
to make sure Alex was thinking for himself and not just letting Wufei lead
him into a bad choice.
Ha! I knew I wasn’t the only one who thought that’s
what was going on!
And you know what he told me? He’s joining Preventers because of
you… not your Dad.
But… I’m not… I mean… what?
Do you remember when Alex was little and that guy tried to take him off
Ok, stupid question. Of course you remember. And
Alex remembers too. But what he remembers is his Mom coming in and kicking
that guy’s ass
and saving him.
But I didn’t… I mean, I just…
You appeared out of nowhere, you handed that jerk his balls on a silver
platter, and you took your son back. He was at an impressionable age.
But I… I barely even remember what happened!
Well, Alex remembers. He apparently thought you were Batgirl for a long
time. And he decided he wanted to grow up to be like his Mom and save people.
What? Oh God… that’s so… that’s
so sweet! And it sucks! Because it means this is all my fault and I want
to blame for this!
Princess, it’s nobody’s fault. This is the part of parenting
that’s the worst. And the best.
The little buggers grow up and have minds of their own. Can’t you
remember when you were that age?
All I did was want to skateboard!
And you went on that trip across China right out
of high school, and you married a California surfer dude, and you went
into social work, and for
entertainment you took up hang-gliding. You don’t think you gave
your folks a few gray hairs?
But… Daddy never said anything about all that
That’s because he learned his lesson over the skate-boarding. Doesn’t
mean we weren’t scared to death over the rest of it. This is the
part where you have to let go and let your kid be who they’re going
Aw, honey… don’t cry!
Just… something in my eye, Uncle Duo. So pass
the damn tissues and shut up.
It’ll be ok. He’s a good kid and he’s
going to be a great Preventer.
I know. But I still don’t have to like it.
No law says we have to. More milkshake?
Sure. Hey… how come you’ve never made
them with rum before?
Waiting for the right occasion. Better than sprinkles?
Oh yeah… way better than sprinkles.
I’d been home from the hospital for almost two full
days, and I don’t think I’d seen Duo stop and just sit down
for more than a few minutes at a time yet. He was the essence of frenetic
efficiency. Nothing that passed his line of sight was left undone. I doubted
there was an unwashed dish or article of clothing in the entire place.
My pillows were plumped before I had a chance to notice they needed it.
Fresh ice appeared in my water glass before the water had a chance to dare
reach room temperature.
Duo and I have been together for a long damn time,
and I knew this meant his state of mind was… not good, but there wasn’t
much I could do about it. Any attempt to get him to talk to me about
himself was met
with chipper denial and a sudden need to clean out the freezer or vacuum
the study. All I could do was lie flat on my back where I was ensconced
on the couch, watch him moving at ninety miles an hour, and worry about
the brick wall he was going to hit when he finally stopped being able to
out run his thoughts.
It hadn’t been any mega-dangerous Preventer mission this time, just
a stupid accident. Rush hour, a deer, an inattentive driver, and a five
car pile-up. It was as close as I’ve ever come to dying without the
destruction of a Gundam being involved. And I think that was somehow the
aspect that had hit Duo so hard. Our job can be dangerous, but when you’re
going out in the field, the one left behind is sort of… prepared.
You know they’re in a dangerous situation and you have time to put
your head in the right place. But I’d just been driving across town;
there had been nothing to worry about. No warning. A day like any other
day. Kind of like the blow they say killed Harry Houdini… a blow
just like dozens of others that he’d taken, but because he hadn’t
been prepared for it, hadn’t seen it coming…
I had tried that morning, to get Duo to slow down
for two seconds and talk to me, and the result was, apparently, his sudden
desire to sort through
the spice cupboard to check expiration dates. I’d dosed off waiting
for him to come back, so when the knock had come at the front door, Duo
rushed to answer it, thinking I was still asleep.
I hadn’t really meant to pretend to be napping, but Duo didn’t
actually check on me to see, just taking our guests around into the kitchen,
shushing them the whole way. Mei passed my line of sight, Alex perched
on her hip, and the little guy waved at me over her shoulder as they went
by. I grinned at him and waved back.
Mei settled at the kitchen table with Alex, and I could hear Duo at the
stove, from the sounds of it, mixing tea.
‘How’s he doing, Uncle Duo?’ Mei
asked while she settled Alex in her lap, handing him some sort of toy
to keep his little hands
‘He’s going to be fine,’ Duo assured
her, tone just a little bit too firm.
‘Daddy said he’s got a long…’ she began, but Duo
managed to almost drop something I couldn’t quite see.
‘Oh man,’ Duo said cheerfully, ‘that
would have been a heck of a mess!’
‘Nice catch,’ Mei teased, and Duo was
right there with his next line to make sure the topic stayed changed.
‘You want your usual mint or you want to try some of this new stuff
I found?’ There was the sound of boxes being shifted and Duo came
into view for a moment, as he brought a box of tea over to show Mei.
‘Oh, that does look good,’ Mei commented
and they agreed they would try the new stuff. I suppose I should have
called out and let them
know I was awake, but I had a vague hope that somebody else might get Duo
to open up and talk. Though, listening to the conversation in the next
room, that hope was rapidly dwindling.
While the water heated, Duo barraged Mei with questions about Alex, a
topic that was usually a good bet to keep a young parent occupied for ages.
They discussed the latest tooth coming in and drool, the benefits of the
frozen teething rings over the regular plastic ones, and how many diapers
a kid could go through in a day. Duo drove the talk where he wanted it
to go with teasing questions designed to get Mei wound up and firmly on
topic, all while he flitted about the kitchen in almost constant motion.
It was beyond frustrating that nobody else seemed to realize what he was
doing. The evasion game he was playing.
When the tea was finally ready and he brought it
to the table, it was almost as though he’d caught himself by surprise. Like he hadn’t
stopped to realize the logical next step required him to sit down across
the table from his guests and actually drink his tea. To be still. To stop
moving. To allow somebody else to actually get a good, solid look at him.
‘Uncle Duo,’ Mei said, dropping the talk of Alex’s new
skill of skinning out of his own pajamas at inopportune times. ‘You
‘Darn neighbor’s dog kept us up all night barking at nothing,’ Duo
chuckled ruefully, and if I had not known that he was making it up, I’d
have never suspected a thing.
‘What neighbor’s dog?’ Mei asked suspiciously, and I
couldn’t help a tiny smile… the girl had been a dog lover from
the time she was old enough to walk, Duo should have realized she’d
know if there were any dogs within a mile of our house. And there weren’t.
‘Not sure,’ Duo told her, rising to go rummage in the cupboard
for something to go with the tea. ‘Sounded like it was coming from
the north, so it might be old lady Fenix got herself a dog.’
