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 24

"What?!?" Quatre almost shouted, jumping up to go over to his friends and wrapped Sally in a huge hug. "You're going to be parents, too? That's great! Isn't that great, guys?" Beaming, he smiled at the other Gundam pilots all of whom had converged on Wufei and Sally with a dozen questions.

"When did you get married?" Trowa asked, amazed they'd kept such a thing quiet for so long. "Why did you keep it a secret?"

"We were married while Duo was in the hospital recovering from the heart transplant." Wufei then grinned and added, "Remember the day you asked me to pick up the rings you'd ordered when we went shopping? We were wed that afternoon, I'm amazed no one noticed. Frankly," he snickered to himself, "For a group of trained spies you guys are pretty easy to fool."

"But the secret?" Quatre prodded. "Why hide it from us?" He felt truly hurt that Wufei and Sally both failed to share this with them, they were family after all.

Sally smiled. "Actually, Quatre, that's my fault. I asked Wufei not to tell you since there was so much else going on in your lives. With Duo recovering from two risky surgical procedures and Heero's impending prison time, I felt it was best to keep this to ourselves. Then when Heero was attacked and everything, it felt wrong to mention it then either. So, you see? We didn't mean to withhold information to hurt anyone, it just didn't seem like the right time to mention it."

Heero seemed pleased beyond words, but Duo covered for him. "Just a minute, here! If you two are expecting a *baby*, why didn't you tell us? Did Preventers know you were pregnant when they sent you to DH-1221, Sally? If so and they sent you anyway, I do believe I need to go and speak with Une about this! No one sends *my* sister off to a dying colony when she's carrying the niece or nephew of Shinigami!" He wrapped his arms around Sally and kissed her soundly on the cheek, proudly grinning at the idea of another child being added to their family.

Wufei, however, was less than pleased by Duo's protectiveness. "Maxwell," he growled, "Don't you think I had made it clear that I, too, was opposed to them sending her there? Sally, however, insisted on going. I've already learned to never try to stop this woman when she has something in mind!" Sally grinned at Wufei's defeated look.

"Served you right, Mr. Chang!" She grinned. "After you left me and ran off to round up a defense team for Heero, I felt it was my own choice to do my job as I saw fit as well."

Heero looked startled. "You mean you were pregnant while he was out of touch looking for help for me?"

"Yes, but the stubborn man never kept track of his e-mail! We didn't know about the baby when he left and then he was out of touch for so long that when I finally got to tell him, he was as shocked as you look now, Heero!" Sally chuckled at the chagrin clearly etched on the former Shenlong pilot's face.

"Onna!" Wufei displaced his friends from his wife, "You make me sound like a lap dog, tied to you by a leash!"

"Never, Fei," she smiled happily. "You are only bound by love, you know that. I'd never tie you down against your will." Then she leveled a decidedly suggestive grin at the other pilots causing more giggles and blushes to break out.

"Of course we're very happy for you both," Quatre commented slowly, clearly worried about something. "But why did you vanish like you did after the return from DH-1221, Wufei? We couldn't even locate you through Preventers."

Wufei protectively encircled his wife's waist which barely indicated her current impending parenthood. "We were seeking answers to questions about our child. The time spent on the colony could have endangered him, and we were having a series of tests run. However, he is fine and we are going to look forward to Sally completing her duties safely from Preventers Headquarters until the birth next spring."

"'Him'?" Duo asked, astonished. "Wufei, you're going to have a *son*? Wow! That's so cool! I mean, you're *both* going to have a son! That's great!" He smiled broadly and everyone seemed to share the sentiment. "Well, if you know it's a boy, what's the name going to be?"

"No way, Duo!" Sally laughed. "We are not giving out names until after the birth. So you'll have to be patient and find out in about five months like everyone else."

Heero had quietly stepped next to his fiancÚ and took Duo's hand in his. "A son sounds wonderful. You two will make good parents, congratulations again." He squeezed his fingers firmly, making Duo look quizzically back at him.

