WARNING: Very High Angst Lemon, Proceed With Caution, Kleenex Warning
[Sequel to Tragic Secrets; Book 6 of the "Secrets" Arc, Final Installment of arc]
Author: Enigma
Written: October & November, 2000
Cumulative Rating: NC-17
Pairings: (1x2/2x1) (3x4/4x3) (5+S)
Category: Angst, yaoi, AU
Cumulative Warnings: Angst, lemon, yaoi, sap, AU, OOC
Be Prepared: Kleenex Warnings!! also: avoid Colas
DISCLAIMERS: I don't own Gundam Wing or any other anime or TV characters I use here, just the ideas in this story and some characters that are new are truly mine. Any reference to copyrighted material or trademarked goods should be considered an "homage" (yeah, right!) Don't sue me, even the lawyers wouldn't enjoy it, except of course for the Ashe and Jojo characters!
NOTE: Timeframe---after the war has ended and the Gundams were destroyed. //yada, yada, yada// = inner thoughts

Silencing The Secrets
Part 9

Celcia Winner was a well-respected child psychiatrist who just happened to be one of the many sisters of Winner Corporation heir, Quatre Raberba Winner. She was also painfully aware of all that her little brother was facing. So, when Trowa called requesting her assistance, she readily agreed.

"But Celcia, what about your practice?" Trowa had been surprised when she offered to come within a week of being contacted.

The blond woman smiled knowingly at him. She'd only met Trowa personally a few times before they'd let her in on the true depth of the relationship and she still found his overwhelming concern for others one of his most charming features. "Don't worry about it, Trowa. Family *always* comes first, you should know that!" She laughed gently, then added, "Besides, Vash and I need to get out more and seeing family through a crisis is the least I can do."

Vash was her adopted son, and he meant the world to her. Celcia had been a happily woman with two children before an accident killed her husband, daughter, and infant son. This event, of course, left her devastated. At the time, Quatre still lived in the family home and he had been there for her even if he was only 13 at the time. Now, five years later, she had an adopted son who had been orphaned by the violence of the war. The two together had mended each other's broken hearts and now they were happy once more.

Now, with Celcia's help, Trowa hoped to start getting Laurel on the road to recovery as well as bring her home to live with them. Bringing her home with them was easier to do than he had expected. Signing up as a foster parent, Celcia's background made getting Laurel clearance to live with them at the estate instead of returning to the orphanage quite easy.

Sadeema, the cook and general maternal figure at the estate, was thrilled beyond words that "Miss Celcia" was coming home and she was looking forward to seeing how "Master Vash", a title the boy found highly amusing, was coming along. The jolly woman had arranged for a special suite of rooms for the family prepared even if everyone knew that it was all just a ruse to get Laurel back with her Quatre-daddy and Trowa-daddy. Rasid was pleased as well knowing the pivotal role the little girl had played in saving so many lives of those he had come to respect and love as an extension of his own family, too.

Yet, as happy as the others were about this, no one was more pleased than Trowa. He'd gone to great lengths to keep track of the child and knew that Quatre seemed to heal better when Laurel was around.

On the day Laurel was to be discharged, Trowa pre-arranged a "daring rescue" of the child from the pediatric ward. Of course no such rescue mission was required, but it was fun and a good break from the tense situations surrounding them. He went to retrieve the girl at gunpoint unnecessarily using "the Starwind Protocol"; in other words, he mock-threatened bodily injury to anyone who stood in his way with a water gun. This brought a great deal of laughter, and not a minor amount of applause for his acting skills for keeping a straight face carrying a neon pink water pistol, when he went to get her. Laurel herself was frightened for Trowa's sake at first until Dr. Syn pointed out the type of gun her "daddy" was really using, then she got a big grin and happily went along with the joke.

Quatre was allowed to leave his hospital room to watch the tableau and found it most amusing indeed. He beamed with pride at Trowa as he "rescued" the child with a flair of theatrics that impressed upon the young Arab how soon he wanted to make the father/daughter relationship a permanent one in name as well as all other aspects.

Laurel rode down to the waiting helicopter in Quatre's lap, giggling and waving good-bye to her friends in the ward. Her happiness was quite contagious and Quatre seemed in very good spirits as Trowa and Laurel both kissed him good-bye before leaving for the estate. Quatre had already convinced Trowa to stay home for the evening and make sure all was well with Laurel's new arrangements. He was concerned that she might fail to understand why the foster parent program had been invoked, but he'd forgotten how many years the child had spent in the orphanage watching her friends get taken off to foster homes prior to final adoptions if any were forthcoming.

Trowa had called early in the evening to reassure himself that Quatre was doing fine and it turned out that everyone was quite happy that night and Quatre enjoyed a long night's rest for a change.

There was no way to say when it finally became obvious that the horrible headaches were a thing of the past, but after only a few days recovery, Quatre had been allowed to regain use of his right eye. This was difficult at first, but he became more at ease with the new limitations on a daily basis and the lack of headaches made him pleased beyond expression. It still surprised Trowa when he'd arrive to find Quatre enjoying the sunshine streaming in through his hospital window without flinching from the bright light.

They were both glad that recovery was coming along well for Quatre and back at the estate, Laurel was showing signs of improvement as well. All in all, the Winner-Barton contingent was doing far better. Now all they needed was to pull their friends back together and everything would be back on track.

The old saying "time cures all wounds" is not exactly true, especially when you are Quatre Raberba Winner. Recovery from the cancer surgery went fairly well considering he had to combat a prescription drug addiction at the same time. Actually, this was an easier battle for him than it was for his friend Duo Maxwell for several reasons.

