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 21

"Well? Where are they then?" Quatre was pacing worriedly as he glanced out the window at the setting sun. They had returned hours ago with news, but there was no one there to tell it to. Duo and Heero seemed to have vanished, there were no notes to indicate where they'd gone and darkness in the desert could be dangerous to the unwary even if they had been Gundam pilots.

"It would appear I may have a clue," Trowa walked back into the living area where his fiancÚ was anxiously fretting over their missing friends. "Heero's hat is missing and since he hates wearing it, perhaps he decided to track down Duo if he went into town."

"You're right, Trowa!" Quatre stopped pacing and quickly hugged his fiancÚ. "Duo must have gone on one of his walks, but Heero doesn't know the route, suppose Heero got lost out there?"

Trowa frowned thoughtfully, "That's theoretically possible, koi, but I doubt it. More likely something delayed them. Doesn't Duo usually carry a cell on his walks?"

"Ah ha!" Quatre grinned and pulled out his own cell phone and dialed Duo's number. Oddly enough, they heard it ringing back in Duo's currently empty bedroom. "Damn it!" Quatre cursed realizing that avenue wouldn't do them any good. Just as Quatre was thinking of some new and colorful things to call his reckless friends, the phone in his hand rung. "Winner here!" He snapped.

"Yo!" A happy voice came back at him. "Maxwell here! Any reason we're talking like secrets agents, Quatre?" Duo was laughing then quickly amended in a mock-serious tone, "I've got Agent Yuy with me, too, Chief!" (1)

Trowa smiled gently as a range of emotions crossed Quatre's face before it settled on amusement. "Very funny, Duo! Where the heck are you guys? We were worried sick, don't you know how dangerous it is out there at night?"

"Um, no, not really, Q!" He laughed back. "We, um, were, um, busy. Yeah, right, Heero? We were 'busy'?"

In the background Duo's throaty laugh was cut short as Heero took the phone. "Sorry, Quatre. We were a little, no, a lot slower getting to town than we'd planned. You were probably worried, but the baka," a voice in the background stopped laughing long enough to protest, "Hey! Don't call me that!", before Heero finished, "forgot his cell at your place and there's only so much speed a person can muster out here bare foot."

Quatre nearly gagged, "'Bare foot', Heero? Why were you two walking to town bare---oh never mind! Where are you and I'll send someone to get you."

"That would be great, Quatre. We're at the fuel station at the edge of town from your place." Heero sounded happier than he had in awhile.

"Fine, stay put and someone will be there in a few minutes. Quatre out."

"No problem. Out."

The connection severed, Quatre smiled hugely and grabbed onto Trowa for a huge hug. Taking all of the data available in, there was only one logical conclusion for both of them, so Trowa stated it. "So, they finally figured it out?"

"They sure did, koi!" Quatre grabbed him joyfully and kissed him breathless. "Sounds like things are working out after all. Thank Allah! If those two stumbled over each other much more I don't know what I would've done. It's about time!"

"You are quite right, Little One." Trowa held his soon-to-be-husband tightly. "It is actually past time, but with them there was no way to get them there sooner. But what is this about going 'bare foot' in the desert?"

Quatre just laughed, "I have no clue, Trowa, but if it helped them to get through the barriers, I say we hide their shoes for a couple months!"

"Sounds like a good idea to me, but let them have the tuxedo shoes for Saturday, all right? I don't want to listen to Laurel explain to our grandkids why the two best men were bare foot at our wedding."

"Agreed." Smiling, the two went to tell Sadeema to fix some dinner for their wayward friends and they agreed to keep their own good news quiet until later. After all, if Heero and Duo had finally found their way back to each other's arms, there was no need to distract them.

When the missing couple returned, one look at Heero's old boots and the angry blisters on his feet answered any questions about why they were wandering around bare foot. Akheem had some wonderful cream for the blisters but it was rather amusing to watch Duo try to come up with a plausible explanation for the unusual sunburn he had gotten which needed some medical attention as well. No one questioned it and they just let him ramble on embarrassing himself further until Heero stood up, swept Duo up in his arms and commented they were going to bed.

"Ja ne!" Duo called cheerfully over Heero's shoulder as they walked away and only one door was heard to close down the hallway.

Quatre looked at Trowa and giggled, "How long has it been since those two sounded so happy, koi?"

"Too long." Trowa, ever loving and gentle, simply mimicked Heero by picking up his own lover and carrying him to bed as well.

Things were frantic around the estate as final preparations were made for the wedding. Guests had begun to arrive, predominantly Quatre's numerous sisters and their families as well as Trowa's sister Catherine. Neither Heero nor Duo had living family members to invite yet they were pleased with the unique family they had and were happy just the same.

Friday night before the Saturday noon wedding came and it was time for the wedding rehearsal. Quatre was nervous, several things hadn't quite fallen into place yet, and no one at Preventer's headquarters knew where Wufei and Sally had gotten off to this time, but over all things were going well. Vash had recovered nicely from the snake bite and was going to be Laurel's escort during the ceremony, something that pleased the little girl tremendously.