"You know, Yuy," Wufei smirked, "This means you and Duo will be the only non-parents amongst us pilots. Guess you two will pull babysitting duty, ne?"

"Don't count on it, Chang," Heero grinned. "Who knows where we'll be five months from now? I certainly wouldn't have predicted *this* turn of events six months ago! There's always secrets lurking around us!"

"What?!?" It was Wufei's turn to be shocked. "You mean you and Duo are adopting a child, too?"

"Whoa there! No way, right, Heero?" Duo looked a little panic stricken suddenly as Heero's words seemed to take on a whole new meaning. "I'm not ready to be a daddy yet! I'm still getting being an uncle down pat!"

Heero laughed and pulled Duo tighter. "Of course we aren't adopting a child, koi. At least," his eyes sparkled at the very idea, "not yet, that is."

Moaning, Duo slumped against Heero dramatically. "I do believe I need to sit down! Remember what Akheem said, no more surprises for me for awhile, right?"

Laughing, Heero hugged Duo and simply responded, "Right. However, you do look like this has been enough of a surprise for now. Why don't you rest for a bit, koi? I do not want to finish the ceremony tomorrow standing next to you in a hospital somewhere."

"Yeah, yeah, I'll do it," Duo tried to sound annoyed but had visibly paled during the apparent joke about Heero wanting kids. "Congrats, Sally! How Wufei linked up with a fabulous lady like you is a mystery, but I know he's been in love with you ever since you kicked his ass during the war and got him involved in fighting again. You've been a good influence from a distance, after being married to you for awhile he may even learn basic etiquette like how to call people by their first names!"

Wufei laughed good-naturedly, "Actually, *Duo*, I've always known how to do that, it just didn't seem necessary with a joker like you!"

"But he will from now on, wont you, *dear*?" Sally smiled less than sweetly. "Since we're a family I don't want the baby to see his father calling his uncle by a last name!"

Duo grinned before going in search of a quiet place to rest for a bit, "Besides, you'll get the name wrong anyway!" On that mysterious note, he walked away.

The conversation returned to the subject of how the couple had hidden their marriage as well as the upcoming birth of their son. As it turned out, they'd never really hidden much of anything. No one had even noticed that the two had shared the same room in the penthouse suites at 'The Queensberry' so long ago beginning the day they'd been wed. The fact that neither wore rings nor had changed their names was a cultural issue as well as personal preference. They were clearly happy beyond words and once things were clarified, Quatre and Trowa both felt more than a little foolish for not noticing earlier.

Across the lawn, Heero spotted Duo laying on the grass star gazing thoughtfully. He stopped to simply watch the beautiful sight of his lover laying in the moonlight.

//He's so different now.// Heero contemplated. //Where he was always so loud before, now he's often quiet, even pensive like now. Yet, he seems so much happier than he was during the war. All of those jokes and grinning foolishness was intended to keep us happy, not himself. I can see that now. He's changed so much it's as if he's aged years in the last six months. Then again, so have I.//

Heero stood there simply watching Duo and thinking how close he'd come to losing him. The combination of thoughts brought a shivering streak of fire down his spine as he watched the achingly beautiful young man before him.

Happily, the party was winding down as the hour became quite late. Duo was yawning when he heard an announcement that pleased him, it would soon be time for the last dance of the night and Heero had promised to dance it with him. As he shook off another yawn and got ready to get up to look for Heero, his partner seemed to materialize out of the darkness.

"Yo," Heero greeted him, then sat in the grass beside Duo.

"Yo, yourself," Duo grinned easily and raised up in the grass to lean on his elbows, turning to look at Heero. The cobalt-blue eyes were almost black in the moonlight, as fully-dilated pupils seemed to distort the colors Duo loved so much, but it added an erotic intensity that hadn't been there before. "I think they announced the last dance, Heero. Want to dance one last time as a free man?"

