HeartStorm
A Wufei and Sally Fanfic
By Orla
Rated R16!
Lime/Lemon-scented scene ahead!!!



Disclaimer: They're not mine... damnit.



AC200: Earth, Preventer HQ:

"And from all the evidence we've gathered over the past week, it's plain that the leaders, and most of the members, of this new group used to be part of the Pro-Treize faction in AC195." Sally concluded her report and sat back down in her chair.

Opposite her, Lady Une steepled her fingers and leant on her desk. "So what we suspected is true," she murmured.

Wufei shifted in his seat. "We still don't know why they've waited this long to move or what they're planning," he said. "Or -why- they chose not to contact you." He looked directly at Une. "You were Treize's aide, surely..."

Une shook her head. "There are still some of His Excellency's supporters who are still angry with me. They consider my surrender to White Fang as an insult to his memory."

Sally smiled wryly. "Oh? You should have held out and died as a 'noble sacrifice' to the cause?"

Une mirrored her smile. "Something like that, yes."

Wufei got to his feet. "Have we concluded this meeting?" He asked sharply.

Une blinked. "Why... yes..."

"Then Sally and I shall begin working on the solution to the problem." Wufei told her and walked out without a backward glance.

Sally frowned slightly in concern.

"Is he alright?" Une asked her.

Sally smiled tightly. "Wufei laid Treize's ghost to rest after 196, but... the memory of his death is still very clear in his mind and he dislikes dwelling on it."

"I see," Une nodded. "Sally, I'm glad that he has someone whom he can... talk to and who understands him. Oh... that reminds me, I wanted to ask you something."

"Yes?"

Une appraised the honey-blond before her. "Sally, did something happen when you and Wufei were trapped for the night by the snowstorm?"

"Why do you ask?" Sally inquired warily.

Une shrugged slightly. "I don't know, I just feel..." Her eyes narrowed. "Something -did- happen?"

Sally grinned. "Nothing that -important-." She said and walked out of the office.

Une smiled to herself. Well, it was probably too much to expect Sally to blurt out what had happened, but it was worth a shot. She leaned back in her chair.

"All I can do is wait and see."

***

Sally shut the door to Une's office behind her and met Wufei's eyes. He looked annoyed. "You took your time." He rebuked her.

"Une had something to ask me." Sally explained. "You were a bit..."

"Your coats?" A bright voice interrupted her and Sally looked around to see Une's new secretary standing behind her. Amanda Li smiled and held out their Preventers jackets.

"Oh, thank you, Amanda." Sally said taking her jacket from the petite young woman and putting it on. She noticed with amusement that Amanda handed Wufei's jacket to him in a star-struck manner. However, Wufei didn't seem to notice Amanda's flushed cheeks and adoring eyes. He took his jacket from her, nodded curtly and turned on his heels.

Sally followed him, hearing Amanda sigh as she watched Wufei leave. An urge to giggle tickled Sally's throat and she swallowed against the impulse, but there was a gleam in her blue eyes as she caught up with him.

"That girl has a -massive- crush on you!" Sally told him as they walked out of the main doors.

Wufei frowned. "Who? What?"

"Amanda Li! How could you -miss- the way she stares at you?" Sally teased. "Seems to think you're Wufei the Demi-God." She chuckled. "Obviously the poor girl hasn't spent enough time in your company."

Wufei flushed slightly. "Stop talking such nonsense, Woman!" He snapped. "There are much more important things to concentrate on than Une's silly secretary!" He quickened his pace to towards the car, leaving Sally in his wake.

Sally's eyes danced with laughter as she watched his retreating form. Yet she also felt a smidgen of relief at Wufei's disinterest in Amanda.

Sally's amusement faded and she sighed. For the past week her feelings towards Wufei had become very unsettled.  Since their return to Headquarters he had displayed none of the tenderness she had received from him during the night they were trapped by the snowstorm. Even the next morning, when she woke to find herself alone in the bed, he made no indication that anything had changed in their relationship and continued to treat her the same as before.

"Hurry up!" Wufei's impatient voice pierced Sally's musings and she blinked. He was standing by the car, arms folded and eyes glaring. She drew in a deep breath. If only I wasn't sure I -hadn't- dreamt that he kissed me, I wouldn't be feeling so mixed up! But she felt clear on one thing... she was -not- going to let Wufei know how she felt until -he- said how he felt!

"You are in a bad mood today." Sally said lightly as she got in the car.

Wufei's eyes flickered over to her as he took his seat behind the wheel. "And you are in an annoyingly flippant mood today, Woman." He remarked.

Sally raised an eyebrow. "Well, it looks like neither of us are going to please the other here!" She said a little acidly.

Wufei was a bit surprised at her tone, but he ignored it and concentrated on driving to the spaceport.

Sally leaned back in her seat and looked out of the window, trying to ignore the hot, angry sensation stinging her eyelids.

What's the matter with me? Why I am letting him get to me?

***
Two days later:

"Because you're in love."

Sally dropped her spoon and stared at the woman who had just spoken. "I... well... it's not... I mean..." She stuttered.

Lucrezia Noin-Peacecraft grinned at Sally's reaction. "I never thought I'd see -you- at a loss for words, Sally." She teased.

Sally coughed and reassembled her scrambled wits. "You surprised me, that's all." She scooped up another spoonful of ice cream and ate it thoughtfully. "So you say the reason I'm feeling all upside down is because I'm in love?" She shook her head. "But... I went out with a couple of guys before I met Wufei and I -never- felt like this."

Noin nodded. "The key thing is that you 'went out' with them, it wasn't a serious thing. I dated people before Zechs," she confessed. "But when I saw him..." Her eyes were soft with memory. "It was like someone had shot me."

"Okay, that's the thing," Sally waved her spoon around. "When I saw Wufei I -did not- instantly fall in love with him! So why am I acting like a twit now?"

Noin laughed. "It might be because he was fifteen when you first met and you didn't think of him in... er... -that- way then?" Her expression grew serious. "Sally, when was it that you really became aware of him, as a man, not a boy?"

Sally leaned on her elbows and ate another spoonful of ice cream. "Hmmm... Well, I think it was about six months ago...

-------Six months earlier: China--------

"I still don't know why you dragged me along to this." Wufei grumbled as Sally pulled into the carpark.

"Because you played a part in getting rid of Colonel Bund and Peter Ling remembers you." Sally told him as she parked the car. "And he wants to meet with you again."

"I hardly know the man." Wufei said as he got out of the car. "This celebration doesn't mean anything to -me-!"

Sally ignored him and waved enthusiastically at the balding man running over to meet them.