‘Old lady Fenix owns seven cats,’ Mei replied, the suspicion
in her voice becoming stronger. ‘Somehow I can’t see her suddenly
buying a dog.’
‘Could be the Coles then,’ Duo chuckled,
and brought the whole package of cookies to the table. When he set them
down, whatever toy Alex
had been playing with hit the floor when he suddenly found something else
he was more interested in reaching for.
It rather surprised me that Duo would stoop to using
the little guy as a distraction. But Mei is Chang Wufei’s daughter, and what she didn’t
learn about stubborn from him, she invented herself. Deftly pulling a single
cookie out of the box, she broke it in half, handed half to Alex, popped
the other half in her mouth, and leveled a glare at Duo I didn’t
have to see to feel the heat of.
‘Put those away or I will let you deal with it when he stuffs himself
sick and pukes all over your kitchen,’ she commanded, the imperial
tone spoiled only a little by it being delivered around her half of the
cookie. ‘You are not using my son to change the topic for you.’
Duo sighed and went to put the cookies away, telling
her while his back was turned, ‘Just leave it alone, Princess.’
‘Uncle Duo,’ she said, tone gentling substantially. ‘This
has been a rough time, and you need…’
Duo was out of my line of sight, but I heard the
cupboard door close somewhat solidly and when he spoke next, the quality
of his voice told me he was
standing there, still facing it. ‘There’s nothing I need, Mei,’ he
told her firmly. ‘Everything is fine. Just drop it, ok?’
‘Of course everything isn’t fine!’ Mei huffed at him,
the exasperation plain in her voice. ‘You look awful! Are you sleeping
at all? Are you even eating? How do you think you can take care of Uncle
I felt for the kid, I really did. I understood her
frustration quite well. But I also knew she wasn’t going to get anywhere by lecturing, and
in fact… had just pushed too hard. I sighed, but there was nobody
near enough to hear me.
‘Mei-zhan!’ Duo snapped, and I couldn’t say I’d
heard him use that tone of voice with his God daughter since she was about
five years old. And just like it had when she’d been five, that tone
brought her up cold. She might be a grown woman with a son of her own,
but I could tell from her body language that for a second… some part
of her head was that little kid again. There were a long few minutes where
the only sound was Alex smacking his hands on the table.
I heard Duo sigh, and then I heard his slow footsteps
as he came back to the table. Mei didn’t speak as he pulled his chair out and sat
down again. The uncomfortable silence hung there between them for a minute
before Duo cleared his throat and leaned down to catch Alex’s eye. ‘So
what have you been up to this week tadpole? Staying out of trouble?’
It took Mei another few seconds to decide if she
was going to fight it, and I was almost surprised when she seemed to
give in so easily. ‘Mostly
just teething,’ she finally said, voice wavering only a tiny bit, ‘though
he’s learning new words like a little magpie.’
‘Well that’s good,’ Duo said, somewhat inanely, and
I could hear the weariness in his voice where he hadn’t quite been
able to get it tucked away. I knew him well enough to know he felt bad
for snapping at Mei and it was just adding to the things weighing on him.
‘I think he said Uncle Duo the other day,’ Mei said, managing
to set her stung feelings aside enough to tease. ‘….Or else
It made Duo snort a little laugh, but I could see
him and he still couldn’t
quite look up at her. I ached for him, but in that moment I gave up on
Mei getting anywhere.
In the kitchen there had fallen another of those
uncomfortable silences, and suddenly Mei leaned over and plopped Alex
in Duo’s lap. ‘Watch
him a minute, would you? I have to use the bathroom.’
‘Sure,’ Duo said, almost automatically.
Mei rose, and as she turned to leave the room, patted
Alex on the head and said, ‘Who’s got you, tadpole?’
Alex looked up at Duo, reaching out for Duo’s nose with one hand
and shirt pocket with the other. ‘Uh-Doo,’ he said quite clearly,
and it did indeed sound a little bit like he sneezed.
I don’t know if Mei got to see the flash of joy and surprise that
bloomed on Duo’s face before she left the kitchen or not. I kind
of hoped so, it would go a long way toward erasing whatever hurt feeling
were left from his having snapped at her.
‘Uncle Duo?’ he prompted and Alex obligingly
parroted out his version again.
Duo’s wide grin toned down to something that
was all about his fondness for Alex, and then it shifted again and the
mist of melancholy rose in
Alex, for his part, had somehow managed to get hold
of the end of Duo’s
braid and was busy trying to stuff it in his mouth, his ‘Uh-Doo’ taking
on a certain amount of determination. It made Duo snort out a noise of
amusement that turned suddenly into something else.
‘Well crap,’ I heard him mutter, and
Alex left off trying to eat his hair to look up as Duo dashed his hand
across his eyes, trying
to stem the tide.
‘Uh-Doo?’ Alex cooed, managing somehow to make it sound concerned
though he could hardly have known what was going on. Duo just… lost
it, sobbing brokenly and gathering the little guy up close.
I struggled to sit up, trying to figure out how in
the hell I was going to get myself out there, when a hand landed on my
you dare, Uncle Heero,’ Mei whispered next to my ear, and I was startled
to find her right there beside me. I’d been so focused on Duo and
Alex, I’d never noticed her come into the room.
‘He needs me,’ I told her lowly, not
able to tear my eyes away from the scene in the other room, framed by
the doorway and somehow
seeming miles away.
‘What he needs is to get this out of his system,’ she said,
not taking her hand away from my arm. ‘And if he sees you trying
to get up…’
She left it hang there and I sighed, knowing she
was right. She let go when she felt me relax back against the cushions. ‘Damn, stubborn
man…’ I grumbled and swallowed back the lump that was trying
to form in my own throat.
‘Takes one to know one,’ Mei said softly,
settling down to sit on the floor next to me.
Out in the kitchen, Duo began to rock gently back
and forth, and Alex patted his head, crooning ‘Uh-Doo,’ in a tone of voice that
was either consoling or showing off, I couldn’t tell which.
‘Don’t worry,’ Mei whispered, ‘Alex
has got this.’
‘Are you sure he’s not just sneezing?’ I said, because
it was tearing me up inside to not be able to go replace Alex in Duo’s
‘Are you kidding me?’ Mei snorted softly. ‘As
hard as I worked to get him to say it? This cost me a new teddy bear,
and the promise of a puppy!’
I had to turn to really look at her to judge her
response when I asked, ‘Are
Her smile completely faded away and she leaned her
head down to rest on the couch next to my arm. ‘Yeah. Though this isn’t quite how
I’d planned the surprise.’
I’d have hugged her if I could have figured out how. ‘It’s
been a long time coming.’
‘I could tell,’ she said simply, and
it made me stop and think.
