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Pancakes and Peaceful Mornings

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OK, so Duo knows that he's not supposed to have a favorite thing about a way, but whenever they get a little downtime, he finds himself enjoying the companionship of his fellow Gundam pilots immensely. So he's a little weird, even by their standards, but what he likes most is to just spend time with his friends without the threat of imminent death hanging over their heads.

After their last few missions, they have had the chance to spend more time just being teenagers and he revels in the opportunities he has yet to share with the others on the simple joys of living. Sure, some of the guys are a little focused on the mission and getting closure for all the lives lost in the war, but even they have loosened up.

"Good morning, Duo." Quatre greets, as the American pilot makes his way into the kitchen, hopping on one foot as he pulls a shoe onto the other.

"Heya, Cat, whatcha doin' up so early this morning?" Duo asks, pulling his mug from the cupboard and moving to stand next to the blonde as he pours hot coffee into the cup. He breathes in deeply, enjoying the aroma of freshly brewed coffee even before taking his first sip.

Quatre laughs quietly and answers when Duo turns a confused look his way.

"Actually, I've been waking early most mornings, I've just been spending the time in meditation before starting my day. There isn't much time for such things when we have missions and it is very nice to have the opportunity to fall back into the rhythm of life before." He says, smiling brightly when Duo takes a sip of the coffee and closes his eyes as the taste of good coffee explodes on his taste buds.

"I know you're starting a job this morning and I wanted you to have something to eat before you leave for work. The coffee is a bribe, actually, to keep you here for the duration of a meal with friends."

Duo brings up a hand and covers his heart, dramatically striking a pose.

"Oh, why do you wound me so, Quatre? To imply that I would accept such a bribe as this truly amazing coffee in exchange for, what is it, breakfast?" He is grinning just as brightly as his friend and they laugh together as Duo moves to sit at the table and Quatre turns back to the stove.

"Where'd you learn to cook, Cat?" He asks, not remembering his friend having this particular talent.

"It's just one of those things I had to pick up, I think, but most of what I've learned to make I learned from various members of the Maganac Corps. Everyone pitches in, in the desert, or things go bad very quickly, you know what I mean?"

Quatre's movements are simple and steady as he bustles around the kitchen, preparing enough food for five growing teenage boys. Duo can see that he has already made stacks and stacks of pancakes, placing them in the oven to keep warm, and is cracking eggs into a bowl for scrambled eggs.

They hear the upstairs shower start up and a loud thump from the bedroom down the hall and Duo smiles into his mug of coffee. It won't be long now.

"I'd better get his coffee ready before he makes it to the kitchen, hey?" He asks, standing and preparing a second mug of coffee, stirring in a dash of milk and a precise teaspoon of sugar before placing the coffee at the seat next to his at the table.

Wufei walks in, bleary eyed and yawning, with Trowa following close behind. The Chinese man plops himself down into the chair and leans in, breathing deeply and wrapping his hands around the coffee mug. He looks as if he has seen the face of god, Duo thinks and he leans back in his chair to watch Wufei savor every second of his first cup of coffee.

Trowa moves straight to Quatre's side. He places a hand on the smaller man's shoulder in greeting and takes the bowl of beaten eggs from him.

"You should sit and eat something as well, Quatre. I'll finish this." Trowa says, voice soft, as he pours the eggs into the pan on the stove. He nudges Quatre gently with his hip until the blonde boy actually moves away from the stove, stopping only to bring two plates of pancakes with him to the table.

In a few minutes, Heero will join them at the table, Trowa will have finished the eggs and bacon he's started and they will share a quiet meal together.

It is a simple, but filling breakfast, more than enough to get them off to a good start. But, it isn't the food that benefits the pilots the most, rather it is the chance to allow the tentative bonds of friendship to grow stronger amongst the five of them.

Their friendship is one that most people only dream of and they have learned to treasure the time they are able to spend with each other, not knowing when or if they will have the chance to do so again.