Disclaimer: Same for the first chapter…own Hayden not the rest of them. sticks tongue out
Thwack! Thud! Heero glanced to his back to spot the large remnants of what was once a snow ball sliding down to finally land on the ground. A mischievous glint lit his Prussian blue eyes as he spotted the bundled little boy doubled over from laughing and the slender form next to him that was trying her best not to laugh out loud. He listened to her small squeak as he bent down and began to form his own snow ball.
"So you think that's funny, do ya?" he questioned as he watched his son nod his head violently still filling the cold winter wind with his joy-filled laugh. He turned his smirk on the woman beside him as she suddenly jumped behind the makeshift snow fort that she and Hayden had built earlier; she tugged the small boy with her.
"Run for cover, Hayden!" she exclaimed just seconds before the snow ball flew from Heero's hand to skim the top of the fort and Relena's pink toboggan. He watched her head duck lower. Heero burst out laughing as Relena's head appeared above the edge of snow with Hayden's right beside it. The two glanced to each other and gave a curt nod in agreement to their silent conversation.
"You know this means war!" Hayden quoted from one his favorite Loony Tunes character Bugs Bunny, and the bombardment began on the unprotected adult.
Hilde, Cathy, and Lu laughed at the sight before them on the other side of the window. They watched as Heero ducked behind a tree as snow balls pelted the dark bark.
"I've never seen Heero so happy before," Cathy mentioned with her own soft smile on her face.
"I haven't seen Relena this happy in a long time either," Lu added as she watched her sister-in-law finally manage to lure Heero out of his hiding spot and tackle him to the ground followed by Hayden, all three were laughing happily. It was a family moment for them; one that Lu knew would always be in her memories and heart.
"They look like a family, don't they? Like they belong together," Hilde voiced Lu's thoughts unknowingly, causing the older woman to look at the dark haired woman.
"They do, they really do," she muttered.
"Look at that," Cathy mumbled with a laugh in her voice. Lu turned her attention back to the window to see Heero lifting Relena into the air and spinning around while Hayden danced around them. The war had evidently ended in a draw. She smiled as she watched her sister-in-law being kissed by the man that she had loved for so long, she chuckled at the outward disgusted look on Hayden's face, but the sparkle in his big blue eyes revealed his pure joy at the sight.
They had been together for three weeks and the little boy had completely captivated everyone's heart, even Wu Fei held a small measure of pride towards the child. Especially when Wu Fei found him reading one evening with his father; that had been a precious moment indeed, she could still remember the sight before her when she had followed Wu Fei into the library.
She watched Wu Fei pause at the library door and puzzled over the Chinese man's odd behavior of lurking in the cracked doorway. She came up behind him, placing a hand on his shoulder so that she could peer over his head into the room.
"What is it?" she asked.
"Sh, Heero and his son, they're reading," he whispered never taking his black eyes from the sight.
She looked closer to see Heero sitting in one of the large armchairs with Hayden leaning back against his chest. She smiled softly as she listened as the little boy read out of the children's version of Peter Pan. Heero chiming in every now and then when Hayden had trouble with a word; she looked closer to see the fire's glow mirrored in a pair of metal framed glasses that were placed on Heero's nose. He looked so sophisticated with them on, and yet the little boy on his lap seemed to soften that bookish look into a very fatherly-like position. She tilted her head sideways slightly as she watched Hayden finish reading and look up at his father with a twist of his head. He poked a finger to one of the scars that puckered Heero's neck right behind his ear; his tiny finger followed it all the way down to Heero's shirt.
"Daddy, how come you have so many scars? I hardly ever see you that hurt when you come home from work," he asked innocently.
"I'll tell you when you're older, deal?" Heero answered looking down into the eyes that were so innocent.
Lu sniffed quietly at the sight before her as she watched Heero put Hayden on his feet and turn him towards the doors.
"Time for bed, Squirt,"
"Daddy," he whined.
"Nope, nine o'clock bedtime,"
"I gotta tell Relena goodnight, and Uncle Duo and Aunt Hilde, and Uncle Trowa, Uncle Quatre, Uncle Wu Fei, Aunt Cathy, and Aunt Lu and Uncle Zechs,"
"Alright, if you can find them in three minutes you can say goodnight, but only in three minutes," Heero grinned as his son instantly shot for the door. Wu Fei and she only had enough time to back up into the shadow of the other door before the open one flew back and a blur of light blue pajamas streaked down the hall. She grinned at the young parent as he came through the door and looked over at them.
"He reads well," Wu Fei spoke up.
"He likes to read," Heero stated sliding his reading glasses' case into the back pocket of his jeans.
"When did you start wearing glasses?" Lu asked.
"A few years ago, everything finally caught up with me," he answered plainly before nodding to them and following after his son in his search for everyone, three minutes had already passed and then some.
"So how are we getting the little guy out of the house tomorrow while we decorate the place for his birthday party?" Cathy asked to bring Lu back from her memories; the three women still watching the small family outside beginning to build a snowman.
"Heero and Relena are taking him into town to search for a Christmas present for an elderly woman that lives next to Heero and Hayden," Hilde answered.