‘Why don’t you go make that trip to the bathroom for awhile,’ I
prodded. ‘He won’t be happy that… that we saw him like
‘Silly Uncle Heero,’ she chastised lightly. ‘It’s
only something in his eye.’
I managed to contain the snort and she kissed me
on the forehead before slipping from the room. Out in the kitchen Alex
had discovered that Duo’s
face was wet and his ‘Uh-Doo’ changed to an ‘Uh-oh’ and
he began patting Duo’s cheeks.
When he started trying to figure out where Duo’s ‘boo-boo’ was
so he could kiss it better, I closed my eyes and pretended to be asleep
Alex had things under control.
Heero? What are you doing in here in the dark?
Must be something pretty heavy duty; nothing happened at work, did it?
No; not like you mean.
But it happened at work… so it wasn’t
anything that I did? Right?
Of course not. You haven’t done… wait; you haven’t
done anything, have you?
You’re so suspicious…
Come on, Yuy… you’re just stalling. What’s
Wufei asked me today if I would be the new baby’s
Thank God! Uh… I mean… that’s great!
I’m not so sure…
You said yes, right?
I told him I’d think about it.
Heero! It’s a big honor!
And a big responsibility. I just don’t know if I’m
the right person for the job.
You will make a wonderful God-father. You get along great with Mei.
I’m just not sure if I’ll handle it right.
It’s not really a right or wrong sort of thing…
Well, I’m not really like you; I just don’t know if I’m
the right choice
While the implication that I am a tough act to follow
It’s not an implication. Duo, you’re like… the definition
of what a God-father ought to be. I just don’t know if I can live
up to that. It doesn’t seem fair to the child.
That is very possibly the nicest thing you have ever… wait; you’re
buttering me up, aren’t you?
Wufei told you he was going to ask me if you said
no, didn’t he?
You’re so suspicious…
And you are so not weaseling out of this!
Not even if I agree to that pony you and Mei wanted?
No! That’s just wrong, Yuy! Besides… I already promised Mei
that I wouldn’t.
What? Promised Mei?
It’s a long story, and I guess as long as we’re
talking about this, we might as well have the talk about the tree house
we need to build
in the back yard…
Yeah, and if by any chance you hear Mei call the
new baby a minion, just go with it… ok?
‘…the file data clusters were destroyed and the
lab was unable to recover the contents of the Word document in question.
The Excel spreadsheet proved to be…’
Heero Yuy, what on earth are you doing?!
Reading to Liam.
You can’t read forensics reports to a child!
Duo… he’s two months old. I could read him the phone book
and he wouldn’t care.
It’s the principle of the thing! It’s just… wrong,
It got him to sleep, didn’t it?
Ok… I have to give you that one. He is a way
fussier baby than Mei was.
Aren’t Wufei and Sally back yet? I thought
this was only supposed to be for a few hours?
I think we should have gotten the definition of ‘a few’. I
suspect that Mei has her parent’s attention, and she’s not
going to let it go very easily.
Is it… uh… normal for kids to… you
Turn into raging, green monsters when they acquire
siblings? Damned if I know. And it’s ok to say that Mei has been a brat the last few
months… not like anybody has missed it.
I thought you and Mei had that talk about Liam and she was better about
the idea of a baby brother?
Yeah, well… that minion thing only worked until she figured out
that babies just sort of lie around and don’t actually do anything.
Uh… never mind. The point is that a lot of the stuff that had her
so upset to begin with, sort of came true. Liam has been such a high maintenance
kid, that he really is taking a lot of her parent’s attention.
Well, I hope this trip today does some good, because
for two cents I’d
turn that child across my knee.
She needs somebody to stop coddling her over this. Her behavior is unacceptable.
Aw, she’s just a little kid! She just needs time to adjust is all;
it’s a big change.
She needs to get on with this adjustment… I
have work to do, and I am not spending every Friday evening baby-sitting
Chill, man! You’re waking the baby up!
Crap… hand me my report!
Here; but don’t you dare read him the pathology parts… if
the kid’s first word is ‘bullet’, Sally will kill us!
That’s right… go to sleep… there’s
a good boy…
Uncle Heero! Me and Uncle Duo are taking Ferdinand to the park!
Is the baby crying again, Uncle Heero?
Maybe the baby would not be crying if you hadn’t
come slamming in here yelling at the top of your lungs, Mei.
It’s not my fault! The baby is just fussy,
Mei, you knew I was in here trying to get the ba… trying
to get Liam to take a nap.
Everybody is always trying to get the baby to take
nap. I gotta go… Uncle
Duo is waiting…
And Uncle Duo will continue to wait. You aren’t
going anywhere until Liam goes to sleep.
What? Uncle Heero! That’s not fair!
I think it’s completely fair… you woke him up, now you’re
going to help me get him to go back to sleep.
Me?! But I want to go to the park!
Maybe you should have thought of that before you came in here like a tornado.
Now come over here.
I don’t want to.
I am not your Uncle Duo, Mei-zhen. I said come over
going to pat Liam’s back and help me get him to go back to sleep.
Yes, I am. Now pat like this… gently. Because you’re
not going anywhere until Liam stops crying and goes back to sleep.
He never stops crying.
He does so… he just has colic.
Well, he cries a lot. It’s why Mommy has a sick headache… again.
I’m sure it isn’t helping, but your mother has a migraine
from stress. And that’s as much because of your behavior, as from
Liam having colic.
It’s not my fault! Uncle Duo said so!
Your Uncle Duo is entirely too nice and needs to stop coddling you.
What does coddling mean, Uncle Heero?
It means to treat someone like a baby.
I’m not a baby!
No, you are not. And don’t you think it’s
time you stopped acting like one?
Do not! If I acted like a baby, all I would do is cry all the time!
Mei… what do you do when you’re hungry?
I tell Mommy and she tells me to wait until dinner. Then I tell Daddy
and he makes me a snack.
Well, Liam can’t talk yet… the only way he has to tell people
that he’s hungry is to cry.
Is he hungry now?
No, I just fed him. So now he’s trying to tell us something else,
but we can’t understand.
Maybe he needs changed? I heard Mommy tell Daddy
he’s a poop machine.
I just changed him, and I don’t smell anything. I think he’s
just tired, but his tummy hurts.
Is that the colic?
Yes, colic is like a tummy ache that won’t go away. But he likes
you patting his back, see? He’s starting to quiet down.
He doesn’t like me very much. He always cries when I’m
That doesn’t mean he doesn’t like you… it means he’s
scared. You’re too loud sometimes.
It’s too hard to remember to be quiet all the time. I didn’t
used to have to be quiet all the time.
Life’s rough; you don’t like it when Liam cries all the time,
and he doesn’t like it when you’re mean to him.
I’m not mean!
Well you’re certainly not very nice to him.