"Hn," Heero grunted as he pulled Duo into a sweet kiss. "I will remain a 'free man' regardless of my marital status, Duo, and so will you. Don't even consider this a 'captive' situation." He kissed him again only longer and deeper than before, leaving them both breathless. "A last dance to celebrate what will happen tomorrow, however, does sound interesting."

Duo looked interested in something other than dancing. "All right, Heero. We'll dance now, but I for one feel like going to bed soon. Isn't the ceremony in the morning? We should get some sleep before that."

Heero frowned even as he helped Duo to his feet, "I was thinking that bed sounded like a good idea, too, but I wasn't planning on sleeping any time soon."

"Heero!" Duo pretended to be shocked that his lover's thoughts were tracking precisely along with his own. It seemed as if they shared the same thoughts on a regular basis lately. "Don't you think we should save that for the wedding night?"

Finally unable to keep the straight face he used to live in regularly, Heero broke into a broad smile and snatched his love into his arms passionately. He whispered directly into Duo's ear, "Who says we can't have it *both* nights, koi? That seems preferable to me."

Giggling and more than a little aroused by the warm breath on his ear, Duo agreed. "Can't argue with that, koi! I was thinking the same thing myself!"

"Good! That's settled then." Heero wrapped an arm around his love as they walked back towards the party where people were already dancing.

"Let's get the dance over with, say our 'goodnights' and I'll race you back to the room." Then Duo grinned evilly, "Whoever gets there first can be top!"

Heero chuckled darkly, "Then don't plan on really trying to beat me, Duo. I might cheat to win a prize like that!"

Shocked, Duo stared at Heero to see if he was serious. To his amazement, he found his dark-haired lover was indeed quite serious. "On second thought, Heero, let's not race. It would appear I might need all of my strength for bed!"

"Hai, that you will!" Laughing, the couple headed down to dance together then they did indeed head off to bed where the night seemed to go too quickly and they definitely didn't get much sleep.

The main hall of the Winner estate had been decorated with fresh flowers and candles for the day's event.

The crowd attending the wedding of four former Gundam pilots was quite happy and included a girl who would become the daughter of two of them in a private ceremony immediately following the exchange of vows. Also present was another former pilot who was halfway through the first year of his own marriage. Sitting beside him, his wife smiled broadly every time someone else congratulated her on the upcoming birth of their child or asked how she had convinced the infamously stubborn Chang Wufei to marry her. Sally Po's secret, however, remained just that. It had actually taken quite a bit of convincing on Wufei's part to get Sally to marry him despite the age difference amongst other issues.

As music filled the room, the crowd quieted. A string quartet with a flute soloist played Bach's "Ode to Joy" for the processional. All four grooms had agreed the "Wedding March" was annoying and had chosen alternative music from several pieces by Bach as well as Beethoven's "Pastorale".

Laurel, dressed in a lovely pale lavender dress, walked down a red carpet runner dropping rose petals as she went. She had mentioned to her fathers-to-be that it seemed a silly waste of otherwise nice flowers and Quatre had laughed that she was right, but it was traditional in his family, so he hoped she'd do it. Of course the minute she understood this was important to her beloved Quatre-daddy, as she still called him on occasion, she happily agreed.

At the front of the room, the justice of the peace awaited them as did Vash who looked stunning in a black tuxedo. He'd agreed to wear the tux after Quatre pointed out that he was welcome to choose his own accessories and he'd immediately opted for a red cumberbun and tie. His omnipresent yellow sunglasses were for once not on his face and he looked quite different without them. If asked, he would have admitted he missed them, but he was proud to be able to participate in such an important event in the first place.

As the music played, two handsome young men walked purposefully down the aisle, one in a white tuxedo, emerald-eyes glinting with nervousness, while the other was dressed in black, deep-blue eyes serious and focused. After a brief lag, their respective fiancÚs followed. The first, also in white, seemed infinitely happy and confidant, totally unaware of the fact that the eye-patch added an unexpected dash of the exotic to his appearance. Last to go was a young man who could only be described as beautiful as his shining chestnut braid swayed against the stark black tuxedo he was wearing. All four wore their engagement rings on their right hands following an ancient American tradition thereby leaving their ring fingers free for wedding bands instead.