"Major Sally!" Peter Ling beamed at her and held out his hands. "I'm so glad that you could make it!"

Sally clasped his hands. "I'm happy to be here, my friend, you are looking well." She said warmly.

"And you looked lovely." Peter complimented her. He looked over at Wufei with a puzzled expression and then his eyes widened. "You are Chang Wufei?" He asked.

Wufei bowed curtly and Peter smiled.

"I barely recognized you. There's not much of the boy I remember in this young man I see before me. Time matures us all... you were fifteen when we fought Bund, correct?"

"Yes." Wufei answered, shifting a little uncomfortably.

"Then you must be twenty now?"

"Last week was my birthdate." Wufei told him and Sally's eyes widened.

Peter nodded and smiled at Sally. "It must be good, Major Sally, working with a man such as Wufei."
 

"Huh? Oh... yes, it's certainly not... dull..." Sally answered absently, her eyes fixed on Wufei.

Peter told them to follow him and led them across the tarmac towards his house. As they walked, Sally leaned over to Wufei.

"You never told me it was your birthday!" She whispered to him.

Wufei looked at her. "I didn't have to. Besides, you would have just organized some foolish celebration for something that isn't important anyway." He turned his attention away from her.

"I..." Sally paused and received her second surprise for the day as she noticed something else she hadn't really noted before. She no longer looked down on Wufei; he was now on eye level with her! She blinked and shook her head as Peter's words trickled through her mind. Time -had- matured Wufei, considerably. She glanced sideways at him. How had it escaped her notice that he was no longer the boy she had met? He was a man now, on an equal footing with her in height and he was handsome and... her heart did a curious double flip.

Oh dear.

----------

"And ever since then," Sally concluded. "I find myself regarding him as..."

"A highly desirable man?" Noin inquired mischievously.

Sally flushed and fiddled with her spoon. "Uh... yeah." She admitted. "But it's not just that." She defended herself. "The fact that he's physically attractive is just an added bonus on top of all the other things I see in him."

Noin smirked. "You know what, Sal?" She said. "I think you've been in love with Wufei for a lot longer than you think!"

Sally raised an eyebrow. "Oh really?"

"I think you fell for him a while ago, but you suppressed it because he was younger. Now you're aware that there's not that much of an age gap, four years isn't much really, and it certainly doesn't seem so far when he's twenty and you're twenty-four! Plus, you worked so closely with him that you didn't really notice his... maturing... until it was pointed out to you," Noin leaned back in her chair. "And that's why you're getting all messed up, because your feelings are all bubbling up!"

"Uh-huh." Sally folded her arms. "So that's your opinion is it, Doctor Noin?"

Noin nodded. "But why can't you tell Wufei how you feel?" She asked. "If he kissed you that night and he wasn't drunk or thought you were someone else, then obviously he has feelings for you!"

Sally looked away. "I-I can't tell him." She said. "Not before he -tells- me how he feels!"

Noin groaned. "Saaallyy! Honestly, you two are like brick walls! Neither of you is going to make a move until the other one cracks! You, because of his views on woman, and him, because he doesn't want to be beaten by a woman!"

Sally's cheeks went pink. "It's not just that..." She said slowly. "I mean... there's another thing that bothers me..."

Noin sighed and leaned forward. "Okay, who is she and what is she doing to make you jealous?"

Sally stared at her. "How did you...?" She shook her head. "Her name is Amanda Li and she's just... oh, she thinks Wufei's wonderful and makes up to him -all- the time!" Sally looked at her hands. "I even teased him about her crush on him, he wasn't even aware of it before!" She grimaced at her own foolishness.

Noin frowned. "She's Une's new secretary, right?"

Sally nodded. "She's tiny, pretty and full-blood Chinese." She said glumly. "Not a tall mongrel like me. She's closer to Wufei's ideal woman - sweet, shy and eager to please."

Noin thumped the table. "You really think the fact that she's full Chinese and you're not -matters-?" She asked incredulously. "That's ridiculous!" Her eyes narrowed. "I think you're just making up excuses, Sally Po, because you're -scared-!"

Sally stared at her friend. "Wh...AT?!"

"You heard me." Noin pressed on despite Sally's angry look. "You're scared of telling Wufei that you love him. You're feeling all mixed-up and it frightens you because you don't know how to handle the situation! And heaven forbid that the great Sally Po admit that she's in a bad situation! You're using Amanda as an excuse to back away..."

"I think I've heard enough!" snapped Sally; her blue eyes flashed fire. "I am NOT scared!" She cried and stormed out of the ice cream parlour, the wide eyes of the patrons following her.

Noin bit her lip. "Oops, looks like I pushed her a bit too hard." She muttered. Getting up, she flung some cash on the table to pay for their sundaes and took off after Sally.

After searching the mall, Noin found Sally standing outside a clothing store staring blankly at the dresses in the window. Noin came up beside Sally and saw that her friend was looking absently at a pink balldress with puffed sleeves.

"I don't think so, Sal." Noin said. "Pink and puffed sleeves isn't really you."

Sally blinked and then laughed. "I wasn't planning on buying that monstrosity!" She said.

"I know." Noin put a hand on Sally's shoulder. "Look, I'm sorry about what I said back there..."

"No, don't be." Sally smiled at her. "I -can't- tell him how I feel, not yet, not while I feel so unsure."

"What are you going to do?" Noin asked.

Sally looked determined. "Get his wall to crack first." She said.

***

He was walking through the snow searching urgently for her. Then he saw it... drops of bright, red, fresh blood staining the snow. He called her name and started to run, following the blood trail until he found her. She was lying against a snow bank, her blond hair loose around her shoulders. Her skin was almost as white as the snow and her blue eyes wide with pain. There was blood trickling down her arm and pooling on the snow. He hurried towards her and reached out to hold her... to stop the blood...

"Ah!" Wufei jerked out of the nightmare and pulled himself upright. He stared at the wall and listened to the rasp of his own rapid breathing. A cold sweat covered his skin and he shivered. Taking a deep breath Wufei composed himself and wiped his face, thankful that he was alone in the office. Once again this dream... this nightmare that had been haunting him for the past week had attacked him.

Wufei pushed himself to his feet and closed his laptop. His nights of disturbed sleep were beginning to take their toll he realized. After all, it was not common for him to fall asleep over his work! If Sally had seen him...

His jaw tightened as he thought about his partner. Lately things had become tense between them. Sally's usual good humour and patience seemed to have deserted her, to the point where she was now starting to snap at him. Wufei recalled her anger when he commented that it was unprofessional for her to take a long lunch with Lucrezia Noin-Peacecraft while they were in the middle of a mission. His ears were still ringing slightly from her furious tirade.