I didn’t want a dumb old baby brother anyway. It’s not fair… I
want things to be like they were.
I know change is scary, Mei, things changed when we got Ferdinand too,
but you got used to that.
That’s different! Ferdinand is cool!
He wasn’t cool when we first got him and he ate Uncle Duo’s
boot and got sick all over the living room carpet.
That was gross.
Yes it was. Especially at five in the morning in
the dark. But the thing is, we gave him another chance and he… mostly… outgrew the
chewing. So Liam gets another chance too… it’s only fair.
Will he outgrow all the crying?
Yes, he will. You cried too when you were this age.
Maybe not as much, but all babies do. And when he gets older, you’ll
be able to play together and things will be better.
So maybe he’ll be a better minion when he grows
Uh… that might be something to talk to Uncle Duo about, but… uh… probably?
But look; he’s going to sleep. You did a good
big sister job.
I did? Can I go to the park now, Uncle Heero?
Yes, you can. Just don’t slam…
Bye, Uncle Heero!
… the door.
Hey, Sally… what’s up? We weren’t
I’m sorry Duo, but I needed to be out of the house for a little
bit and couldn’t think of anywhere else to go.
Is something wrong?
No! Everything is great! But Wufei was lecturing Mei and he made me leave.
Leave? But why? You guys have always been pretty good in the united parental
I couldn’t stop grinning.
Uh… say what? Let’s start this story
over, shall we; why was Wufei lecturing Mei?
She got in trouble in school for fighting!
Sally… the maniacal grin on your face does
not match the topic of this conversation.
I know! That’s why Wufei got so frustrated
I’m starting to understand why. Sally… you do remember that
fighting is a bad thing… right?
You don’t understand!
She got in trouble for beating the snot out of another
kid who was… picking
Are you serious?
Is that not the most wonderful thing you have ever heard?
Wait… our Mei? Skinny kid? Black hair? Chang
attitude? Hates her kid brother?
Details, woman! I want details!
There was a fire drill, so all the kids were outside together. Liam was
with his kindergarten
class and you know how he is… he saw Mei and went running over. One
of Mei’s classmates apparently pushed him and told him to go back
with the ‘other babies’.
Actually pushed him?
Yes, two of Mei’s friends confirmed that part.
Mei told him to get his hands off her brother!
I know! Her brother! Well, the kid is supposedly
something of a bully, and you know how that kind are; you don’t tell them what to do… he
turned around and pushed Liam again. And Mei decked him!
Oh my God! That’s wonderful!
I know! And I can’t stop grinning like an idiot! I won’t
be able to go home for hours!
That’s fine, because we’re going out
Absolutely! Heero! Hey… come on down here, we’re
taking Sally out to celebrate!
What? Celebrate? Oh God… please tell me you’re
not pregnant again?
Hell no! And we’re celebrating my daughter
getting detention for punching another kid in school!
Isn’t that great, Heero?
You two are insane….
Could we maybe… you know… not go to the
Do you have other plans? If you’d rather play with your friends
or something, that’s fine…
No! I still want to have our day out, but… uhm… could
we maybe do something fun for a change?
I thought the museum was fun?
Well, parts of it are. I guess. But wouldn’t
it be funner to maybe do something different?
Do you have something in mind?
Well, when Mei had her day out with Uncle Duo they went and played bumper
cars and laser tag and had ice cream.
Your Uncle Duo is something of a hard act to follow.
I suppose you’d
like to do all of that too?
Weeeell… could we maybe do bumper cars, laser
tag, and miniature golf and then go out for ice cream?
Liam, are you… competing with your sister?
Not exactly. It’s just… she always comes
home from her trips out with Uncle Duo and kind of has to tell me all
Oh good God… you are competing. So… she
kind of brags?
Yeah… that’s the word.
And you’d like to be able to brag back?
Maybe just once? And then we could go to the museum again next time? If
that would be ok?
Liam, I certainly didn’t mean to make you go to the museum if you
weren’t enjoying it. I was just looking for something that was fun
and, educational. If you’d rather do something else, all you have
to do is tell me.
Well, I do kind of like that one part of the museum
with all the bones and stuff, but… we have been there…. Uhm… a
I knew I wasn’t going to be that great at this; Duo has way more
imagination. Ok… if we’re going to do this, we can’t
just do the same thing Uncle Duo and Mei did. So let’s think of something
else. Any ideas?
Can we go to Disneyland?
That’s a bit far away, Liam. Let’s be a little more reasonable… I
have to be at work tomorrow. I don’t suppose your folks would agree
No, come to think of it, you’re probably too
young. Parasailing might work though…
Uncle Heero? The museum really isn’t that bad…
Duo? I think maybe we need to talk about something…
Come on, Heero… I said that I would replace your jacket, and besides… you
know how Ferdinand is with leather, you never should have left it hanging
on the back of the chair where he could…
Not that. It’s about these God-child days out…
You’re not resenting the time I spend with
Mei, are you?
You know I’m fine with that…
Is it about the money I spent on that last outing?
Wufei did chip in for part of it, you know…
Or, how about I shut up and let you just tell me?
What a novel idea. What we need to talk about is
these outings have become.
Competitive? I have no idea…
Ok, ok… maybe a little bit.
A little bit? How is a jet-ski excursion followed by a day at the water
park complete with purchase
of a life sized stuffed manta ray a ‘little bit’?
Hey! I believe that trip followed your day at the rodeo followed by trail
riding and the purchase of a stuffed pony every bit as big as my manta
Well, how the hell else was I supposed to top your tri-state tour of county
Maybe you should have thought of that before you threw in the caving trip
and the geode thing!
I was trying to match bumper cars and camel rides!
The camel was all I could come up with that was as good as that elephant
I think we both just made my point; this whole thing has gotten completely
out of hand.
Well… you started it.
Duo! Can we get past the blame and just admit that we both went over-board?
I will admit that there was a whole lot of over-board,
yes. That you started, but we don’t need to talk about that now.
But the point is that we need to figure out how to stop this.
I don’t know how! Liam is counting on me and I just… don’t
know how to disappoint him.
Can I derail for just one moment for an ‘I told you so’?
If you must.
Not so damn easy, is it?
Have your moment and then get back to the subject, if you please?
Ok, ok… after all the grief I’ve taken over Ferdinand, it’s
just kind of fun to watch you squirm.
Fine! I’m squirming! But when Liam told me
about Mei bragging all the time…
Wait, what? Bragging? But Mei told me that Liam has been bragging about
how much cooler you were as a God-father!
He did? You mean…
Yeah. I think we just got played by a couple of little kids.
Like a pair of fiddles.
So would this be a good time to talk about the cat
to be living with us after Liam’s birthday?
Cat? Seriously? You promised Liam a cat?
