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 14

After a quick shower, Heero discovered he, too, was hungry. He went out to join the others and found them enjoying a large buffet of goodies Sadeema had prepared. The cook scooped him up like she would a child and thanked him for bringing home Wufei and Sally as well as himself, Jack, and Gene. Depositing him back on the ground she left quickly complaining about getting sand in her eye.

Heero was confused. "What was that all about, Quatre?"

The blond smiled broadly. "Well, Heero, you should know by now how protective she feels about all of us. We've been worrying for so long that having you guys back with us now is something everyone around here appreciates."

"Really?" He asked hesitantly, then moved a little closer to Quatre and lowered his voice. "What about Duo? How's *he* doing?" Duo was laughing at Gene's unbelievably bad jokes and acting much more like himself than Heero had dared hope for.

A half-smile broke free as Quatre just said, "Why don't you find out for yourself, Heero? I dare say that welcome at the port seemed genuine enough."

Nervous, Heero looked uncertain. "Yeah, that surprised me. It was nice, but it surprised me." Suddenly fixing his friend in a hard stare he added, "I just don't want to get cut to ribbons again, Quatre. I really don't think I could handle it right now. Maybe not ever."

"I understand, Heero, he's my friend, too, you know. But give it time." Quatre glanced over at Trowa meaningfully. "Sometimes we all need a little extra understanding. But trust me, he's a lot closer to who he used to be now than he was when you left. Don't give up hope just yet."

Nodding, Heero agreed, "I won't give up hope that easily, you know that. I do, however, have a few questions for you, like what was the final verdict on your vision?"

"It's gone." Quatre shrugged. "One eye will have to do it for me, but this is a lot better than dying which is exactly what would've happened without Laurel's warning."

Heero looked at him strangely, "You're taking that awfully well. Is there something else you should add to that, Quatre?"

"There sure is," he beamed. "There's a wedding coming up! Hope you don't mind adjusting your social calendar to fit it in!"

Shocked, Heero's mouth fell open bringing a laugh from Quatre and getting Trowa's attention. Finally getting his surprise under control, Heero was about to congratulate Quatre when Trowa interrupted. "So, Little One, couldn't wait to surprise everyone at once?"

"Sorry, Trowa, Heero was just a little too upset about the eye thing and it slipped out." Quatre, however, didn't look the least bit apologetic. "Want me to make the announcement now?"

"If it pleases you, koi, go ahead," Trowa smiled lovingly at his fiancÚ.

Quatre promptly got everyone's attention. "Minor announcement time!" He laughed winking at Heero who still hadn't spoken. "Everybody, just want you to know we've got something planned for two weeks from this Saturday. Trowa and I are getting married, hope you can all come to the wedding!"

Heero finally found his voice. "Well, it's about damned time, you two. Congratulations!"

"Yes! Congratulations!" Added a variety of voices and other sentiments as well.

Trowa cleared his throat and things quieted, "Heero, I was wondering, are you available to be my Best Man?"

"I'd be honored!" Heero happily accepted, pulling his friend into a warm embrace.

Quatre glanced around finding himself hampered by the lack of peripheral vision. "Um, anyone seen Duo?"

"Yup, yup, yup! Right here and happy to accept!" Duo swooped in from Quatre's left side and grabbed his best friend in a hug. "All right! A wedding will be so cool! But what's a 'Best Man' supposed to do anyway?"

"Give them a party, baka," Heero teased, automatically slipping back into the old nick-name.

"Ah! I get it!" Duo smirked. "So, a party? Guess we'll have to coordinate that, eh, Heero? C'mon, if they want to do this wedding thing in two weeks we'd best start planning something!" He swept one arm around Heero's back and ushered him out of the room grinning wildly. Heero tossed a quick glance back at his friends and Trowa winked at him, rare reassurance that perhaps this wasn't such accidental timing after all.