"Damned woman!" Wufei muttered angrily to himself, but he was uncomfortably aware that it was possible that Sally's behaviour was partly his fault. His own mind was in such a turmoil that he was also snapping and snarling at her and their working relationship was starting to crack around the edges.

Everything seemed to point towards the night he and Sally had spent in the mountain cabin over a week ago. When he woke that morning, holding Sally in his arms, he remembered kissing her as she slept and his initial reaction was one of alarm. He was unsure about his next move and decided to remain silent on the issue for a while, after all, Sally wouldn't know any better, right? A few days reflection would prepare him for his next move and all could be confessed to later.

Then the nightmare began to interrupt his sleep and he just couldn't broach the subject to her, not yet.

"Argh!" Wufei punched the table. "I don't have time to be distracted by this! It's weak! I -must- focus on the job!"

Grabbing his jacket he exited the office and strode quickly down the corridors. Some outdoor activity would clear his mind...

"Mr Wufei?" A clear female voice brought him to a halt and he turned.

Amanda Li stood in front of him; she was smiling shyly and holding a cloth-wrapped bundle. "Good afternoon, Mr Wufei." She said sweetly.

He nodded briefly to her. "Miss Li."

She blushed slightly. "I... er... I hope you don't think me too bold, but I... I made too much for lunch and I... thought you might like the extra." She bowed a little and held out the bundle.

Wordlessly he took it and she blushed even harder.

"Please excuse me," she bowed again. "I do hope you like it!" She turned and ran daintily back down the corridor.

Wufei blinked. "What was all that about?" He wondered. He continued down the corridor and into the HQ shooting range. He picked up a couple of guns from the man on duty and went in one of the booths. He then unwrapped the bundle and found himself looking at a lacquer box containing a variety of Chinese delicacies. He frowned and tried one.

"Hmmm... not bad." He muttered munching on it. He re-wrapped the bundle and put it aside. Picking up the gun he loaded it and set up the target. As he put the earmuffs on he reflected that Sally had never, for as long as he had known her, willingly cooked him a meal. "Hn. She could take some lessons from Miss Li on feminine behaviour." He said to himself. "They are such polar opposites!"

The idea of Sally in Amanda Li's frilly outfits and being all shy and clingy made Wufei smile. He was also very glad that Sally wasn't with him at this moment. She would not appreciate being compared in such a way!

Pushing Sally and all other concerns out of his mind, Wufei narrowed his eyes and focused on the target in front of him. He raised the gun and began to shoot.

***
The next day:

Une jumped slightly as Sally burst into her office and slammed the door.

"Uh... Sally, I'm glad you could make it." She said a little nervously as she took note of the stormy expression on Sally's face. "Where is..."

"The great Mr Chang Wufei is playing hero!" Sally snapped. "Amanda needed help changing her tire and only..." She mimicked Amanda's breathless voice. "Mr Wufei could help because he's so -wonderful-!"

"Amanda said that?" Une asked doubtfully.

"Not in so many words," growled Sally. "But the gist of it was along those lines."

Une pursed her lips. "Right..." she said slowly. "Anyway, the reason I wanted to talk to you both is that I've brought someone else in to help with the mission."

Sally took a few deep breaths and calmed herself. "Someone else?" She asked. "Another Preventer?"

"In a way, he's on call." Une smiled. "You can come in now." She called.

The door to Une's other office opened and a familiar figure walked through the door. Sally's eyes widened a fraction.

"Heero Yuy?" She stared at the former pilot of Gundam Wing Zero.

Heero nodded to her. "Hello Sally," he said in his quiet, intense voice. "I understand that some of Treize's old followers are causing trouble."

"Yes," said Sally. Her mind shunted aside her anger and her surprise and clicked over into work mode. "They're small in number, but they've been stockpiling some fairly heavy armaments, including the remains of some mobile suits."

"So that's what we have to neutralize?" Heero asked.

Sally nodded. "Wufei and I have been working on the best way to go in, but..." She paused as she realized how many of her and Wufei's working sessions ended in some sort of personal argument. Oh... all of them. "We haven't made much progress."

"Which is why I brought in Heero." Une said. "I felt he could bring a fresh perspective to the problem."

Sally looked sharply at the other woman. How much of the turmoil and tension between her and Wufei could Une actually see? But Sally couldn't read anything in Une's enigmatic expression and turned back to Heero.

"It will be good to work with you again Heero." She said. Then, surprising herself as well as Heero, she went over to him and hugged him. "And it's good to see you too!"

Wufei opened the door and walked inside, just in time to see Sally hug Heero. On top of his already irritated frame of mind this didn't make him feel any better. He shut the door with a bang causing the others to look in his direction.

"Ah Wufei," Une smiled at him. "I trust all is well?"

Wufei nodded curtly, his eyes still on Sally and Heero. "What are you doing here, Yuy?" He asked.

"I was asked." Heero replied, frowning at Wufei's angry tone.

Une quickly explained and Wufei frowned. "Are you implying that we haven't been doing our job?"

"Une said no such thing!" Sally said sharply. "But I agree with her, we could use a fresh eye on the plans. After all," she said acidly. "It's not as if they're very far along!"

Wufei clenched his fists. "And whose fault is that?" He demanded angrily. "You are the one who..."

"Enough!" Une slammed her hands on the table. "Wufei, Sally, -please-! We have a job to do, and I expect it to be completed within the agreed timeframe!"

There was a long silence. Heero glanced at Sally and Wufei's tense and angry faces. A gleam of understanding entered his eyes and he shook his head slightly. No one noticed Heero, Une was busy glaring at Wufei and Sally, Wufei was glaring at Une and Sally was staring at the wall.

Finally Sally nodded stiffly. "Don't worry Une, everything will be completed according to schedule." She avoided Wufei's eyes, which were now fixed on her and swallowed against the lump in her throat.

Despite her conversation with Noin, things between her and Wufei were getting worse not better. How was it that everything seemed to be falling apart?

***

"So, their defenses are very strong in these four areas?" Heero asked pointing at the digital map showing the mountain base of the intended target.

"Yes," said Sally, leaning on the table. "But they've neglected to secure this area that overlooks the South side. We discovered this..." Sally paused briefly and cleared her throat. "When Wufei and I did our first reconnaissance of the area."

"Which makes it the most logical place to start from." Heero murmured. He looked at Sally and noticed the unhappy look in her eyes.

"Sally..." He hesitated. "Sally, is there a problem between you and Wufei?"

Sally blinked. "Heero, are you asking me a -personal- question?" She asked incredulously.

Heero nodded.