"Elderly woman?" Lu looked to the dark haired woman puzzled.
"Hm mm, Mrs. Jenkins, she's the one that showed me and Duo where he lives exactly. She is the sweetest thing, she told us that she usually looks after Hayden until Heero gets home from work after Hayden gets out of school,"
"So he does go to school,"
"Yep, Mrs. Jenkins was telling us that he's the smartest in his class and that he's a bit of a class clown," Hilde added with a smile.
"Class clown, smartest I can understand, but class clown?" Cathy input with a small shake of her head.
"No, I can see it; if you watch Heero closely you can see his mischievous side now. It's not as noticeable as Duo's but I believe that if Heero had the mentality he would pull off pranks just as often as Duo," Lu mentioned.
"Thank the lord that he doesn't have that mentality, we have a hard enough time with just one practical joker, much less have two," Cathy proclaimed getting the other two women to laugh.
"Look, here they come," Hilde squealed as she started to run for the couch and her knitting. Lu and Cathy instantly followed suit, Lu to the arm chair reading and Cathy to the couch and her own book.
Heero swiftly picked up his son as he spotted his tiny shoulders start to shake. His son's laugh swelled his heart even more as they started towards the manor.
"Come on, it's getting late. Need to keep you healthy for your big day tomorrow," Heero stated.
"What big day?" Hayden asked as he leaned over his dad's head to peer into the matching Prussian blue eyes. Heero lifted his eyes to lock on his son's with a smirk on his lips.
"You're shopping day, Squirt. You get to pick out something for Mrs. Jenkins, remember?"
"Oh yeah," Hayden grinned. The next thing they knew there was a flash from where Relena stood. They both turned to see her bring down the camera with a wide grin on her face.
"She took our picture, Daddy!" Hayden exclaimed with a grin.
"She certainly did; what should we do to her?" Heero asked holding his son's gaze up-side down.
"I don't know, it's got to be something good,"
"I agree, but what?" Heero suddenly smirked; sending Relena slowly back tracking with a nervous look in her eyes. He put Hayden to the ground and whispered in his ear, the child instantly began to snicker with barely contained laughter.
"Scoot!" Heero playfully smacked Hayden on the rear sending him running towards the woman who squealed with her laughter. Heero quickly followed his son's lead in chasing Relena into the home. He finally caught up with the two to find Relena pining Hayden against the wall in a tickle fest, he smirked as he snuck up behind her to return the favor. The entrance hall was filled with her shrill laughter and his deep rumble as she tried to get away from his tickling hands. It finally ended with Heero leaning against the wall in the floor with Relena on his lap and Hayden laying perpendicular to the both of them with his head on Relena's lap, all three were breathing hard from the exertions. Again they heard a click from the doorway of the din area, they glanced over to see Hilde bringing down the camera that Relena had discarded earlier to attack Hayden.
"Ain't they so cute, it's a Kodak moment," the dark haired pixie gushed with an impish grin on her face.
"That's so not cool, Hilde," Relena breathed before she leaned back on Heero's chest as she caught her breath. Hayden looked up to watch the two adults together and smiled. He suddenly scrambled over to the three women smiling.
"Hey, Aunt Hilde, Aunt Cathy, Aunt Lu, can I ask you a question?"
"Of course, what is it, Sweet-pea?" Hilde knelt down to his eye level. He glanced over his shoulder at the sound of his dad's and Relena's laughter while they tried to get up. He tugged on her arm as he led her and the other two into the din. He stopped and the three knelt down to the floor as he leaned in.
"Do you think Ms. Lena could be my mommy? Daddy really likes her, and she really likes him,"
"Oh, Sweety, I don't know; I don't think so," Lu muttered her heart doing a little summersault in her throat.
"Do you want her to be your mother?" Hilde asked as she glanced over to Cathy and Lu.
"Hm mm," he nodded his head with a quick nodding of his head, "I like her a lot, and she's really fun to be with. Besides she makes Daddy happy."
"Oh," Lu sniffed absently.
"Are you okay, Aunt Lu?"
"I'm fine, Sweet-pea," she answered.
"Okay, so what do you think? Could we get them together?" he asked innocently, he waited with baited breath as the three women glanced from one to the other. He grinned broadly as they nodded their heads together.
"Alright!" he exclaimed to cause the three to laugh at his jumping up and down excitedly.
"But we gotta keep it a secret, kay? Other wise, they'll rebel and it all goes to pot," Cathy mentioned with a press of her finger to her lips and wink towards the little boy. He returned the wink and then doubled over in a fit of giggles. He instantly stood up and spun to the doorway at the sound of his dad's voice.
"Just what are you four up to?" he asked accusingly as he crossed his arms over his chest; His eyebrow arching over his Prussian blue gaze.
"Nothing," Hayden chirped with a smile on his face.
"Yeah, like I'm going to believe that one,"
"Honest, I wasn't doing a thing, Daddy. I just needed to ask Aunt Hilde a question, and she answered it and now I'm going to go find Uncle Duo to pester him," Hayden grinned before scampering off past Heero to begin his search for the braided uncle.
