This is a disclaimer. Please note the dis before claimer. As in, I make no claim. In other words, the characters in this work are not my own. I'd like to think the storyline at least somewhat original, any similarity to other works, fiction or non-fiction is entirely unintentional.
Eagle in Flight
The next morning started at 8:00, with Councilor Manisfeld knocking on the door and poking his head in. The Empath smiled as he felt sleepy contentment from five minds. "Good morning boys. It would be best if you got up now, classes with G begin at 10 and there's only one shower as I recall."
Quatre practically flew out of bed . . . until he tripped over the bed next to his where Wufei was sleeping. "That late already? We needed to be up an hour ago! I can't believe I slept in."
Manisfeld laughed, "It is somewhat normal, you felt relaxed and safe all together and so your minds drifted deeper into sleep. So, Sally is already up and has showered, why don't Quatre, Trowa and Wufei fight over first shower while Heero and Duo come with me to find breakfast."
"Hn, that seems reasonable. Come on Duo."
In the kitchen Manisfeld quickly realized he was in the way. Heero and Duo were displaying that unique quirk of the best Sentinel and Guide pairs by moving in perfect synchrony. No audible words past between them as they prepared an eclectic breakfast spread. Looking at it Manisfeld had no doubts that everyone's favorites had worked their way in. They seemed to having timing down to an art too, just as they began to pile dishes on the table Quatre and Trowa appeared with their hair still wet, and they finished as Wufei followed having taken the quickest shower on record. He looked around. "Is Sally still in her room?"
Heero cocked his head, "Yes she is. Working on her computer it sounds like. Why don't you go get her?"
"Works. Be right back."
Moments later he came back down the apartment's short hallway with Sally in tow. She looked at the breakfast spread, "Oooh, who let on that I love pancakes? Especially with cream cheese and blueberry jam?"
Duo smiled, "A little birdy told me."
"Right, sure. Thanks though, this is wonderful." She sat down, and the rest of the nascent clan followed her example. Soon it was just six friends eating breakfast together, and if sometimes food got passed without a word being said aloud, or dishes hovered the length of the table instead of being passed, no one cared. Except for Manisfeld, who having seen many new clans simply smiled. Even with the addition of a variable in Sally, this clan seemed to be pulling together just fine.
After breakfast there was the expected scramble as people grabbed last minute items and hunted for missing shoes. (No one was quite sure how Quatre's sneaker had wound up on top of the ceiling fan, but general consensus was that Duo or Wufei was to blame.) Once everyone was ready to go, a task which included Heero and Duo beating Wufei's recent record for fastest shower, they hurried their way across the campus to the clan meeting hall, where the classes were being held.
G met them at the door. "Welcome ladies and . . . well I don't see any gentlemen, so perhaps you brats are the others I was expecting. Come on in. This class will be working with you over the next four weeks to give you some idea of clan structure and dynamics. Well then, this way." He led them to a lounge at the far end of the right wing. "Now then, a lot of this you may already recognize in how you relate to each other, particularly you boys, with the possible exception of Duo. Manisfeld says you have a lot of the feel of a clan already, and that Duo seems to be fitting into the dynamics nicely. He also says you are at least receptive to Sally, but only time will tell if she is a good fit. Well then, let's get down to business."
When they finally broke for lunch, Duo felt like his head was going to explode. G had a way of stuffing your head full of exactly as much information as it could retain, and repeating it until the only way you could forget was a lobectomy. G was right, the relationships between Heero and his friends, the way he had just fit in with them, sinking into a predetermined role, they had a lot of clan dynamics working already. This afternoon they were supposed to engage in group activities to get a feel for how well Sally was fitting in. That said, he had no idea what sort of group activities girls engaged in. If it were just the five of them they would have gone to the gym and spotted each other or played some basketball or something. Ah well, they could discuss it over lunch. Speaking of which, "Hey, where are we going for lunch? Back to Heero's and my apartment? Or do you want to hit that neat grill outside the forth quadrant gym?"
"Sakura you mean?" Quatre asked, "That sounds good to me too actually. I really don't want to have to cook right now. My head feels like I've been banging it against a brick wall."
"Oh, I know what you mean," Sally moaned "And if Sakura is the Hibachi place I've heard so much about I'm all for it."
"That's the one." Heero grunted.
Wufei cut in. "Let's just go people. While we're there we can discuss what constitutes a group activity, and woman if you suggest a sleep over heads will roll."
"Hate to break it to you but we're already all 'sleeping over' at Heero's place. Just shut up and move, man." At this point Duo contemplated banging his aching head against a wall for real. Maybe if he was unconscious he could get some peace and quiet.
Heero seemed to pick up on his mood, as he sidled up to him and wrapped an arm around his waist. Leaning his head against Heero's shoulder, Duo moaned, "Just shoot me. I know Sally and Wufei like to bicker. I know it is part of their relationship. But right now, I could strangle them."