The primary reason, of course, was the omnipresent faith, support, and love of his devoted fiancÚ, Trowa Barton. Whenever Quatre needed him, Trowa was there with encouragement and simple reassurance. The increasing likelihood of permanent blindness in his left eye had also been a factor. If he was to regain control of his own inheritance and bring the Winner Corporation back to health as well, he needed to face the facts that he was probably going to be partially or completely blind in one eye for the rest of his life. This was drastic to face at such an early age, but it did bring clarity.

He now knew how very close he had come to dying that night when Laurel had sacrificed herself once more for someone else's sake. The final lab reports and analysis of the location, size, and type of tumor indicated it was very near metastasis when it was removed. Further, its location would have resulted in his quietly strangling to death that night without anyone knowing otherwise. He owed the child his life yet wanted to give her more than simple thanks, he wanted to give her his heart and home as well. With her under his sister's guardianship, this seemed more achievable, but it was still difficult. He realized alL good things had certain barriers to be overcome and this made it sweeter.

So, he had redoubled his efforts with Sakura Kinomoto of the adoption board to try to convince her to allow him to adopt the girl as well as do it soon. Neither himself nor Trowa felt the least bit inclined to wait on much of anything any more. Life was too short.

An even more important issue which he had pushed forward on his agenda was a wedding. His love for Trowa was stronger now, something he thought impossible but it was true, and he didn't like the idea of postponing it another year or so as they had planned previously. A date was chosen roughly two months away, enough time to prepare but not so long as to make the wait intolerable. Trowa was thrilled with this idea and agreed whole-heartedly. This gave the lovers more excuses to spend time together, supposedly to plan yet they got "distracted" repeatedly and ended up making love instead of planning much of anything. This, however, was entirely satisfactory to both.

Quatre had been quite relieved at the sudden and nearly complete loss of severe headaches after recovery from the surgery. He retained a slight sensitivity to very bright light, but he was able to sit and enjoy breakfast on the patio without pain and he was content. It had been hard getting off of the prescription pain relievers, but nothing compared to what Duo was suffering through. Again, Quatre felt truly blessed.

Being partially blind, however, was still hard for him to deal with emotionally, though.

He felt less capable at times without depth perception and lack of peripheral vision on one side annoyed him. Trowa assured him repeatedly that he truly did not find Quatre the least bit less attractive as a mate because of a disability of this sort. He frankly was pleased there were no scars on Quatre's scalp and the eye-socket surgery had been a far better choice. He'd even gotten his fiancÚ a white satin eye-patch to wear while they awaited the final stages of possible healing. Trowa, never one to pass up a chance to remind Quatre of his desires, had remarked that he looked rather sexy wearing it, "like a pirate with attitude" he had said, and took every opportunity to remind Quatre of his opinion.

Quatre smothered a laugh the night he'd left the office to go search out some late dinner and had discovered his lover hiding notes around the house to match a "treasure map" he and Laurel had come up with. Luckily, Trowa had failed to hear the soft laughter giving Quatre a chance to back off and act surprised later when he found the map on his desk after dinner. He'd planned to work a bit longer, but deducing the nature of the treasure awaiting him was either Trowa himself, a treasure well worth missing an evening's reports, or both Trowa and Laurel. He immediately closed down his computer systems and went hunting for his surprise.

The hunt began easily enough, after all a 7 year-old had designed the map, and he located his "hidden treasure" easily in the form of two figures hiding not terribly well in the living room. All successful businessmen are actors at some level and he did his best to pretend he was surprised. Trowa thoroughly enjoyed the happy sparkle in the remaining aquamarine eye as Quatre "pounced" on his giggling 'daughter' and tickled the girl mercilessly, something the two loved.

"Daddy!" She gasped between giggles. "Stop, stop! You are forgetting the other half of the treasure!" She complained, smiling when she realized Quatre had failed to "pounce" as she called it, her conspirator in the plot.

Grinning wickedly, Quatre attacked Trowa to even the odds. Granted, Trowa didn't like tickling as much as Laurel did, but he submitted to please the two people he loved most. Finally, he had enough and gasped out, "I surrender! I surrender!" Hoping to get Quatre's tickling to stop and prevent Laurel from trying it, he held his hands above his head.

"You aren't the one to surrender here," Quatre smiled knowingly at his love. "After all, *I* came out first!" He hugged the emerald-eyed source of his joy as he reminded him of how they had met the day their Gundams engaged each other in battle. Trowa's eyes went wide with realization and he warmly returned the hug, thoughts lost in history momentarily.

Laurel interrupted with a huge yawn. "Golly, Daddies, I'm sleepy!" She smiled and blinked her eyes a little trying to make it look as if she was in fact sleepy when she simply thought it was time to leave them alone.

"Oh, sweetheart," Quatre turned to her feeling a little guilty for suddenly ignoring her. "Do you want me to tuck you in?"

"Oh, no thank you, Daddy," She kissed both young men quickly as she got up to go to her room. "Aunt Celcia is going to read me and Vash more of a story about King Arthur tonight. He's supposed to read it for school, but he gets too silly sometimes so we read it over again every night."

"Really?" asked Quatre surprised his nephew was having trouble focusing on school work. "Why is Vash 'silly', Laurel?" Trowa smiled knowingly behind the youth's back and let things go ahead.

"Oh, Daddy! You know why Vash is silly! He likes to go out riding all afternoon and takes me with him so he doesn't always get his work done." This wasn't entirely true.

on to part 10

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