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 13

"Do you really think they're okay, Quatre?" Duo asked one morning over breakfast.

He was doing much better in the homey atmosphere of the estate than he had at the hospital. Akheem and Celcia were working wonders with him and Duo had even been allowed to move out of the medical wing and into a suite of rooms of his own. Wisely, Quatre specifically avoided putting him into the rooms he'd shared with Heero that one night after Heero's release from prison or the room he had been in while under Smith's control. Duo had enough going against him right then, he didn't need bad memories assaulting him on top of everything else.

Quatre glanced at his friend curiously. "Of course I do, Duo, why do you ask?"

"Well," the braid had found its way into nervous fingers as he fumbled for an answer. "Now that things are starting to clear up for me, I'm getting a better feel for what is going on and I'm nervous about Heero."

Setting his papers aside, Quatre leaned back to take the time necessary to get to the bottom of this. Unconsciously adjusting the eye-patch, he asked, "Can you tell me, Duo, just what is it about Heero that makes you nervous?"

Shifting uncomfortably, Duo knew he needed to talk this over with his friend, but it was difficult to find the words he needed. "I'm not sure how long I've been thinking about this, but I'm really worried that I'll never get the chance to apologize to him, I guess."

"You 'guess'?" Quatre tried to narrow Duo's thoughts a bit more. "Aren't you sure what you want to tell him? Or do you still feel a lot of confusion over it?"

"Yeah, the confusion is still there, but the more I think about him and the good times we had together, the more I, well, I *miss* him!" Finally, the words and feelings fell into place and they began to rush out. "I'm desperate to talk to him, to apologize for being such a jerk before. I know a lot of that was the drugs and the hypnotic suggestion stuff, but there's large holes in my memory now and I want to fill them back in. He was, I mean, he *is* still pretty damned important to me, and I treated him badly before he left. Not the sex stuff, Hell, he should've enjoyed that and I probably did, too, but I don't even remember it happening. Oi! I'd better not tell *him* that, though, huh? Heero would definitely not appreciate finding out I couldn't remember having sex with him in a hospital parking lot!"

Quatre barely suppressed a chuckle. "No, that would probably not be a good way to start getting things back in order, Duo. But don't you see? If you realize how sensitive he is on that subject then maybe you remember more than you know."

Duo laughed as more of his nervousness fell away. "Granted, I do remember some other times we had sex and it seemed pretty damned good, so I don't want to cut off the whole option, but it's more than that. There's things about when we were together that just don't fit in my mind. There's weird little half-memories floating around. Stuff we did between battles, arguments we had, nights sitting outside doing approximately nothing useful and him bitching about 'wasting time', this kind of thing! If I'm to figure out how I feel I need the whole picture!"

"You know, Duo," Quatre smiled gently, "You two were not exactly alone the whole time. Maybe there's things Trowa or I can help you remember. Trowa spent more time with Heero than anyone other than yourself, why don't you talk to him about the gaps in your memories? He may be able to answer questions you have about Heero, too."

"Really?" Duo looked hopeful. "That would be great! I'm really confused by some of it and other things are little annoying details, but it just keeps getting in my way. Then again," he looked pensive as he thought, "I'm also really worried about this rescue mission they went off on. I do remember him saying something about the possibility that they might not make it back and that scares the shit out of me!"

Quatre frowned. "I never knew he'd told you something like that, Duo. Yes, there is the possibility we will lose all of them on DH-1221, but my uchuu no kokoro hasn't reacted to anything and if something had happened I think I'd know."

"Oh, right, your sixth sense! I forgot about *that*, too!" Duo looked relieved. "So, it's a good bet they're okay out there, isn't it? Well, unless my memories are complete spaghetti, Heero's probably in the thick of things raising Hell and kicking-ass like always. They'll probably be home before I even get a chance to figure all of this out for myself. Geez, Q-man, what was I worried for? I shoulda' known to just leave it to the perfect soldier and hurry up and get my own act together here before he gets home."

Laughing, he added his best Desi Arnaz impression. "Otherwise I can hear it now, 'Duu~ooo, I'm hoo~oome! You got some 'splainin' to do!'" Quatre, thunderstruck, sat there and laughed at the unbelievably normal quality of hearing Duo performing bad impressions for the first time in so very long.

Continuing to laugh, Duo got up and carried his dishes to the kitchen where he bowed lavishly to Sadeema. "Thank you, dear lady, for yet another fabulous meal!" Gallantly, he lifted the back of her hand to his lips and dropped his best "courtesan's kiss" there before bouncing off to whatever was next on his agenda.

Sadeema looked out the door. "Master Quatre," she smiled, "I do believe our lost soul is starting to come home after all."

"Yes," he smiled happily in return. "Indeed, Sadeema, I believe you are correct. That was more like the Duo we all came to know and love during the war, wasn't it?"

She sighed happily, "Yes, it certainly was! Too bad he's remembered enough that I can't convince him he used to wash all of the dishes, too."

Now laughing so hard his sides ached, Quatre gave up on even speaking as he watched Sadeema's eyes sparkle at the thought that there was hope for his braided friend after all.

Fidgeting seemed to be the order of the day as two young men eagerly anticipated seeing each other again for what seemed like the reunion of a lifetime.

Heero, monitoring his flight path only half-heartedly, cursed for the fifth time the fact that he hadn't anything clean to wear when he saw Duo. This struck Wufei as exceptionally humorous.

"Yuy, stop worrying over it so much!" He proclaimed from his perch on the co-pilot's chair. It wasn't exactly comfortable, but the Chinese youth was sick to death of space and was looking forward to getting back to Earth. "You look no worse than usual." He smirked at his friend knowing full-well how important this was to him.