How was I supposed to say no when he pointed out
that we have a dog living with us that is supposedly Mei’s? And about how it wasn’t fair
that he couldn’t have a pet too?
But… a cat? I’m so going to let you explain
this to Ferdinand…
Can I stay in here with you for a little bit?
I’m working right now, Liam… why aren’t
you outside playing with Uncle Duo and Mei?
Mei’s kind of mad at me right now.
Why is Mei mad at you this time?
I said that Ferdinand wasn’t really her dog… he’s Uncle
Well now… that’s not really true…
Just like Clarence isn’t really my cat… he’s
Liam, you picked Clarence out yourself and named him and everything.
But he doesn’t live with me, he lives with
you. He likes you better.
Liam, Clarence doesn’t really ‘like’ anybody… he
just likes that I feed him.
But if he was my cat, I’d be the one feeding
Well, it’s not really practical for you to be able to come over
every single day, so it only makes sense that you can’t feed him
all the time.
I know, but… doesn’t that kind of make
him not my cat?
And Ferdinand not Mei’s dog?
That’s very astute. Your sister never quite
What’s astute, Uncle Heero?
Never mind… let’s look at this a different way; would Clarence
be living here if you hadn’t asked for him?
Uh… I don’t know? Maybe?
Not likely. Especially not after the first time he climbed the curtains
and pulled them clear off the wall.
I’m really sorry about that, Uncle Heero.
Now see… if he wasn’t your cat, why would
you apologize for something he did?
So… he is my cat?
Clarence would be shedding on somebody else’s sofa right now if
it weren’t for you, so that makes him your cat.
Thanks, Uncle Heero.
Can I get back to work now?
Uncle Duo likes animals way more than you do, doesn’t
You noticed? Yes… yes he does.
I’ll bet Ferdinand would be here even if Mei hadn’t
asked for him.
Wouldn’t surprise me.
So, Ferdinand isn’t really Mei’s dog… he’s Uncle
I’m gonna go back outside now…
Hold on a minute…
Bye, Uncle Heero! Hey Mei!
Liam! You get back here!
Heero where’s the suntan lotion?
I think you sat the beach towel down on it.
Found it; thanks. Want to do my back for me?
I’d love to do your back.
Why Heero Yuy… was that a touch of innuendo there?
I don’t know; was it?
Might have been… it’s been so long, it’s
hard to remember.
Well, this is supposed to be our anniversary trip.
Is it totally weird that we don’t have any kids of our
own, and yet…
I dunno… sometimes it just feels like we’ve got
kids underfoot more than Wufei and Sally.
Ok… I’ll give you that one. Most of the time…
We did somehow become heavily involved in the upbringing of
other people’s children.
Is that… a bad thing?
We’re not living vicariously through somebody else’s
parenthood, are we?
Had we ever thought about kids, I suppose that might be a
possibility, but since I didn’t even want
Jerk. Don’t forget that cat from Hell. And I’m
serious… we’re not playing at parenting with Wufei’s kids,
No… I think it’s more like we’re being taken
blatant advantage of.
Hey, I wasn’t done with your back yet…
I needed to see your face to tell if you were kidding or not.
I’m kidding. Mostly.
I enjoy the kids and everything, but I guess I never realized
just much they were going to become part of our lives.
You… regret it?
No, not at all, it’s just strange to think about sometimes.
You have regrets?
No, but I gotta admit I’m glad that Trowa and Quatre
never opted for kids.
With twenty-nine siblings, that doesn’t even bear thinking
Ha! No way in hell… I’m totally done with this
Godparent thing; one is more than enough for me!
Not going to get an argument from me…
Hey, Uncle Heero?
Do I have this stupid tie straight yet?
I told you to use a clip on…
For my wedding? Julia would have killed me dead.
But your tie would have been straight for the funeral.
Sometimes I think Uncle Duo is adversely affecting your sense
Funny… your father says that same thing.
Uncle Heero… you’re not… you know…
hurt or anything that I asked Mei to be my best man, are you?
What? Of course not. It’s just… a little weird…
Why? Because she’s a girl? But she’s still my
She is now that you’re all grown up. But when you were
kids, I swear there were days I wouldn’t have put money on your survival.
What? What’s that supposed to mean?
You two took sibling rivalry to whole new, epic proportions.
But we’ve always loved each other.
What’s that look?
Well, always is kind of uh… subjective…
Hey, about-to-be-married-guy! You’re wanted in the front
hall for pictures with your folks.
Oh, thanks Uncle Duo. I’ll be right back…
So, Duo… nobody ever told Liam about Mei and the ‘Baby
for Sale’ sign debacle did they?
Knowing Sally… probably not.
Or the time when he was four when Mei traded him to the neighbor
kid for a turtle?
Doubt it. Wufei never even told Sally about that one…
It’s just so very mind-bending, after all those years
of wanting to beat their heads together, to find ourselves here…
You want to bend that mind a little bit more? Step over here
They’re taking Liam and Mei’s picture down the
hall and you can see them from here.
My God… when did they get to be all grown up and…
Damned if I know.
I just can’t believe he’s getting married today.
It seems like just last week he was asking me to push him on the swings…
You’re starting to sound like Wufei, ‘Dad’!
Now you… oh hey… Heero, are you ok?
Just something in my eye, Maxwell. Now shut up about it.
Heero! Heero, where are you… we gotta get out of here!
In the kitchen… What’s wrong?
A disaster! And we don’t have time… we gotta
Duo, calm down and tell me…
Calm, my ass… move Yuy!
I’m coming, but…
Just grab some clothes. Where’s the suitcase?
In the closet. And how many clothes? And for what kind of
trip? And why…
I dunno… this could be awhile. And I haven’t
Duo… this is looking a whole lot like panic, here…
can you please just tell me….
No time! I’ll explain once we’re on the road,
but we have to get going before it’s…
Hold on, that’s the door…
Crap. Too late. Don’t answer that!
Duo, it’s just Alex. I can see him from here.
Can he see you? Damn it, don’t wave at him!
Duo, enough already… what the hell is going on?
The worst! Alex and Becca are… are… expecting!
Mei told me.
But that’s good news, right? He’s probably just
here to tell us himself.
Ok, look… why don’t you just sit down for a minute
and take a deep breath. Before I have to smack you in the back of the head.
Seriously? Think about it Yuy… what has happened every
single time a Chang has appeared on our doorstep to announce an impending
bouncing bundle of joy?
Well, I… oh. Oh shit.
You see the light.
Oh hell no! No more God children! No way, no how!
Finally! You see my point!
Well, if you had explained yourself at the beginning!
Never mind that… what are we going to do?
I think we can make it out the back window…
Good morning Agent Maxwell, I hope you had a good vacation?