The buffet to celebrate safe returns turned into an impromptu engagement party, but neither Heero nor Duo got around to coming back for any of it.

//I will not get nervous. I will not get nervous.//

//I'm not nervous, no sirree! This isn't exactly what I planned, but I'm *not* nervous!//

Strangely, nearly identical thoughts went through Heero's and Duo's minds as they left the dining room behind until an exactly identical one hit simultaneously.

//Aw, shit! I am *so* nervous!//

"Um, gee, Heero, did you want to get something more to eat?" Duo was stalling, they both knew it, but neither knew what else to do.

Heero swallowed nervously, thinking that this sudden turn of events far out-weighed any desire for food. "No, Duo, not any more. What exactly did you want to talk about? You said something about a party for Trowa and Quatre?"

Blinking, Duo looked confused. "I did? Oh! Yeah, right! I did! But, um, let's worry about that later, okay? I've got some other stuff I was hoping we could talk about. Want to talk out in the gardens or back here where it's more private?"

It wasn't until this exact moment that Heero realized he was standing outside his own bedroom door. Hoping against hope, he shrugged, "Anywhere you like is fine with me, Duo."

"Okay. How about in here?" Duo opened his own door, the one opposite Heero's, and ushered his bewildered fiancÚ into the room closing the door firmly behind him.

Heero, suddenly wishing he wasn't half as nervous as he was yet relishing the emotion just the same nodded in agreement. He was further surprised when Duo lead him over to sit side-by-side on the loveseat.

"So, Heero," Duo mumbled looking at his hands. "I really am glad you made it back safe and sound. I was worried for awhile there."

"You were?" Heero was surprised. "Thanks for the concern, Duo. It was a team effort, though, so don't go assuming I pulled it off alone."

"Hmm? Oh, right." Duo was having a hard time getting out what he wanted to say. "Like I said, I was hoping we could talk a bit. I've got some stuff I need to tell you."

Heero's chest constricted as he feared he'd misread the situation yet again. "Go ahead, Duo. What did you want to say?" He fervently wished it wouldn't be his worst fears, but didn't want to get his hopes up for nothing.

"Well, first off, I wanted to apologize for being a real jerk before you left." He saw the shock on Heero's face and knew what conclusion had been arrived at incorrectly. "Wait, Heero, no, I wasn't talking about the parking lot stuff," he blushed at the memory of what Quatre had finally admitted had happened in the car.

"If not that, then what?" Heero's confusion was multiplying.

"Hold it, Heero." Duo knew he needed to clarify this point before any further troubled could be caused by the confusion. "I mean the parking lot was a weird accident, I don't know what they told you, but they told me it was part of the drug withdrawal. I don't really remember it completely, but I'm not apologizing for that. I probably liked it and I hope you did, too, but that's not what I was talking about."

Heero looked visibly relieved. //Well, doesn't sound like he regrets seducing me in public like that, there's some hope there, I guess.//

"What I'm sorry about is all the garbage I said while I was still under Smith's control." The anger in his voice was unmistakable when he mentioned the malicious psychiatrist. "I mean, that crap about never loving another guy because it was 'wrong' was all his bullshit, I know now I never believed that and never would. It's perfectly normal and natural and, aw Hell, Heero, you're sexy as sin anyways!" He finally glanced up with a decidedly silly smirk on his lips, but it seemed better than running off and hiding.

"Really?" Heero blinked at the unexpected compliment.

"Yes, really!" Duo answered rather forcefully, not appreciating Heero questioning his taste in men. "Anyway, what else I'm sorry for is not trusting you to be strong enough to get through the attack at the prison. If I'd really trusted you, I shouldn't have gone nuts like I did and try to mess up my heart and everything. Plus, I really treated Gene badly and I'll apologize to him later, but he doesn't rank like you do." He grinned at Heero and found hope shining in the cobalt depths staring back at him.

"The other thing is that you need to know I've got a problem with my memory." For the first time since they'd sat down side-by-side, Duo looked truly forlorn, lost and depressed.