"Alright, who are you and what have you done with the real Heero Yuy?" Sally demanded. "You -never- ask personal questions!"

Heero shrugged. "If your personal life is going to interfere with your ability to carry out the mission, then I need to know." He said quietly.

Sally flushed slightly. "Um... yes, of course." She sighed heavily. She got to her feet and went over to the window and looked out at the gray sky for a while. "It's true that things between Wufei and I have been a bit strained lately," she admitted. "But we're both professionals, it won't interfere with our work!"

Heero said nothing and Sally turned back to face him. "Heero, please, this is really something that Wufei and I need to sort out for ourselves. I appreciate your concern, but..."

"I understand." Heero got up and joined her. "You realize that I had to ask."

"Yes." Sally smiled. "Well, hopefully this whole thing will be over by the end of tomorrow and you can see Relena as the President's ball this Friday."

Heero shrugged. "She did mention the possibility that we might meet up there." He said. "I understand that Zechs and Noin are attending as well?"

"Yes, along with Une and various other important figures in the World Nation government," said Sally.

"And yourself?"

Sally shook her head. "I never attend those sort of functions." She told him. "Neither does Wufei, unless we're in an official capacity. I really don't feel comfortable at these fancy affairs!"

"No wonder, as it would require you to be a woman rather than a soldier." Wufei spoke from the doorway.

They both turned to look at him. He was leaning against the wall, a mocking expression on his face. Sally frowned. "Are you here for any particular reason?" She asked him curtly. "Or did you just come by to make insulting personal remarks?"

"I only tell the truth." Wufei snapped. He looked at Heero. "So, have you worked out a strategy session, Yuy? Or did the party talk distract you!"

Sally's eyes flashed. "Wufei!" She cried. "You..."

"The south side is the best point for an attack." Heero interrupted her. "However, sending in another team at a different location also opens up further possibilities."

Sally and Wufei broke off their mutual glaring and looked at Heero.

"What?" Sally asked.

"Where?" Wufei queried.

Heero's fingers flew over the computer keyboard and he brought up a simple plan on screen. Sally and Wufei both looked over his shoulder.

"I see what you mean," said Sally eagerly. "If we do that..."

"The other team serves as both distraction and back-up." Wufei finished for her. He nodded slowly. "That does look to be a stable plan, Yuy."

"Perhaps we could also..." Sally leaned forward and made some adjustments. "Then we're closer to the mobile suits."

"Yes," Wufei agreed. "Which means that Heero and I should take the lead for that team..."

"And I'll take the other." Sally's eyes met Wufei's and her expression lightened.

"Of course." Wufei agreed and the tense lines around his eyes and mouth relaxed somewhat.

Heero glanced up at the two Preventers and hid a smile.

Throughout the afternoon the three worked on their strategy. Wufei and Sally were not always totally in accord, but they refrained from arguing and the atmosphere between them was noticeable lighter when they and Heero reported to Lady Une. Sally explained the plan while Heero and Wufei added any extra information.

"By following this," said Sally. "We should be able to get in relatively quickly and with the minimum amount of confrontation."

"The timing is such that we should catch them off-guard." Wufei expanded. "Heero 'leaked' some information about the location of another savable mobile suit, the reports from our sources indicate that they've taken the bait and will be sending out some troops to obtain the suit."

"As far as we can tell," Sally added. "They still believe their main base to be undetected."

Une smiled. "That sounds good." She said.

"Thank Heero," Sally laid a hand on Heero's shoulder and smiled fondly at him. "He came up with most of this!"

Wufei's eyes narrowed slightly. He hadn't really thought about how close Sally was to Heero until today, of course he told himself that it was really of no concern to him, but... He scowled and folded his arms, letting out a heavy breath.

Une glanced over at him. "Is there a problem, Wufei?"

"No." He said abruptly. "I agree with the plan." He ignored Sally's puzzled and concerned look.

"Good." Une walked back behind her desk and faced them her expression grave. "I realize that it has been a long time since you've all faced a problem like this one. Most of the Preventers' earlier work has dealt with less experienced groups. However, despite the skills of the people in this small army, I ask you to try, at all costs, to avoid as much loss of life as possible. Your main objectives are their weapons cache and the two mobile suits that they are rebuilding."

Sally looked at Heero and Wufei, they both nodded and she met Une's eyes. "The Preventers have always worked to achieve the goals of peace with as little blood shed as possible, Une. We aren't going to stop that now."

Une inclined her head. "Of course not." She agreed. "Now, get some rest, all of you. Tomorrow's start will be an early one. Uh... Sally, do you have a minute though? I'd like to speak to you privately."

Sally paused. "Sure."

They waited until the men had left, then Une came around to face Sally. There was a puzzled expression in her brown eyes. "It appears that the tension between you and Wufei disappeared tonight." Une said bluntly.

Sally took a deep breath. "Ah... you noticed."

Une lifted an eyebrow. "I work very closely with the two of you," she said. "So of course I notice when the chill between you resembles an ice age!"

"Oh dear!" Sally laughed. "Has it really been that bad?"

"Only to those who know you both and care about your welfare." Une frowned. "Sally, you are one of the most practical, level-headed women I know. It's not like you to get so... flustered about -anything-!"

Sally looked away from her and sighed. "I know," she admitted. "And I don't like feeling like this, believe me, I just don't know how to stop it." She met Une's eyes again. "But don't worry about the mission, Une. Wufei and I will perform our duty to the Preventers without any problems."

"It's not the mission I'm most concerned with," said Une. "I don't want to see you and Wufei falling apart personally -or- professionally." She bit her lip. "Sally, if things do come to a head... well, there are more Preventers now. I can always arrange for you and Wufei to work with different people."

Wide-eyed, Sally stared at her. She tried to imagine working alongside anyone but Wufei and found the idea preposterous. She shook her head.

"No, no. I don't think that's necessary." She said calmly. "And besides, I don't think there's another person who could put up with Wufei's personality!" She winked at Une and turned towards the door. "Thank you, Une... for your concern, but we'll be fine, I'm sure of it!"

Une smiled back at her. "Well... good luck then!" She called after Sally.

Sally threw a grin over her shoulder. "I'll see you tomorrow. After the completion of a successful mission!"

***

Snow.

Blood.

Sally.

Blood... too much... staining the snow...

Wufei twisted in his bed and his eyes opened. He sat up and looked at his hands in the dim light of dawn. They were shaking and he was soaked in a cold sweat, his blankets twisted around his legs. He took a deep, shuddering breath and pushed his damp hair away from his face.

"Damnit..." He whispered in the silence of his bedroom. "Why now? Why that dream?"