Morning Marlene, yeah… it was fine. Sorry for the short notice and
all. Any messages?
Just don’t forget your seven forty-five with the Coroner’s office.
Your mail’s on your desk and your seven thirty is waiting in your
What seven thirty?
Huh. I guess I forgot. Thanks Marlene… give yourself a raise.
Another one? Why Boss… you’re much too good to me.
Never. Hold my calls until Agent Chang is gone… he doesn’t come
in to the office that often any more.
Hey Wufei, what’s up? I don’t remember… oh shit.
Hi Uncle Duo.
Uh… Alex… uh… hi…
You’ve sure been busy this week… you’re a hard man to
Apparently not hard enough…
What was that?
Uh… nothing. Uh… you know us part-timers. So, what’s up…
No, this isn’t work related.
I was afraid of that…
I wanted to show you something, Uncle Duo.
Show me? You’re not here to… uh… I mean, what is that?
It’s an ultrasound picture. Becca is pregnant… we’re expecting
our first child. It’s going to be a little girl.
Ultrasound? Oh wow… this is a baby girl?
I know it’s kind of hard to tell at this stage, but yeah… that’s
Daiyu? You’ve already named her? Oh wow… look at that. Another
little Chang. That’s so cool. And so hard to believe…
I know, right? Kind of looks like a frog if you ask me, but… Uncle
Duo? What’s the matter?
It’s a long, long story kiddo… but… never mind. Just wow…
Uh… ok, if you say so. Anyway… I wanted to…
What? But I haven’t even…
Alex, I love you and your Mom dearly and wouldn’t have missed a moment
of your lives for the world… but I’m too darn old for this God-father
stuff. I can’t possibly be a good God-father to a third generation.
Good grief, Uncle Duo, is that what this is all about? I know that…
I wouldn’t dream of asking you.
Really? You mean I didn’t need to waste those vacation… uh…
I mean, really? That’s not why you’re here?
No, I just wanted to share the news with you.
So… who are you going to ask?
Liam, maybe. Or Becca’s brother. We haven’t really decided yet.
Not like either of us are all that religious anyway…
It’s not necessarily got anything to do with religion. Your grandparents
aren’t religious either. And it didn’t have anything to do with
the job I did with you and your mother.
That’s true, I suppose. We just haven’t decided if we’re
going to have one…
What? Of course Daiyu has to have a God-father! What are you thinking? Who’s
going to be there to take her to the zoo? And to babysit at the drop of
a hat? And co-sign for her first car loan?
Well, I suppose we probably will…
Alex, this is an important decision and you really need to be giving it
more thought. A God-father is a big role in a kid’s life…
Well, Becca didn’t have one, so we’ve just been talking about
it, is all.
She didn’t? Aw man… what were her parents thinking? Poor kid.
Well… Daiyu needs one. And make sure you pick somebody good.
Well, Uncle Duo, I’m never going to find another God-father like you
It is a full time job, that’s for sure. What about Liam… he
seems like the perfect choice to me.
I don’t know… we thought about him, but with Julia’s job,
they kind of move a lot.
That’s true… you need somebody who’s going to be around.
Somebody reliable. Not that Liam isn’t reliable or anything, but…
I know what you mean Uncle Duo. It’s no big deal… we’ve
got months to think about it yet.
No big deal? You listen here, Alex Chang-McFarland… a Godfather is
a big part of… oh nuts, Marlene is signaling my next appointment is
Nuts? Did you just say nuts?
Hey, start cleaning your language up now and maybe your daughter’s
third word won’t be shit. Anyway, I have a meeting, but we’ll
talk about this more later.
Sure, Uncle Duo. See you later.
Hey Marlene, thanks for not ratting me out.
I didn’t do a thing… I just said Agent Chang was in his office.
Oh darn, did I forget to mention Chang- McFarland? My bad.
So how’d it go?
Going to take a little effort, but I think the groundwork has been laid.
Never say die!
It’s the Chang way…
I can’t believe those kids, Heero! Not have a God-father?
What are they thinking?
Well, you said they hadn’t decided yet…
It shouldn’t be a decision in the first place! It should
be an… an… of course thing!
Not everybody has…
Well, everybody should have! And I can’t believe Mei
and I did such a bad job raising that boy that he has to even think about
Mei and you? Don’t you mean…
Mei and Sean. And me. Or… you know what I mean, damn
Are you laughing at me? I can’t believe you either!
You’re a God-father too, doesn’t it mean anything to you?
Of course it does…
Well, you sure don’t act like it. I would think that
you’d be upset too, that Wufei’s great grand-daughter might
not have a God-father!
Well, you’re a little easier to… to… Oh.
What? A little easier to what?? What are you saying here?
A little easier to wind up. Duo… you’re being
I love you dearly, but you have to admit the fastest way to
get you to do something is to tell you not to.
What the hell is that supposed to mean??
Calm down a minute and think about it. When Mei was five and
Wufei and Sally wanted to go away for the whole weekend, how did they get
you to agree to keep her?
Well, uh… they didn’t really ask, as I recall
They told you they were leaving her with that neighbor lady
that Mei hated. Told you they wouldn’t dream of asking you to babysit
for so long… until you were practically begging them to let her stay
And when Alex was ten and you ended up chaperoning his entire
fifth grade class on that field trip?
Well, Mei said… uh…
Mei said she thought it was too much, and she wouldn’t
dream of asking…
Those rotten little brats.
You understand my suspicions?
I think I am your suspicions.
So… what are you going to do?
What am I going to do? What I ought to do is go smack their
conniving heads together! I ought to ground them all for a week! With no
milkshakes for the lot of them!
I mean… what are you going to do about this God-father
Duo… you wouldn’t be this wound up about it if…
you didn’t want to.
Are you crazy? Of course I don’t… I mean…
I can’t… I mean…
Do you want to do it?
I do, don’t I? Oh damn it. What the hell is wrong with
me? Am I nuts?
No, you just have an unhealthy attachment to Wufei’s
Funny, Yuy. Watch me laugh.
Kidding. I’m just saying, if you want to volunteer to
be Daiyu’s God-father…
No! Damn it… I’m too old!
Says time? Says the gray hairs? Says the arthritis?
You don’t have arthritis… your hand aches when
the weather changes because you’ve broken it three times. We’ve
not really ever talked about this, but let’s face it… we’re
not really aging the way other people do.
We’re still aging.
Of course we are, but… we went semi-retired because
we wanted to… not because we couldn’t hold our own in the field
Are you… trying to talk me into this?
I’m trying to tell you that if you want to do something,
you shouldn’t let a date on the calendar tell you that you can’t.
Was that… was that more of that reverse psychology stuff?
I do not have a vested interest in this one way or the other.