"I understand Mine. We all de-stress in our own ways, but I too wish Sally and Wufei's way was quieter. But then, perhaps some of it is that we don't quite have a read on Sally the way we do on Wufei, Trowa and Quatre. It is somewhat disconcerting, like a tooth that is not quite grown in, or a joint that is just slightly out of place."
"Mmm, yes. She feels like she could fit, but doesn't yet. As for the argument," Duo raised his head from Heero's shoulder, "Sally, Fei quit flirting already."
"Maxwell!" two voices cried, as Sally and Wufei blushed madly.
"Ah, see, peace and quiet at last." He was still smirking as they reached the restaurant and were seated. Lunch was fun, as they discussed various "Group activities" they could perform. Finally, for lack of a better option they decided to spend time playing card games, followed by a round of basketball. For future use they made a list of possible activities, which ranged from a day at the shooting range (Heero's choice), to an afternoon music session (Quatre's). They settled the tab and headed off, ignoring the presence of Manisfeld hovering in the background.
Late that evening they stumbled back to Heero and Duo's apartment from the gym, exhausted. They had made use of the gym showers to clean up, so all else was ignored as they tumbled into bed. It seemed their days would be very busy for the near future.
So it proved, as they were occupied from dawn to dusk in semi-structured activity for the next four weeks. It was interesting to be sure, and they were learning a lot, both in and out of G's class sessions. In truth, four weeks seemed to pass rather quickly, as they began to integrate. Unfortunately Sally, though they all liked her just wasn't integrating fully. So, at the end of the month, when they came before Lady Long and the Professors again they were forced to admit she wasn't working out.
"Sally is a wonderful person. I think if we spent a great deal more time together she could be integrated into our group. But as it stands . . . that isn't going to happen in less than a year. She just, doesn't click the way the others do."
"Yes. Looking at how quickly Duo fit in with us, compared to Sally I have to agree. It could be made to work, but she will never be an ideal fit. I am sorry I know this puts the clan activation date off."
"You should not be sorry it is my fault. I cannot help but feel that it is my own antagonistic relationship with Sally that keeps us from integrating her properly."
"That's not it Wufei, truly. Sally is great, but she isn't one of us. Not the way you are."
Lady Long looked at them as they spilled over each other. "Councilor Manisfeld, your opinion?"
"I agree that Sally Po is perhaps not as good a fit with them as originally hoped. I do not agree that it is because of anything they did or did not do, and I she does show enough compatibility that she might given time learn to mesh with them. The primary problem is that Heero, Duo, Trowa, Quatre and Wufei seem to be a complete clan in and of themselves. I truly do not feel they will ever have a perfect match with a sixth member. Therefore, my recommendation is that they forgo the traditional sixth member to form a clan of five. With that recommendation I add that I feel they are settled enough to be released into service under the supervision of a senior clan. I think we can expect great things from them."
"Thank you, Councilor Manisfeld. Sally, I am sorry dear. Councilor, will you please escort her out?"
After Sally had left, J looked at the five of them, "Well boys, we've watched you grow in your powers and in your friendship with one another. Now we are pleased to watch you obtain a milestone few are drawn to, but first we have one last thing to teach you."
G spoke, "We call this resonance link. It is a way clans join their minds and gifts for short periods of time to work as a cohesive unit. I will touch your minds now and show you how it is done, and then I want to watch you form the link for yourselves. Then you will truly be a clan, and we will second Councilor Manisfelds recommendation that you are ready to be in the field."
"So then," G looked at them, then spoke into all five of their minds simultaneously, 'It goes like this.' G showed them the steps, the subtle twist of will and mental shields, that would allow Quatre, Duo and Trowa to connect their minds into one glorious whole. 'You understand. Good. Now you do it.'
As G's presence retreated from their minds they looked at each other. Then a nod and they began. There was no hesitation, they shared thoughts so frequently already that it seemed a natural progression. They wove their minds together, carefully weaving each one in. When it was done, and they felt the way they could work through each other if necessary, they smiled. G poked and prodded their defences, then nodded. "Good. Let it go, gently. You don't want anyone to get hurt." Carefully they reversed their steps, stepping one at a time out of the meld, until only Heero and Duo were left. Smiling, Duo turned, and as he slipped from the meld, he kissed Heero gently. His voiced echoed through Heero's mind 'That's a yes. I'm your's. Forever.'
G smiled at them. "Well then, that's it. You have passed this test. My Lady?"
"Well then, as we are all agreed. Clan Yuy, as of this day you are instated in the roles of Ganymede Academy as a battle clan, under the guardianship of Clan Catalonia, assigned to the ranks of the Winner Corporation. You are acknowledged and licensed. From now on, let you be known as Clan Yuy, or by your codename, Team Gundam.
Yes that is the end. Though I won't swear that I won't play in this universe again, it needed a resolution for this chapter, or it would be the story that never ended and drive me crazy. Hope you had fun!