He looked at the bedside clock. It was 5.45am, in less than three hours the mission would begin. Lying back down in bed and Wufei tried to calm his ragged breathing and his rapid heartbeat. Soon he felt calm enough to rise, wash and dress, but he still felt uneasy. Was the dream a premonition? Was Sally going to be badly hurt during the mission?

Wufei wondered if he should try and tell her to stay behind and then laughed shortly at this delusion.

"Such a stubborn woman," He grumbled to himself. "She'll never listen to sensible advice!"

He abruptly pulled open the door to his apartment and almost walked straight into Amanda Li who was hesitating outside. Wufei blinked at her.

"-What- are you doing here?" He demanded.

Amanda blushed. "Mr Wufei... I know you're going on a mission today," she said timidly. "And I was just coming to wish you good luck."

Wufei lifted an eyebrow. "Ah... er... right."

"And to say that I hope you take care." Amanda peeped up at him through her lashes. "I would be very sad if you got hurt."

Wufei stared at her. There wasn't really much he could say to this, he hadn't realized that her 'crush' was so intense. His train of thought was abruptly cut off as Amanda kissed him on the cheek.

She broke off the kiss before he could do anything except stand there in shock. "I'm so sorry!" She cried. "I don't know -what- came over me!" She bowed hastily and ran away.

Wufei opened his mouth, but no sound came out. To say he was befuddled was putting it mildly. He stared after Amanda for a while longer and then shook himself and closed his apartment door. "It didn't mean anything," he told himself as he walked down the corridor. "She's a woman, of course she will get emotional."

He went down the stairs and paused when he heard music coming from the partially opened door of the apartment gym. He frowned and checked his watch, 6.15. He only knew one other person beside himself who would be exercising at this time on a Sunday morning.

For a sickening moment the dream flashed through his mind, but then it was replaced by Amanda's kiss. Wufei scowled and quietly opened the door to the gym and looked around the door.

Sally was working through a complicated kata. She was concentrating so deeply that she didn't notice Wufei. He watched her, admiring the grace and power of her movements and his mind idly began to compare her to Amanda Li. At first the comparison didn't appear to favour Sally in any way.

Sally would never look at him with doe-eyes like Amanda did. She wouldn't make him lunch or flutter timidly around him. Sally dressed practically in comfortable, hardwearing clothes. She preferred trousers to skirts and he had never seen her in a dress. Amanda floated around in pretty, fashionable feminine clothes and a haze of floral perfume. Sally's only concession to femininity was her red lipstick and stud earrings.

But, Wufei realized, Amanda's cloying, clinging ways - as feminine as they might be - left him cold. She was not the woman he wanted by his side. No, he wanted someone strong and intelligent, whom he could trust with his life and who understood him. Someone like the frustrating, lovely, sneaky, graceful, annoying yet charming woman he was now looking at.

Wufei's eyes widened at his thoughts and he bowed his head. Could it be that I... He recalled the feelings he had realized during that night in the mountain cabin and mentally kicked himself. How could I be so foolish? Why have I been driving Sally away? Because of a dream? How idiotic!

Lifting his head, Wufei smiled at Sally's back. We'll talk after this mission is over, he decided, and I -will- tell her my feelings this time! After one last admiring look, he backed away and let the door shut silently.

***

The explosion sent a pillar of smoke and fire up into the clear blue sky and scattered debris across the snow.

"That's the last mobile suit!" Wufei called from his position overlooking the base to Heero who was hurrying up the slope to meet him.

Heero nodded "Hai. I just got a communiqué from Une, the group that went out after the supposed mobile suit have been ambushed and detained." He reported.

Wufei smiled in satisfaction. "And we have destroyed the weapons here and detained the majority of the soldiers here."

"What's the body count?"

"Five on their side so far." Wufei frowned. "I don't think there was anyone near the munitions or the mobile suits when they blew, but that's too early to tell. Among the dead is one of the three leaders."

"No word on the other two?" Heero asked pulling out his laptop and bringing up photos of the two missing leaders.

Wufei looked at the pictures and shook his head. "No, they weren't among the people I've seen." He said.

"I saw them!"

They turned and saw a young man behind them. He was panting slightly and his face was smudged with dirt. He saluted Wufei. "Sir, I saw those men..." He began.

Wufei interrupted him. "You were in Major Po's team, weren't you?" He asked an urgent catch in his voice. "Where is she?"

The young man swallowed. "Our team encountered those men, Major Po was with us. A member of our team got shot and she ordered us to get him to safety while she held them off. The last I saw she was moving towards the North exit of the base with those guys in pursuit." He met Wufei's eyes. "I came to report this to you straight away, sir."

Wufei nodded his approval as he tried to hide the anxiety inside him. "I'm going to look for her." He said to Heero.

Heero stood up. "I'll come," he checked his gun. "Just in case."

They followed the soldier's directions and slid down the slope through the snow. Wufei's pace quickened at every step and he fought against a rising tide of fear for Sally's safety. He told himself again and again that Sally was a soldier who was capable of holding her own against two men. However, his nightmare kept nagging at his mind beating down his rational thoughts.

"There!" Heero pointed to something bright on the snow.

Wufei looked down. His breath caught in his throat.

There was blood on the snow.

He trembled slightly. "No..." He murmured. "No, it -can't- be!" Ignoring Heero's curious look he followed the bloody trail behind a snow bank.

There was more blood... pools of it.

And Sally.

He looked into her wide blue eyes.

"I'm sorry," she said in a shaking voice. "One of them caught me on the arm, and they were coming for me. I tried to aim for their legs, but things got a bit confused..."

Wufei looked at the men lying near her. One lay on his back, a bloody hole piercing his chest. The other was on his front and the blood glistened in a pool around his face. Sally had her back to a snow bank. Her blond hair had partially loosened from the twists and there was blood on the ends. Her gun lay on the ground beside her and she was holding her upper left arm, blood oozing sluggishly between her fingers. Wufei's jaw clenched and he lifted his eyes to her pale face.

Heero brushed by him and knelt by Sally to look at her injury. Sally hardly noticed him, she was looking up at Wufei.

"I didn't mean to kill them." She said softly, misreading his expression. "I... ah!" She cried out involuntarily as Heero pried her fingers away from the wound.

Her cry stung Wufei. He was relieved that she was alive, but at the same time anger welled up inside of him. How could she have been so foolish? Leading him to think that she was... that she could have been... that he might have lost... He wanted to shake her, hug her, yell at her, kiss her and a dozen other things. Unwilling to let Heero witness the feelings welling up inside of him, he turned away and spoke curtly. "You were careless. Now, we should go. There is no point in staying here longer than necessary." He walked quickly away, his fists clenched.