Hayden wondered through the long halls until he reached a cracked door with light shining through into the dark hallway. His ears perked at the sound of several familiar deep voices, he peaked through the crack in the door to see his "uncles" lounging in the room. He quickly knocked then entered with a wide grin on his face.
"Hey, Uncle Duo, what ya doing?" he asked innocently as he made his way towards the uncle in question. Hayden went to his tiptoes trying to peer over the edge of the table at the chess board; he glanced from the black and white pieces to Duo's opponent. He grinned at the tall man that winked at him.
"Hey, Uncle Trowa," Hayden chirped.
"Hey, Squirt, I'm trying to play this clown here a game of chess," Duo answered, never taking his eyes from the board in front of him; he leaned back to scratch the back of his head absently. He scooted back a little farther from the table as the little boy started to climb up to sit on his lap. Hayden cocked his head to the right as he studied the board.
"You're black, right, Uncle Duo?"
"Then move your knight to F6, you'll have check mate," he stated simply. Trowa's eyebrows instantly vanished into his hairline as he looked to that area around his king. He looked back up to Duo to see that he noticed it as well and instantly took the move. Duo grinned at the acrobat.
"Check mate," he stated triumphantly.
"You cheated," Trowa muttered as he leaned back to cross his arms over his chest.
"Did not, the move was there the whole time. Say, who taught you how to play chess?" Duo asked as he wrapped his arms around the boy on his lap, halting Hayden's progress of putting the pieces back to their proper places.
"Daddy taught me, and I play with a bunch of older guys in the park when ever Daddy takes me. It's really fun," he grinned as he went back to fixing the board.
"Your dad, huh?" Zechs questioned as he came up to the table.
"Yep, but we haven't been able to play in awhile. He's been really busy with work," he sighed as he looked up into the tall man's pale blue eyes.
"Alright, pip-squeak, lets play a game of chess," Trowa stated as he moved the pawn in front of his queen up two spots. He watched the spark of joy at the challenge before him, and the game began.
"Come on, Daddy; we's gots to hurry," Hayden whined as he tugged on Heero's arm at the base of the staircase.
"Hold on, Runt; Relena's a little slow this early in the morning," Heero smirked as the blonde in particular appeared around the corner covering a yawn.
"Ha-ha-ha, very funny, Mr. Kurosaki," she muttered before another yawn needed to be covered by a gloved hand. Heero laughed at the sight and for his reward he got a smack across his shoulder as she came down next to him.
"So I'm not a morning person," she muffled a yawn once again as Hayden wrapped his arms around her legs in a hug.
"You would think you would acquire that after all these years of getting up so early," Heero stated as he made sure that he had his wallet, keys, and phone. She narrowed her eyes at him but the effect was ruined by another yawn.
"Are we ready to go now? Come on, we gots to get Mrs. Jenkins something for Christmas so we can send it to her. She'll be all lonely since we're not there," Hayden whined as he tugged on his father's hand then attacked Relena's hand.
"She won't be that lonely, remember her daughter is coming up this year?"
"Oh yeah," Hayden added as an afterthought as he stopped tugging on Relena's arm. The two adults glanced to each other and tried not to laugh out loud at the little boy.
"Come on, I really don't want to have to fight the morning traffic in town, again," Heero stated as the three left the home that they had shared for the past month and climbed into his jeep.
"Are they finally gone?" Cathy asked as she peered around the edge of the din doorway. She watched Hilde look out the window to nod her head.
"They're leaving the driveway now. Come on we've got to hurry, I don't know how long they'll keep Hayden busy," the dark haired German girl added as she scrambled from the window and into the large family style room where Hayden had played many games of chess with his "uncles" and father. The rest of the crew were already in there starting to decorate the place.
"I can't believe this, I'm decorating a room for Yuy's little brat," Zechs grumbled as he started climbing a ladder to attach the streamers to the exposed wooden beams. He hadn't minded decorating the din for Christmas or even when the six guys had went out to get the tree and bring it in. That had been an interesting day in and of itself, all though he had to admit the little boy was proving to be harder to stay annoyed with when the kid had came up to him the other day and asked him if he would help him find a Christmas present for Relena. He hadn't asked his father but him. He slowly nodded his head at the memory before steadily making his way down the ladder. He glanced over his shoulder to see his wife's grin and nod of approval.
"What are you complaining about? You're just as attached to him as the rest of us and don't even try to deny it. I saw you the other day with him playing chess, I also saw him beat the pants off you and you weren't giving it to him either," Cathy stated as she slammed her fists down on her hips as she straightened up from wrapping gifts.
"I'll admit the brat's good at chess," he consented as he silently took the ladder over to the next corner where his wife stood with the next installment of streamers. Cathy shook her head with a sigh as she knew that was as close to an agreement as she was going to get from him. She glanced around the room at the many people that had only knew the little boy a short while but already he had stolen their hearts. Whether the little boy knew it or not, he was part of their strange family and they would always protect him.
Author's Note: Yes, I know it's shorter than the first chapter, but here it is nonetheless. I hope to get the next chapter more with Heero, Relena, and Hayden just so you know. Well, I hope to see some reviews…PLEASE! LET THERE BE REVIEWS! Cheers to all!