Heero and Duo had been frustrated by the fact that giving either friend a "bachelor party" was problematic since neither wanted one and they were opposed to any additional insanity for good reason.

So, the newly rediscovered fiancÚs were forced to convince their respective best friends to at least head out for a break Friday during the day. Quatre was most recalcitrant but Duo practically begged him and they went off in search of some last minute items and lunch on the run. Duo was pleased when he at least got Quatre to loosen up and laugh that most of the last minute details weren't earth-shatteringly important and they ended their outing with celebratory banana splits. Heero, however, had some very specific things to talk to Trowa about. These two went straight to Trowa's favorite Italian restaurant for lasagna and spent a solid two hours discussing hopes, dreams, and plans. A few well chosen shopping stops later, they were back at the estate, ready to get through the rehearsal.

Neither outing really constituted the "party" either friend wished to give, but it seemed to please their friends and that was more than enough.

"Heero?" Duo glanced at his lover with mixed emotions.

"What's wrong, Duo? Worried you'll screw up at the wedding?" Heero teased gently before sitting down next to his love and pulling him tight. "You shouldn't worry, you won't get anything wrong." He kissed him lightly to reassure him.

"No, that's not it, Heero," Duo looked puzzled. "What I'm wondering about is why go to so much fuss? I mean we've all known those two were meant for each other from the day they met, why is a wedding so important?"

"Hmm," Heero paused, this wasn't anything he'd even thought of before. "Well, for one thing, koi, Quatre is the wealthiest man alive and there are a few people who vicariously enjoy seeing someone like that get married in style. Beyond that, there are a few legal matters, but I think I see what you mean." He turned his head to look his fiancÚ in the eye, "Are you wondering if we have to go through all this when we decide we're ready to make things permanent?"

Ah, this was indeed exactly what was bothering his violet-eyed love, yet he wasn't sure how to handle it. Neither was Duo.

After a moment or two, Duo shrugged and kissed Heero, "Never mind, koi. It was a silly worry over something that's a long time in coming. We'd better get going, though, or we'll get chewed out for being late for the rehearsal." The pair walked out into the maelstrom of preparations and Duo forgot his concerns.

As everyone involved with the ceremony was being assembled Heero made a point to target Trowa for a moment. "Nervous?" he asked.

"Of course," was the answer. "Having Catherine throw razor sharp knives at me is a lot easier than this is."

Heero snickered gently. "Everything else okay?"

Trowa's emerald gaze twinkled with merriment. "Never better, Heero. Don't worry, everything's fine."

Nodding his head, Heero smiled as he watched Duo making a spectacle of himself with a number of the Winner-family babies trying to see how many of Quatre's nieces and nephews he could get to laugh at once. A poorly made joke with Laurel had landed him the comedian job when Vash decided it was inappropriate, but he seemed to be enjoying it. Laurel and Vash both found the show highly amusing, too, especially Vash who bragged he'd "conned" Uncle Duo into it in the first place. Laughing a little, Heero started to walk away before a gentle hand stopped him, "Heero, are you sure?"

"Trowa," he smiled warmly, pulling his friend close, "I've never been more sure of anything in my whole life, but I've been saying that a lot lately."

Chuckling, they separated and went to retrieve their chosen loves.

As the rehearsal began in reality, the justice of the peace who was conducting the ceremony found the situation pleasantly novel. No frantic mother-in-laws hovering about, no annoying ex-lovers demanding the whole thing be stopped, just four handsome young men, assembled to take care of what Heero dryly labeled a "necessary evil".

They got Laurel taken care of first, she was the only child in the party, Vash really wasn't a "child" in anyone's eyes who knew him, and she was having a bit of difficulty understanding just what her job was. The child was to be a flower girl after they realized she had never attended a wedding and didn't understand the idea of being maid of honor for her fathers-to-be. Finally, Quatre picked her up and held her tightly telling her all she really had to do was look happy and that would be enough. She sniffled a little and commented she was very happy, she just didn't want to make her 'daddies' upset with her. Assuring her that was impossible, he kissed her and set her back down confidant that she'd be fine.

Once this was taken care of, the justice began telling the former pilots where to stand and what to do. Beyond Duo's peripheral vision, Trowa gave the man a brief nod. "All right, let's run through the wording on the ceremony, shall we? We don't want to get our lines confused tomorrow now do we?"

Pulling out a sheet of paper, he smiled knowingly and began to read off the reminders about marriage being considered sacred by most cultures and that it was not to be entered into lightly. Then he got to the relevant part where the most mistakes could happen. "All right, here's where you need to listen closely or you'll miss your cues. Hmm, I say, 'yada, yada, yada'; then I say, 'Do you, Duo Maxwell, take this man, Heero Yuy, to be your lawfully wedded husband?'"

on to part 22

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