Sally's eyes followed him. "Wufei... I..."

Heero said nothing, but finished patching up her wound and helped her to her feet. "You did what you had to," he said. "Wufei knows that too."

Sally didn't answer him. She stared after Wufei and her expression changed from shocked surprise to anger.

"_Careless_?"

***

Walking at a brisk pace, Wufei walked down the corridors of Preventer HQ. He had only just returned and should have been feeling satisfaction over the success of the mission, but he didn't feel pleased at all. During the return journey Wufei was uncomfortably aware of how abrupt he had been towards Sally. He shouldn't have spoken to her in such a way when she was so obviously in shock, he told himself feeling the pangs of guilt strike him.

Anxious to make some amends Wufei searched the complex for Sally who had returned in a different transport. Just as he was about to enter the main office, her voice rang out behind him.

"Chang Wufei!"

She doesn't sound too happy, Wufei thought as he halted, in fact, she sounds downright furious. Cautiously he turned around and found himself facing a stormy-eyed woman who stood, arms folded, in the corridor with Heero behind her.

Wufei took a deep breath. "I..." he began.

"You cold, arrogant BASTARD!" Sally cried interrupting him. "I can't BELIEVE that you _said_ that! After all these years of working together I thought that the least I merited was a small inquiry after my welfare, but obviously I was deluding myself!!"

"Listen to me, I..."

"NO! I _won't_ listen!" Sally slammed her fist against the wall causing Heero to blink. "For the past two weeks you've done your best to alienate me... well, _congratulations_, it WORKED!"

Wufei growled in frustration. "Damnit, Woman! Will you be silent and listen to me!"

Sally's eyes flashed blue fire. "You insult me and you don't use my name either! Do you _really_ think that that will make me listen to you?! You... misogynistic cretin!"

"And you are such a _stubborn_ woman!" Wufei retorted as he was goaded beyond reason. "If you want tea and sympathy go and have another long lunch with your dear friend Noin! I don't pander to _anyone_, no matter _who_ they are!"

"I feel sorry for you," Sally snapped at him. "You're going to die a lonely man! Unwanted, unloved and NOT MISSED!!!"

"If that's the way you feel then that's _fine_ by me!"

"I'm so _happy_ you feel that way!"

"Good!"

"Good!!"

"Fine!"

"Fine!!"

They glared at each other for a while, then with a snort of disgust, Sally turned away and stormed back down the corridor.

Wufei breathed rapidly, his jaw clenched. "That... _woman_!" He choked through gritted teeth. "Who does she..." He paused as his rage began to die and he recalled his original intentions. "Damn!"

"Go after her."

Wufei blinked and turned to face Heero. He had forgotten that the other man had witnessed the entire exchange. "Yuy?"

"Go after her." Heero repeated. "You'll regret it if you leave things like this."

***

Sally walked rapidly, a knot of tension in her stomach. She gulped against the urge to cry and bolted inside her apartment, slamming the door and locking it behind her. She began to pace her living room. By now the tension had spread to her shoulders and her left arm twinged. Sniffing slightly, Sally massaged her neck and shoulders, trying to ease the muscles.

"Oh hell..." She bit her trembling lower lip and felt the tears prickling her eyelids. Taking deep breaths she rubbed her temples, trying to sedate her emotions. So intent was she on this, Sally failed to hear the soft click of the door as it was opened.

"Sally."

Sally stiffened and dropped her hands to her sides. With as much composure as was possible she turned around to see Wufei standing with his back to her closed front door.

"What are you doing here?" She demanded. "I would have thought that I was the _last_ person you wanted to see! I certainly would prefer NOT to have you here!" Her eyes narrowed. "How did you get in anyway?"

Wufei held up a key. "You gave this to me when we first moved into this block." He said.

"Oh..." Sally hugged her torso. "Well, that was not one of my better ideas." She looked challengingly at him. "Looks like I was 'careless' again!" Sally turned away from him and some angry tears slid down her face. "Go _away_, Wufei." She choked. "I really don't want to talk to you right now!"

Behind her Wufei made an exasperated sound and lunged forward. He caught Sally's elbow and swung her around to face him. "I'm not going to end the conversation in this manner!" He said firmly, glaring at her.

She glared back, the anger rolling over her in waves. "Chang Wufei, I just don't care anymore!" She cried. "Today was -it-! I'm not going to put up with your attitude anymore!" She tried to pull free, but he gripped her arm tightly and grabbed her free arm, forcing her to face him.

"Listen, Woman!" He snarled. "I'm trying to -apologize- here!"

Sally froze and stared at him. "What?"

Wufei took a deep breath and pushed aside his anger. It was time to face her and explain, to be more open with her than he ever had been... because she deserved it.

"I'm sorry," he said roughly. "I shouldn't have spoken to you like I did. You _weren't_ careless, it was just that I... I was..." he tried to tell her the feelings that had been swirling through him at the time. "I didn't know what to do." He admitted. "I thought that you had been... badly hurt and when I saw that you were alright..."

"You were worried about me?" Sally asked as amazement crept over her anger.

Wufei nodded. "For a brief moment I thought I had lost you," he said quietly. "And that... frightened me." He gave her a strangely gentle look that made Sally's eyes widen. She had never seen his eyes so soft.

"So..." she breathed. "You were angry because... I see..." a small smile crept over her lips. "Wufei, I didn't realize..."

Wufei shook his head "I should have told you," he interrupted her. "But ever since the night we spent together in that cabin I've been thinking about you and me alot."

"Wufei! You waited this long to _say_ that to me? Why didn't you say anything after that night in the cabin?!" Sally demanded. "Especially after you _kissed_ me!"

Wufei's eyes widened. "You were _awake_?!" He cried incredulously.

All traces of her anger vanished at that point and Sally laughed softly. "Yes, I was awake." She admitted.

Wufei growled in the back of his throat. "Infuriating woman! And you have the nerve to accuse _me_ of taking my time! _You_ could have said something!" He said in exasperation.

Sally smirked. "And steal your thunder?" She teased gently. "_Never_!"

Wufei's eyes narrowed. "Don't mock me..." He realized he was still holding her arms and that she was so very close to him. His gaze intensified as he looked over her delicate face and lingered on her curving red lips. A strange feeling ran through him causing his breath to quicken again... but not in anger...

Sally's eyes widened at the focused expression on Wufei's face. Was she deluding herself, or was that _desire_ in his black eyes? "Wufei..."