"Hn." Heero grunted, then laughed, a strange sound to Wufei's ears though he was getting used to it. "Like you'd really know? You forget, 'Chang', but he was fairly preoccupied with appearances last time I saw him."

Grumbling a bit, Wufei's next caustic remark didn't sting as much as it could have. "So? He was addicted to drugs the last time you saw him, you said so yourself. You've been gone awhile and---"

Sally cut him off, smiling indulgently, "You've been gone awhile and you need to give it a chance to be okay before you assume it will be a crisis!"

"Sure, Sally," Heero smiled at the only woman he ever even imagined being like a sister to him. "You are both right. I'm worrying over nothing, but it's better to worry over the nothings than to spend time wondering if I'm going back to a true welcome or another psyche-out like the last time I got home." His thoughts were cut off as the port authority began dictating landing instructions.

Meanwhile, Duo Maxwell was beside himself. "But, Trowa, do you really think they'll all come stay at the estate?"

Trowa, patient as ever, simply reminded him, "That's what Heero said, wasn't it? That's enough for me." Then he placed a reassuring hand on his friend's shoulder. "Besides, you don't think Heero would come all the way back and not spend time with you, now do you?"

"Hmm, don't know, Trowa, I just don't know." Duo looked more worried than necessary. Even Laurel was more relaxed than he was.

"Well, stop worrying, Duo," Quatre grinned. "Here they come now! Heero! Wufei! Sally! Guys! You're back! Welcome!!!"

Laurel bounced happily, holding tightly to Trowa's hand as they walked towards them. "Hi! Hi, everybody!!!" She called out. Finally, she broke free of the hand holding her in place and she dashed out to Heero. To everyone's surprise, he laughed loudly than swept the child up into his arms holding her aloft in a victory salute. "Hurray! Uncle Heero, I'm glad you're back!" She smiled and kissed him causing him to blush and bringing a few chuckles.

"Glad to be back, Laurel, but aren't you forgetting a few people?" He smiled setting the child down to go and greet the others which she did happily and rather noisily. Heero, however, stared at one person only with an intense cobalt-blue gaze searching for answers from nervous amethyst eyes.

Finally he growled, "To Hell with it!"

Heero stepped forward more quickly and grabbed Duo much the way he had Laurel and pulled him into a rough embrace barely stopping himself before he kissed Duo right then and there. Startled, it only took an extra heartbeat before that issue was addressed as Duo wrapped his fingers around Heero's face and drew him in for a deep and joyful kiss. Several approving sets of eyes glanced their way as the kiss seemed to seal a new agreement between the two young men. After a few seconds, Duo's face flushed red and he pulled away a little.

"Umm, sorry there, Heero, guess I got a little carried away." He stuttered a bit, backing off from the more intimate embrace somewhat embarrassed. "Welcome home."

"Thanks, it's great to be back where the light doesn't cut in and out." He grinned releasing Duo but only after he gave him an extra squeeze around his waist. As far as Heero was concerned, right now was a time for joy and everything else he and Duo needed to settle could keep.

Wufei, hobbling on crutches and trying to look annoyed while failing spectacularly, smiled broadly. "Trowa, Quatre, thank you for sending these clowns out to pick us up." He shook hands with both of his friends before tossing his own rules of protocol out and hugging Quatre tightly. "No one could ask for better friends."

"We're glad you both made it home okay," Quatre smiled. "Well, close enough to okay, right, Wufei?"

"Most assuredly, Quatre! I consider this to be more than close enough. If the 'A-Team' here didn't show up I'd probably have gone nuts. Broken legs on a colony without power and still under EMP effects do *not* go together! At least Sally was okay, I'm glad of that."

"Sure enough!" Gene Starwind grinned, draping himself all over Sally who looked at him with amusement dancing in her eyes. "Sally is definitely 'okay', Wufei! Too bad she's taken, though, or I'd be interested myself!" He waggled his eyebrows and both Sally and Laurel laughed.

"Back off, 'Mad Dog'!" Wufei warned. "She is more than capable of defending herself and she is most definitely 'taken'!"

Jack looked singularly ignored, so Laurel went over and introduced herself. "Hi! Are you Uncle Heero's friend Jack? I hear you're really good at card games! I'm Laurel!" She smiled winningly at him.

"Hmm," he said looking the tiny girl over. "Yeah, I'm Jack and you must be the amazing kid I've heard so much about. But how is it Heero is your 'uncle'?" He had attempted to resist the urge to pick her up, but the height differential was enough to give him an excuse to go ahead and do so.

"That's easy," she smiled. "When my daddies get married then all of their old friends get to be my 'uncles', neat isn't it? All, that is except Dr. Sally, then she can be an 'aunt' if she wants to! Daddy says she's like a sister, so I think that's how it all works."

"Interesting way to build a family there, Mr. Winner," Jack commented.

Quatre laughed at the way his "daughter" seemed to have captivated the entire group. "That's 'Quatre', Jack, forget the formalities! You just rescued two very important people as well as seeing to it you three made it back safely, too. Watch out, you're rapidly approaching 'family' status yourself!"

Jack laughed suddenly, startling Laurel. "Really? That would be nice! It's been a long time since I was around kids. And this little thing," he bounced Laurel in his arms before setting her back on the ground to run back to Trowa, "is sure cute! I might just have to hang out at your place for awhile."

"You're more than welcome," Trowa smiled. "But speaking of which, wouldn't you all like to head back there and get cleaned up and eat? Sadeema was planning quite a bit of food, so I hope you're hungry!"

To everyone's surprise, Sally spoke up first. "Food? Fabulous! I'm starved! The stuff on DH-1221 was barely edible and these guys ate all of the good stuff before they found us, so I'm famished."

Everyone laughed as they headed back to the estate via the "Shooting Star".

on to part 14

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