[Sequel to: "No Time For Secrets" Book 3 of the "Secrets" Arc]
Author: Enigma
Written: September, 2000
Rating: R
Pairings: (1+2) (3+4) (5+S)
Category: Angst, AU, yaoi/shonen ai
Warnings: Angst, mental illness, yaoi/shonen ai, language, AU, sap, OOC
Disclaimers: I don't own the Gundam Wing Universe or any other anime characters I use here, just the parts of this story and some characters that are new are truly mine [especially Laurel, she's *still* my daughter after all!]. Please don't sue me, all I've got is a broken down car that hates me.
Note: Timeframe---after the war has ended and the Gundams were destroyed.

FUN TIME! Play spot the guest stars! And watch for other popular culture references!

Racing With Secrets
Part 12

As the two young men left after speaking with Heero, neither seemed comfortable talking to the other. They both had very different feelings about Heero right at the moment, but time would tell and it was not that great a rift between them. Unfortunately, there was a rift that needed healing; Quatre had never realized that the shiver of emotional anguish he had felt days ago had been directly from Trowa.

Somehow, Trowa had never found the strength to voice his concerns about Laurel and rushing into marriage before the terrible day they almost lost Laurel to the seizures. At her side he had his own personal revelation and had felt no reservations about it any longer, but knew it was a secret he should not have concealed from Quatre. "Koibito?" he asked almost timidly. "Would you care to walk in the hospital gardens with me?"

Quatre looked up at him puzzled, "I thought we should go tell the others about Heero, Trowa. And check on Laurel, of course."

"Actually, Laurel is why I'd like to walk in the gardens with you. As for Heero, don't you think Gene will have already spread the news?" he added wryly.

A giggle at the thought of Gene Starwind's red hair blazing a trail of happy news was cut short by the realization of what had been said before, "What *exactly* is it about Laurel, Trowa?" Quatre's tone was concerned. Perhaps the doctors had asked Trowa to deliver bad news about the child was all he could think of at the moment.

They stepped through the doorway and out into the gardens in the center of the hospital. Beautifully landscaped, with plenty of comfortable benches spaced well apart, allowed visitors as well as patients who could handle being outside an area that was quiet, peaceful and serene. Trowa led Quatre to a bench and they sat down.

"Koi," Trowa began, nervous about confessing his previous misgivings and his current feelings as well. "Please forgive me, but there was something bothering me quite a bit previously. I never felt the time was right to discuss it with you, but I must tell you now. When all of the confusion caused by Heero's disastrous departure ended, I found myself doubting that I wanted to rush into fatherhood simply because a child said it would be so. Then Sally Po's remarks about marriage concerned me as well. The war ended so recently, we have not had time to get to know each other as anything other than Gundam pilots."

"But, Trowa," Quatre was visibly upset. This was something he never expected.

"Let me finish, Little One? Please?" Trowa's eyes pleaded for patience. Speaking as much as he had was foreign to him and he had worked long and hard deciding exactly what to say. "Those feelings were wiped away the day we almost lost Laurel. I realized I needed her in my life and I always knew that I needed you, so it comes to this." He pulled something out of a pocket and sank to one knee, holding Quatre's hand. "Quatre Raberba Winner, will you marry me and help me raise a beautiful daughter who waits for us inside this very building?"

A shimmering moistness rose at the edge of soft blond lashes as Quatre gave his answer, though not traditional, it was enough. He leaned forward and kissed Trowa Barton with all of the love his heart held.

Trowa returned the gentle kiss happily, then leaned back. "I take that as a 'yes'?" he asked, and Quatre merely nodded, afraid to speak. Trowa smiled as he opened the box and inside were three rings, two wide men's rings each with a single diamond and a smaller, dainty ring with two diamonds. Trowa slid one ring onto Quatre's finger and gently kissed his hand. Quatre repeated the gestures happily, but then looked at the remaining ring in confusion. Trowa smiled at him and simply said, "Don't you think Laurel would like to have a ring as well to remind her we love her and we will be a family somehow?"

"Trowa, that's so beautiful that you want to include her in this, I think it's a wonderful idea. But why does her ring have two diamonds? Engagement rings usually have only one," he commented offhandedly while happily admiring his own.

"Easily answered, my beloved, we aren't asking her to *marry* one of us, we are asking her to accept *both* of us as her fathers, thus *two* diamonds seemed more appropriate." Trowa's gentle smile reinforced everything Quatre had ever felt about him and more leaving Quatre speechless but nodding. They then sat together for awhile, silently contemplating the decisions they had just agreed to that would effect the rest of their lives.

Later, when they presented the third ring to Laurel, the girl had cried happily and said how nice it was that all three rings looked kind of alike, at least to her anyway.

Unknown to the two lovers, a young doctor and the love of her life stood quietly watching out a window.

"Onna," Wufei tried to sound annoyed, but failed. "Was this some female trickery of yours? I wondered what else you were purchasing that afternoon, but you refused to tell me. Was it perhaps those rings?"

"Yes, Mr. Chang, they were indeed." Sally grinned a bit wickedly and wrapped an arm around his waist. "Before you give me any of that 'dishonorable to keep secrets' nonsense, I will tell you that I had promised Trowa I would keep the information confidential. I believe it is more 'honorable' to keep my word, don't you agree?"

"You, doctor, are much more deceptive than I had given you credit for. No wonder you were such a successful guerrilla fighter." She was surprised at such high praise from one of the finest warriors she had ever had the honor of fighting beside. Then, he smiled and kissed her.

They turned and walked away from their little vantage point. "Besides," Wufei added giving her waist a bit of a squeeze, "Withholding certain 'confidential information' is something we both agreed on previously, now isn't it?"

"Most assuredly," she smiled knowingly as they walked down the corridor.

Much to the chagrin of Jack Ryuzouji, Heero was released from the ICU the same day he awoke, but was not released from the hospital. Due to his poor health after the physical exhaustion and time spent in a coma, the doctors demanded that Heero remain in the hospital for a few more days before being taken to jail. Quatre, of course, had arranged for Heero to be placed on the same floor as Laurel so all three patients were in the same area, however, he had been unaware of the "no visitors" rule.

Annoyed at not being consulted about the room arrangements, Jack tried to insist on keeping Heero under heavy guard. Strangely, though, Heero was surprisingly docile about being under arrest. Perhaps it was because he knew this would happen and felt his freedom was a small price to pay for Duo's life. Wufei, however, didn't see it that way and confronted Jack personally.

"What, precisely, officer, do you believe is the danger presented by a man who can not even get out of bed unassisted?" Wufei had not had a good rant session in awhile and from there he gave Jack quite an earful. By the time he was done, Jack had agreed to just himself and one other guard being present at all times, and even acquiesced to the request that Heero be allowed to see Duo when he was well enough.

Wufei, was feeling quite happy with the world in general; this was not his normal state, mind you, but it had been an eventful few days and strode away head held high.

on to part 13

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