Wufei's mouth came down on hers, cutting her off, and he pressed her against the cold wall. Sally gasped under the assault of her lips and the feel of his lean, muscular body pressing against her. His hands moved up her arms, kneading the flesh beneath her clothes while avoiding her injury. Her own passions roused Sally's hands crept up his chest and gripped his clothing, pulling him even closer. His kiss deepened and she responded closing her eyes and letting the sensation run through her. Moving his lips to her neck, Wufei's fingers crept over her shoulders, caressing her in a way that made her shiver, then moving on to her hair. He gently tugged off the ties on her braids and loosened the blond tresses. Bringing his mouth back to hers he kissed her delicately while running teasing fingers through her hair. Sally whimpered softly. Her skin felt hot and was so responsive to his touch. She brought her hands up behind his neck and rubbed the smooth skin. He brushed his lips along her jaw while his hands slipped down to the base of her throat and deftly removed her tie. He unbuttoned her shirt until he revealed the swell of her breasts. Putting his hands on her slim waist, Wufei bent and kissed the smooth skin of Sally's breasts. Her eyes widened. "Wu... Wufei..."

He lifted his head and looked at her. Sally tilted her head and pulled his head towards her. They kissed again and then broke apart, gasping at the force of the passion they had unleashed on each other. Reason returned and for a while they remained slightly apart, Sally's hands on his shoulders, Wufei's hands clasped around her waist. Blue eyes met black eyes in a searching stare.

Sally sniffled slightly, still feeling the effects of her angry tears only a few minutes before.

"I'm sorry." They both said and the tension was broken. Sally giggled and ducked her head, and Wufei smiled. However, his smile turned serious and he put one hand under her chin and push her face back up to face him.

"Sally," He said quietly. "I shouldn't have pushed you away after that night. I should have told you how I felt, no matter how uncertain I was."

Sally swallowed. "Wufei..."

He put a finger on her lips. "I meant to say something later," he admitted. "But, then I had a dream..."

"A -dream-?" Sally was puzzled. "How could that affect anything?"

"Because it was about you. I saw you lying in the snow... bleeding to death." Wufei shook his head. "And it reminded me of the pain that losing someone brings. I was... wary... of being hurt again. And I didn't want to see someone I cared about get hurt again because of me."

Sally smiled gently as she finally understood his behaviour of the past week. "No wonder you wigged out when you saw me sitting in the snow with blood all around me." She pushed aside his fingers and lightly kissed him on the lips. "You're so superstitious Wufei!"

He smiled wryly. "Perhaps." His fingers reached up and began caressing her loosened hair, twining in the thick honey-coloured strands. Sally shivered at his touch and began to fiddle with his collar button in an almost absent-minded fashion.

"It looks like we've both been a bit foolish lately." She murmured.

"You're such a distraction, Woman." He grumbled his mouth close to her right ear. "How is a man supposed to do his job with you around."

Sally smiled and opened his collar. "You managed fine before."

Wufei's lips grazed her cheek. "Mmmm..." He noticed what she was doing. "Sally..." His voice trailed off as she slipped her hands inside his shirt. "W-what are you trying to do?"

She met his eyes. "What do you think?" She asked him challengingly. "You're not the only one who wants control here."

He quirked an eyebrow. "This is a competition?" A smile tugged at the edges of his mouth. "I didn't realize."

Sally undid the rest of the buttons on his shirt and ran her hands down his bare chest, enjoying the feel of his warm skin beneath her fingers. "Well, now you know." She said lightly.

Wufei captured her mouth with his and kissed her breathless before pulling back an inch. "Wo ai ni, Sally Po." He whispered.

Sally whimpered as he slowly pulled her shirt down, kissing her skin as he bared it. "Ahh... Wo ai ni Chang Wufei."

They began to move away from their position, heading inexorably for Sally's bedroom. Wufei removed her shirt with deft, gentle hands and discarded it on the floor. Sally ran her fingernails lightly down his back and touched his face with light kisses. He responded by nibbling at the tender flesh of her throat, sending tremors through her. By the time they entered the bedroom they were both bare to the waist and on the way towards the bed shoes were quickly discarded. They paused and lingered for a while simply kissing and caressing the bared skin sending ripples of delightful pleasure through each other. Kissing Sally firmly, Wufei lifted her off her feet and deposited her on the bed and crouched over her. Sally pulled him towards her, running her fingers over his smooth chest - touching, stroking and massaging the hard muscles. Closing his eyes, Wufei made a purring sound of pleasure at her ministrations and Sally slid her hands lower and under the waistband of his trousers.

His eyes flew open and he pushed himself slightly away. "Sally..." He made a grab for her hands,

Sally batted his hand away. She unzipped his trousers and grinned at him. "Mine!" She whispered caressing him teasingly.

Wufei retaliated by undoing her trousers and after a brief, but exhilarating tussle, their final items of clothing were tossed to the floor. Wufei lightly caressed her body, his eyes taking in all of her slim form. "Beautiful." He murmured.

"Mmmhmmm..." Sally cast her eyes over him in an equally appreciative manner.

Wufei looked back up to her face and leaned over her until he was barely an inch away from her. "Are you sure?" He whispered, his breath warming her cheek.

Sally hooked one hand behind his neck. "Yes." She said huskily before she pulled him down and placed her mouth on his.

Wufei caught her up in his arms and responded making it the most passionate kiss since they'd begun. When they broke apart Wufei gently pushed Sally back down onto the bed and restarted his tender exploration of her body sending spasms of liquid fire through her. She laid her hands on his head and tugged gently at the tie on his hair, pulling the silky black strands free. Wufei moved back up and her hands slipped down to his shoulders as he dropped kisses on her torso. His hands gripped hers and brought them down to either side of her head as he leaned to kiss her mouth again and Sally arched her back, pressing herself against him. Wufei broke the kiss and squeezed her hands, his black eyes meeting hers. Sally smiled and drew him down again... and the last of the barriers between them vanished as they brought each other to a new height of pleasure.

***

A chink in the curtains let in a beam of early morning sun that fell directly on to Wufei's face. He muttered in his half-sleep and blinked, squinting against the light. He tried to shift his position when he became aware of the weight on his right shoulder and arm. Sleepily he turned his head and looked to see what it was and then he smiled.

Sally was snuggled against him, her head on his shoulder, her arm across his chest. She was smiling slightly in her sleep and her honey-blond hair tumbled over her bare shoulders. He shifted slightly, raising his body so that he was cradling her to him and brushed away the strands of hair from her face. Memories of last night trickled through his mind and he kissed her forehead.

Sally stirred and her eyes fluttered open. She looked at him in sleepy confusion at first and then in gentle satisfaction. "G'morning..." she murmured. "Sleep well?"