But I know you… you’ve been ranting on this same subject all
week. Somewhere in that head of yours… you want to be this child’s
I… I just… I mean… damn it; I just can’t
imagine anybody else doing a good enough job.
There isn’t anybody they can ask that’s going
to come close to being the kind of God-father you’ve always been.
Aw man. This sucks. Why do I have to be such a control freak?
Maybe you just know you’re the right man for the job?
Are you sure you’re not trying to talk me into this?
Because it sure sounds like you’re trying to talk me into this…
Maybe I’m just trying to get you to shut up about it
We’re quite the comedian today, aren’t we? Or
was that more psychology? You really want to talk about it all afternoon?
Ok, I give! I’m just saying… for whatever reason;
genetics, biological tinkering, nano technology, whatever… we aren’t
ready for the old folk’s home quite yet. Take our age out of the equation
and then make your decision.
I gotta think about this some more. I just don’t…
wait; tinkering? What tinkering? We’ve been tinkered with?!
I think I need an aspirin…
Tinkered with… what? Duo, what are you talking about?
Heero and I were just talking about… you know…
age. And stuff. And it got me to thinking…
Never a good thing…
Knock it off, Chang or I’ll stop helping you with your
I believe that you showed up on my doorstep asking to work
on my bike…
Well, you keep saying it’s therapeutic.
Why do you think I’ve owned so damn many of them?
I always kind of wondered…
It gives me someplace to go when I need to think.
So what is it you need to think about so hard?
Your damn off-spring. And age. And tinkering or… or…
genetic engineering or whatever the hell.
Duo… this bike doesn’t need that much work.
Smart-ass. Hand me that wrench…
So… Alex was by to show me Daiyu’s ultrasound
picture. Congrats, by the way… Great, Great Grandpa.
Thank you, Great, Great Uncle. And why is our impending greathood
cause for your need for grease therapy?
Alex kind of/sort of didn’t , but almost, ask me to
be the Godfather.
That sentence almost has a passing acquaintance with grammar…
In that same kind of/sort of way that you used to use to get
something you wanted but didn’t want to ask for.
That same kind of/sort of way that you managed to pass on to your daughter
and she… apparently… passed on to your grandson.
Ah? That’s the best you can do? How about ‘Gee
Duo, so sorry for all those years of manipulation and trickery’?
Well, I’m not sure I’d call it trickery…
and we never used our powers for evil…
Really? That’s the best you’ve got?
What do you want here, for me to throw myself on my sword?
How about some contrite? Just a tiny bit?
I am deeply sorry for the horrible and dishonorable way my
entire family has gotten you to do what you wanted to do anyway. How’s
Fake as hell. And kind of… lame. And probably not going
to stop a ‘until next time’.
On that subject, I do have to admit that I’m a little
surprised. I thought you’d be pleased to be… kind of/sort of
asked to be Daiyu’s Godfather?
I… guess I kind of/sort of am. Sort of. Outside the
It just brings us around to that age thing. I just don’t
know. But Heero has a point about the… tinkering. Or whatever explains
why we can all five still pass for our forties. I mean… I know none
of us have ever really talked about it. But… there’s something.
Damn, Wufei… that was like… the King of all heavy
As you say, my friend… there is something. I don’t
know what it is any more than you obviously do, but… we can’t
really deny it. Any of us. But I don’t much like to think about it.
Duo. It’s obviously something left over from Operation
Meteor. You are married to one of those… five tinkered with souls,
but I… am not.
Oh. Oh! Oh damn. I… I…
Let be. It is not a thing that needs to be dwelled on. Sally
is in fine health and there are a lot of years ahead of us.
So, how about I take the ‘manipulative method’
off the table? Duo, I would be most honored if you would consent to be the
Godfather to my first Great Grand-child.
I… I… you asshole. How the hell can I say no now?
So… is that a yes?
Alex… are you serious? He’s making you…
If I want Uncle Duo to be Daiyu’s God-father, I have
to write “I will not attempt to use reverse psychology on Duo Maxwell
ever again, and I am really, really sorry I ever did” one hundred
times on lined notebook paper.
A hundred times?
Yes, Mom… a hundred times. And he already made me write
it once before I left the house so he can compare the hand-writing.
That sounds like Uncle Duo.
Actually… that was Uncle Heero’s suggestion.
Damn… they really are on to us.
I suppose it won’t kill me, but… I feel like I’m
five years old again.
Honey, Uncle Duo can still make me feel like I’m five
years old even at my age.
You’ll probably be hearing from Uncle Duo this afternoon…
What? How did I get caught up in this?!
He said it was a multi-generational punishment for a multi-generational
And I wouldn’t ask for a milkshake any time soon…
Not the milkshakes!
He was pretty annoyed.
That is so not fair…
He said to tell you life’s not fair and not to feel
too bad… Grandpa already has his list done.
Are you kidding me? He made your Grandfather write lists too?
And… he actually did it?
Well, Grandpa’s punishment sentence was a little different,
but yeah… he really did it. I saw it and it was definitely his handwriting.
What did his say?
Uh… I was actually kind of surprised at the both of
them. Grandpa’s said ‘I am a manipulative asshole and I’m
ashamed that I’m not more contrite about it’.
Oh my god… that is so Uncle Duo! But I can’t believe
your Grandfather actually went through with it!
I kind of feel like I owe him one now… he had to have
done it for my sake.
Oh man… I wonder what he’s going to make me write?
He wouldn’t tell me. To be honest, I think he was still
making it up.
I’m sure it will be inventive. You know the part that
is really not fair?
Beyond the part where Uncle Duo wants to be a God-father again
even if he won’t admit it out loud?
The part where I learned how to get what I wanted from Uncle
Duo by watching your Grandmother, not your Grandfather.
And I wouldn’t ask for a milkshake any time soon…
Not the milkshakes!
He was pretty annoyed.
That is so not fair…
Hey Uncle Heero… I’m here to pick up Daiyu.
Would you like a cup of tea while you wait, Alex? Daiyu isn’t
quite ready to go…
Is she asleep? I told Uncle Duo not to let her fall asleep…
she’ll be up all night!
No… she and your Uncle Duo are out back having a talk.
Don’t worry… it shouldn’t be too much longer
Uncle Duo is… having a talk with my one month old.
That’s what I just said. You want some honey in your
Uh… sure. Thanks.
Ok; I’ll bite. Exactly what would Uncle Duo need to
talk to Daiyu about?
He felt it necessary to apologize to her.
For not wanting to be a God-father again.
And now… when her vocabulary is something like negative
zero… is the right time for that? It’s not like she knows.
No, but the Cosmos knows.
Pardon? The Cosmos?
Alex… you’ve known your Uncle Duo your entire
life. Why do you think your daughter was born with a hole in her heart?