Without thinking, Heero's arm automatically curled around his waist in reassurance. Duo glanced down at the surprising warmth and grabbed Heero's hand when he tried to pull it away. "Oh no you don't, Yuy! Put your arm there and it stays, got it?"

Heero had a happy lopsided grin as he agreed then wrapped his other arm around the boy's waist hugging him tightly. "Got it."

"You know, that really feels nice," Duo sighed happily, leaning his head down onto Heero's shoulder. "Anyway, what I was saying was that I can't remember everything, especially about the two of us together. This really upsets me, too, since I know we were engaged before you left, there's no ring, but I half-remember it and Quatre says it's true. But the point is that I don't remember everything about being in love with you. I wish I did, I think it was probably really fabulous, but it wouldn't be fair for me to not tell you this."

Heero was temporarily speechless, so he did what his instincts told him to do, kiss the beautiful creature he held in his arms and hope that alone might bring back memories. Gently, he lifted Duo's chin and cautiously moved in to kiss him, giving the other a chance to back away without pressure. He was surprised instead by Duo's eyes sliding shut and his lips gently parting awaiting the kiss.

At first, it was awkward, as if the two hadn't kissed enthusiastically just hours earlier; it was as if they'd never kissed before. Each fumbled a bit trying to get it just right, then natural instinct kicked in once more and it smoothed out leaving them enjoying long languorous kisses. None were urgent and never once was there more than the slightest touch of a gentle tongue to a lip, nothing that might scare the other off.

After kissing for long enough that their lips were becoming sensitized and puffy from the pressure, they stopped, just sitting there holding each other in their arms, hugging.

"Cuddling is nice, Heero." Duo mumbled thickly as pure warmth spread through him in waves of pleasure. "Did we do this a lot?"

Heero smiled a little at this remark. "Not as much as I would've liked, Duo. We never seemed to have enough time for everything we wanted to do."

"Well," Duo sighed happily, sinking deeper into the strong arms around him, "we have plenty of time now, don't we? And no need to rush, right? After all," he looked Heero in the eyes allowing his partner to drink in the sight of the amethyst pools he loved so much, "we should both be sure what we really want before we jump into anything we might regret, right?"

Saddened that things weren't quite as rosy as possible, Heero agreed. "Sure, Duo. All the time in the world if you need it. As for me though, I still feel the same and am happy to at least get to hold you again."

"Good," Duo yawned a little. "Say, Heero, I'm sleepy, want to take a nap or do you want to go back out to the party?"

"What?" Heero was confused. Was Duo inviting him to get into bed with him or what? Was this some bizarre torture or something else?

Duo yawned again, a huge gaping yawn that embarrassed him no end. He looked up sheepishly, "Sorry, but I was so nervous about you coming home I couldn't sleep last night. Guess it's catching up with me." He smiled helplessly as another yawn hit him.

Now that he understood it was not a sexual offer, but an offer of a pleasant opportunity to simply lay in bed and snuggle during a nap, Heero gladly accepted. "Sounds like a plan, Duo. Truth be told, I didn't sleep well the whole time we were away, I was worried about you, too."

"Really?" It was Duo's turn to be surprised. "Well then, kick those shoes off, soldier boy, and come take a nap with me. I promise not to jump you or anything!" He added with a grin as he held a hand out to Heero inviting him to stretch out on the king-sized bed with him.

//I wish you *would* jump me!// Heero couldn't help adding mentally as he pulled a comforter over them and he held Duo's seemingly too thin body tightly against his own.

They lay together, Heero listening to the gentle breathing of his fiancÚ and wondering how he'd ever convince him to fall in love again if that's what the lack of memory required. Just as he, too, started to drift off into sleep it crossed his mind to wonder if he really did want to start over or if this wasn't a break they should make instead of trying to rebuild what was gone.

on to part 15

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