Wufei looked at the red glass ball which Ryou had laid on the table between the two beds. The character carved into it, "benevolance," seemed to glow; a trick of the lamplight.

"What's that?" he asked.

Ryou looked up at him from where he sat cross-legged on the floor, petting Byakuen. His blue eyes gleamed. "Magic."

Wufei snorted, showing his opinion of that.

"Don't you believe in magic?" Ryou's voice held his smile, mysterious and amused. It disturbed Wufei more than he cared to let on.


Reality Storm: Chapter 3
by K.Huntsman
released 25th April 2000


Shin hummed contentedly as he flipped the small pancakes out of the pan and onto the platter. He'd gotten up even earlier than usual to start breakfast since the number of people he was cooking for had doubled. They'd need to make a run to town soon. Eleven people was going to be heavy on the contents of the refrigerator, and the quintet from the future were going to need things like spare clothes and basic necessities... not to mention probably parts for those huge machines of theirs.

If appropriate parts even existed in the twentieth century.

Shin looked up as the screen door banged open and Ryou wandered into the kitchen, followed by Seiji and Wufei. "How was practice?" the Trooper of Water asked with a smile, taking in the glistening forms of all three as he ladled batter into the pan.

"Fun." Ryou grinned.

"Satisfying." Wufei's smile was half a smirk.

"Intriguing," Seiji said, the merest hint of a curve gracing his lips.

"Go get washed up and see who you can round up for breakfast," Shin said, encouraging them with the shooing motions of his ladle.

The blade-wielding triad obeyed, Ryou snatching a hot pancake from the top of the platter on his way out. Shin turned back to his stove and waited for the elephant herd (the loudest of whom was usually Shuu) to start their morning stampede to the feeding grounds.


It turned out that Duo was not by any stretch of the imagination a morning person. He was practically dozing into his coffee.

"When did he get to sleep?" Nasuti inquired, looking at Heero, who had ended up as Duo's roommate.

"12:23am," was the concise reply as Heero addressed his breakfast with military precision.

Heero worried her, and she had known him for only one day.

"So what's on the schedule today?" Ryou asked the room in general.

"Meteor shower tonight," Touma offered, only half awake himself.

"We'll need to see more about what repairs we can affect on the Gundams," Quatre contributed.

Trowa calmly reached out and caught Duo's braid, keeping the boy from splashing nose-first into his coffee cup. "We'll also need to monitor that time rip. If it seals up and strands us here, then repairing the Gundams will be moot."

"We would offer aid," Seiji said after a quick glance at the other Troopers, "but we don't know anything about your technology."

"And we don't wanna," Shuu chimed in. "Contaminating even us with knowledge of future mechanics would be a bad thing."

Duo seemed to half wake up. "Yeah. Don't want our timeline to suddenly not exist 'coz we told you guys too much about the future." Then he fell asleep again.

Wufei blinked at Duo, then looked at Heero. "Yuy, how did you ever get him to class on time?"

Heero smirked. "Ice cubes."


Duo sat on the steps of the front porch, tall glass of iced tea in one hand, and watched as Shin laughed and charged at Shuu. About twelve feet away from the other guy, he sprang into the air, performed a series of twists that would've done Trowa proud, then landed neatly, palm to palm, on the upraised hand of the other boy. Shuu, for his part, seemed to think Shin weighed no more than a feather, and boosted him high into the air again.

"Man, that guy's good," Duo commented out loud, tugging at the neck of the gray tanktop he wore. He'd abandoned his clericals when the day had turned unbelievably hot for someone who'd grown up in a climate-controlled colony. It hadn't been nearly as hot the day before.

Ryou nodded, completely at ease with the heat. "He is. We keep telling him that he should go for the Olympics, but we haven't talked him into it yet."

"Shin would have an unfair advantage," Seiji commented from where he sat at the porch's table, looking as cool as ice.

"That doesn't mean he wouldn't deserve the medal," Ryou argued. "He's certainly earned it."

Duo shook his head. "How can you guys be so calm about this heat? Man, I'm dyin' here!" He flopped dramatically backwards onto the floor of the porch and stared upwards, willing the heat to go away.

The screen door opened. "Ryou likes the heat, and Seiji's an ice queen," Touma informed him, stepping outside.

"So says the space case," Seiji retorted cooly.

"Bite me," Touma returned, unruffled. "Anyhow, go jump in the lake if you want to cool off," he advised. "Shin keeps it clean enough, and there's nothing in there that'll eat you."

"Can't swim," Duo replied.

The three stared at him.

"There was barely enough water on my colony to cook with, let alone to waste filling a pool!" Duo defended himself.

The three exchanged looks.

"That's sad," Seiji said.

"Real sad," Ryou agreed.

"In addition to being our local gymnast, Shin's also an excellent swimmer," Touma said. "If you want lessons, he's the one to go to."


Wufei wiped the back of one hand across his brow. It was unbelievably hot for a young man of the colonies, and he understood why Maxwell had gone back earlier. All the repairs that could be done had been completed yesterday. Beyond further diagnostics of the Gundams and monitoring of the space-time gap three hundred feet overhead, there really wasn't much any of them could do until they were able to see what they was available in 1989 parts. But something in Wufei refused to give up so easily, saying surely there had to be something he could do....


He looked down from where he stood on the knee joint of Nataku.

"There's nothing more we can do here and now," Quatre called up to him. "We're going back to the house. Would you like to come with us?"

Wufei watched as even Yuy dropped from his cockpit. He sighed. If even Yuy was admitting defeat, surely it would not be dishonorable for him to do the same.

"Sure," he said, and slid down to the ground.


Heero stayed up very late that night, searching via Nasuti's computer for parts which might be adapted to A.C.195 Gundams.

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