Well, I was sort of assuming it had something to do with genetics
and the fact that Becca was born with the same congenital defect?
That might be the logical conclusion, but we’re talking
about your Uncle Duo here. Try again.
And the Cosmos plays a part in this somewhere. So… wait…
are you saying that Uncle Duo somehow sees this as his fault?
Yes Alex, your God –father is consumed with the guilt
of having caused your daughter to be born with a life threatening condition.
The Cosmos, as it were, teaching him a lesson.
But… it’s not a life threatening condition at
all! She’ll grow out of it! Becca’s hole closed up before she
Yes, but that does not alter the fact that it is there now.
Seriously? And he’s out there… what? I can’t
even follow this…
He is out there balancing the Cosmos.
How… how does one go about balancing the Cosmos?
Well, one starts with confessing ones mistakes. And then one
promises to make amends.
This isn’t some kind of kooky religious ritual, is it…
because that sounds awfully structured…
No, there’s no structure to it, and it’s certainly
not that organized inside your Uncle’s head, but face it… I’ve
known him a hell of a lot longer than you have, and I know how his mind
works. I’m sure he’s out there promising your daughter the sun
and the moon and anything else he can think of to balance out the size of
the transgression he feels he’s made.
That’s… that’s kind of messed up, to be
honest Uncle Heero.
Yes… yes it is. But if you ever want to see another
one of his special milkshakes again as long as you live, there will be no
teasing or other use of this incident to embarrass or mock him, are we clear
Crystal. Pass the tea pot, would you?
So… you think they’ll be much longer? I really
need to be getting home.
They’ve been out there about a half an hour now; shouldn’t
be too much longer. I’m sure he’s down to the promises and pledges
About that…. I’m really, really sorry Uncle Heero.
Whatever pet is likely in your future.
Thank you. It’s nice that somebody… appreciates
that particular aspect.
A pony? Seriously Uncle Duo? A pony?
Well, it’s not like Buttercup is living at my
house or anything. And we are completely retired now…
You give in to that child way more than you should!
You’re spoiling her rotten!
I don’t spoil your Granddaughter any more than
you do, Mei.
I’m not the one who said yes to a pony!
Well, come on… she really had her heart set,
and that new stable went in just a mile away…
I had my heart set to, and it didn’t get me
I’m just saying… you’re losing your
Mei, are you standing there telling me you’re
jealous of your own Granddaughter?
No! Of course not! I love Daiyui, but I’m just
saying that… a pony?
Am not! I’m just sort of… of…
Ok, maybe. Of the pony. Just a little bit. I mean…
I asked for years and years and you always said no!
Well… technically, that’s not true. Heero
said no. Rather emphatically.
You mean… you would have let me have a pony?
I was shopping stables when Heero said something about
hell freezing over. Or locking me in the basement. Or maybe that was locking
me in the basement until hell froze over…
So… you mean I’m still your favorite?
What? Speak up Princess; don’t mumble at an
I said…. can I have a pony too then?
You’re a grown woman now! A Grandmother, for
crying out loud! The Queen of Frog Princesses! If you want a pony, that’s
between you and Sean!
I don’t want the payments and the work and the
hassle! I just want the fun parts!
Sorry, sweetheart… we’re a long way from
only getting to deal with the fun parts.
This being an adult business is seriously not all
it’s cut out to be…
Tell it to my knee replacement…
No, no Uncle Duo! You have to hold my chair out and
let me sit down first.
Sorry, Lil Princess… this is my first tea party.
There… how’s that?
Ok. Now you have to bow to me before you sit down.
Not there, that’s Mr. Sparkles seat!
Sorry, Mr. Sparkles…. How about this chair then?
Mrs. Wiggins always sits next to Mr. Sparkles.
Ok… how about I just sit on the floor here and
we’ll pretend there’s a chair, since these kind of look like
they might not hold my weight anyway…
All right, and now you pour the tea…
You sure aren’t like your Dad was growing up…
wouldn’t you rather go play at the park and look for frogs or something?
Eww! Frogs are icky and slimy! We’re having
a tea party, Uncle Duo! You promised!
Ok… ok… I’ll just pour the tea and….
Uh…. That doesn’t look like tea…
It is so.
Where did you get this tea? Did your Mom make it for
I made it myself! It’s my own special bend!
Like Papa has his own special bend.
What exactly is in your special bend… uh…
blend? I’ve never seen tea quite this color…
Lots of stuff! I make it while Mommy is fixing dinner…
she lets me add all kinds of stuff and then we put it in the fridge for
later so we don’t spoil our dinner.
Oh, I’ll just bet you do. Daiyu… there’s
something floating in here…
That's one of the special ingredients. Shhhhhhh…
I add egg shells to my tea bend.
Egg shell? Honey… what all is in this?
I can’t tell you that, Uncle Duo… it’s
my special secret.
Honey, I’m not so sure about drinking this without
knowing what’s in it…
But Uncle Duo! You promised we’d have a tea
party! Nobody else will play tea party with me and you promised! I made
special tea and wore my best dress and everything!
Ok… ok… calm down, I promised a tea party
and we’ll play tea party. But man… I thought that skate boarding
business was rough. Maybe I can just fish that shell out…
Pass the cookies, Uncle Duo.
Here you go. Uhm… these aren’t secret
recipe cookies, are they?
No… Mommy bought them at the store. They’re
her special cookies, but I know where she hides them.
Wait… you got into your Mother’s private
It’s ok… she won’t yell at me because
you ate some too.
Oh sh… cra… uh… nuts.
I don’t have any nuts, Uncle Duo.
Tell you what… the next time we have a tea party,
how about I bring the refreshments?
Ok! We’ll have lots of tea parties! And we can
have them at your house sometimes too! Because you can make Uncle Heero
play with us too!
Uhm… we’ll have to see about that…
I love you, Uncle Duo. You’re the best tradition
Grandma says that you’re a Chang family tradition.
Your Grandma Mei is a funny lady…
When I grow up and have a baby, you’ll be my
tradition too, won’t you Uncle Duo?
Honey, I doubt I’ll even be arou… uh…
I mean… we’ll have to see…
But Uncle Duo… you just have to be! You’re
a tradition and traditions are forever!
Ok… ok… we’ll see. You’re
only six, Lil Princess… let’s not be worrying about that just
You promise, Uncle Duo?
Oh god… don’t get all weepy! I promise!
But Daiyu… honey… I have to ask; just what makes the tea that
funny color? Because it tastes kind of… odd.
That’s the secret ingredient; I can make my
tea any color I want with my crayons.
Cray…. ons? As in…. oh my. Honey, do me
a favor and go get your Dad real quick….
What’s the matter, Uncle Duo?
This tea isn’t sitting real well, and I need
some help getting up off the floor….
Fiction : GW :