Wufei chuckled slightly. "For all that I _did_ sleep, yes."

Sally pressed her hands to his chest and grinned at him. "Are you complaining?"

Wufei stroked her jawline. "No."

"Good." Sally kissed his hand and twisted her head to look at the clock. "Hmm... 7am..." Her eyes wandered around the room and took in the scattered items of clothing on the floor. She looked back at Wufei, her expression a little apprehensive. "Wufei... did we do the right thing here?"

He sat up in the bed and gazed down at her. "It's a bit late to be asking that."

Sally laughed. "Yes, I guess you're right."

"I'm always right, Woman." Wufei stated and then, as she glared at him indignantly, he brought his lips close to her ear. "I meant what I said last night, Sally. I love you," he murmured. "Infuriating, stubborn woman that you are!"

Sally blinked away the happy tears that threatened to spill. "Wufei, you're such an arrogant man. Heaven knows why I love you, but I have no regrets about what happened!"

"Good," Wufei told her. He kissed the top of her head. "Because you're not escaping me now."

Sally smiled. "I'm not even going to try."

They lay in bed in silence for a while longer just enjoying each other's proximity. Then Sally propped herself up her elbows and looked intently at him. Wufei frowned. "What?" He asked.

"Well, I was wondering something."

"And that is...?"

"Do you have a nice suit?"

Wufei stared at her. "Eh? Why do you ask?"

"Because I think we should both go to the President's ball tonight."

Wufei blinked. "I thought you hated fancy functions," he said. There was a mischievous expression on her face that made him feel a little nervous. "Why do you want to go to this one?"

Sally hooked her arms around his neck. "Well, I thought it would be nice for us to go together, sort of like a first date!" She kissed his cheek and rubbed the back of his neck gently.

"Dinner and movie would be better, less public." Wufei grumbled, but he was softening towards the idea - mainly due to Sally's light caresses. He sighed in seeming irritation. "Oh _alright_, Woman! We'll go, if it makes _you_ happy!"

Sally buried her head in the hollow of his neck, hugging him tightly and hiding a triumphant smile. "It makes me very happy." She told him, her lips grazing his skin.

Wufei huffed. "Impossible woman." He grumbled, but the fingers lightly tracing the back of her neck belied his apparent bad temper.

***

Une almost collapsed in surprise when she saw Wufei walk through the ballroom doors. For a brief moment she thought there was some emergency that she had to attend to, but then he accepted a glass of champagne from a passing waiter and she relaxed. Besides, she belatedly realized, he was wearing a... a... tuxedo. Une blinked, she had never, _ever_ seen Wufei wearing a tuxedo. She watched him as he scanned the ballroom, briefly acknowledging Une when his eyes passed over her.

"Who's he looking for?" She wondered aloud. Heero made his way through the crowd to her and she pointed Wufei out to him. "Do you know why Wufei's here?"

Heero sipped his champagne and eyed the Chinese man who was now at the foot of the grand staircase. "No."

There was a muffled laugh behind them and they turned to see Zechs and Noin standing nearby. Noin's eyes fixed on Wufei and she was laughing behind her hands. Une raised an eyebrow. "I take it you know why he's attending, Lucrezia?"

Noin nodded. "And all I'm going to say is that it is all Sally's doing!"

Une looked thoughtful. "I see. Well that makes sense, as she and Wufei appeared to have patched up their differences when they reported to me this morning." A sly smile crossed her lips. "From the way Sally smiled I would hazard a guess that their relationship took a significant turn last night."

Noin smiled back at her. "You could be right," she agreed. "However, Sally wouldn't tell me much when I talked to her today."

At that point Relena Darlian Peacecraft descended the grand staircase. She paused beside Wufei and spoke briefly to him, he bowed, but then returned to his survey of the room. Relena crossed over to the others, a puzzled expression on her face. As Relena neared them the band started up a waltz. Noin looked at Zechs who smiled at his wife and taking her hand, he led her onto the dance floor, pausing to exchange pleasantries with his sister as they passed. Heero put down his champagne and was moving towards Relena when he stopped and stared. Une followed his gaze to the top of the grand staircase and her eyes widened.

***

Wufei frowned. She was late! He'd scanned the room five times now and closely observed all the newcomers, none of them was Sally. His frown deepened and he wondered if he would see better if he went up the stairs and looked down. Putting his hand on the banister he turned and glanced up. He noticed that there was a woman standing at the top of the stairs, her eyes on him. He was about to ignore her when he paused and examined her more closely. She smiled and he froze in place.

It was Sally. However, this was a different Sally from the one he was used to. She was elegantly dressed in a full length, sweeping strapless gown of midnight blue. A light spray of diamonds encircled her slender throat and her hair was caught up in a style that allowed some of her curls to drape across her bare shoulders.

Wufei remained speechless as she came down to meet him, her amused smile hovering on her lips.

"Well, Chang Wufei?" She asked him. "Is this 'feminine' enough?"

Wufei snapped out of his paralysis and bowed to her, his eyes on her face, telling her what he couldn't say. The music drifted across the ballroom and he held out his hand. "A dance?"

Sally placed her hand in his. "Certainly."

He swung her out onto the dance floor, her skirts billowing out as she moved gracefully with him. They held each other's gazes as they moved around the floor, oblivious to the smiles of their friends and barely aware of the other dancers.

"What are you trying to show me?" Wufei asked her eventually.

Sally tilted her head. "I just wanted you to see that despite being a soldier, I am still a woman who can look as fancy as any other." She told him with a small smile.

Wufei shook his head and tightened his grip on her waist. "Sally, you don't need to dress up to get my attention." He told her in a low voice.

Her eyes sparkled, but she made a sad face at him. "Oh? Have all my efforts been wasted then? I should have just turned up in a sack for all you care?"

Wufei shot her a vexed look. "Woman, are you trying to annoy me?" He pulled her closer. "I will have to keep a close eye on you tonight, so that no other man dances with you!"

Sally laughed. "So, you _do_ like the dress?"

Wufei squeezed her hand. "Stop fishing for compliments," he scolded her, then he smiled. "The dress is stunning, Sally, but I prefer the person inside it."

"Was that so hard to say?" Sally teased smiling delightedly at him.

Wufei sighed. "Such a stubborn woman." He muttered.

Sally gently touched his cheek. "Such an arrogant man." She retorted affectionately.

THE END

Authors notes: If anyone was curious about the music going through my head during Wufei and Sally's waltz, it was a song from the 'Shojo Kaumei Utena' movie called: 'Toki Ni Ai Wa' sung by Masami Okui.

Wo ai ni = I love you in Chinese.



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