As Quatre and Trowa exchanged their rather long and complicated vows, again following Winner family tradition, Heero and Duo simply stood quietly beside their friends waiting for the moment when the rings were needed. Eventually, that moment arrived. Handing the silk covered boxes to their friends, both Heero and Duo took a moment to shake hands with Trowa and Quatre. Then with deliberate slowness and care, they placed the rings on each other's fingers and sealed it with a gentle kiss which left Quatre blushing with an overwhelming desire to grab Trowa and run for privacy, but they weren't finished yet.

Next, Duo and Heero exchanged vows which they had each written separately themselves. To everyone's surprise, Duo's were fairly simple, a straight forward declaration of unconditional love and a pledge to always be beside Heero through life's challenges. Heero, on the other hand, recited a lengthy list of promises to Duo including one about making certain that the man he married would always be happy and that he would make any sacrifice ever needed to keep it that way. Those who knew of their struggles over the last six months found themselves crying or at least feeling a sense of awe at the way Heero seemed to have summarized all he had done for Duo and then promised to keep doing it for the rest of his life. Finally, Quatre and Trowa had their turn to present velvet covered boxes with Quatre hugging Duo and Heero initiating the same with Trowa, who was somewhat startled by the show of affection. It was hard at times to remember how much had changed and Heero's emotional freedom tended to surprise them most frequently. Eventually, facing each other once more, Heero and Duo placed gundanium bands onto each other's fingers and sealed it with a kiss as well, but theirs lasted longer than most ceremonial kisses and left them both breathless.

"Ladies and gentlemen," the justice of the peace smiled broadly, "Allow me to be the first to introduce you to husbands Quatre Raberba Winner and Trowa Winner." Applause rang through the room as Quatre beamed at the shocked looks on his friends' faces.

Heero looked at Trowa curiously and the other quietly whispered to him, "I'm not a 'No Name' any more, Heero. Besides, 'Winner' sounds better than 'Barton' anyway." Heero smiled as the sound in the room dropped and he and Duo received their moment.

"Now I am also honored to present to you husbands Heero Yuy-Maxwell and Duo Maxwell-Yuy." Again applause filed the room but it was Quatre's turn to look stunned as Duo smirked.

"Hyphenated names, Duo?" He asked incredulous. He was certain they would choose an entirely new surname to share since neither had been born with the names they were known by through the war. "But those aren't even your real names, are they?"

Duo pulled his friend into an embrace and whispered back, "Yeah, Quatre, they weren't 'real' before, but they are now! By doing this, I figure we are now both 'real' people. We've *made* each other that way, cool, huh?" He smiled broadly.

"It sure is, Duo! I'm so happy for you!" Quatre had tears in his eyes, but was furiously trying to blink them back before they soaked his satin patch; it was nearly impossible, but he eventually succeeded.

As the music began to play again the two couples left the front of the room and exited to the same small antechamber that had been used when Duo had fallen unconscious the night before. Once the door was closed behind them, Heero grabbed Duo without warning and practically flung him into the air. "You, sir, are MINE!" He shouted possessively, pulling Duo into a heart stopping kiss which brought a chuckle to Trowa who then decided it looked like a good idea and pulled his own new husband in for a passionate kiss.

The four were still kissing and ignoring the world in general when a slightly roughened voice spoke up behind them.

"Congratulations," Wufei said to all of them at once. "May you all be as happy as I am."

The five men who had faced death together on a regular basis stopped to look at one another. Now they stood, each married, each happy, each still as different from one another as ever, yet now they faced a new challenge together. Now the five faced *life* together instead of death and nothing would ever be the same, something they were all quite pleased with. A hesitancy hung in the air as no one could find words to say what he felt, but eventually Heero Yuy-Maxwell solved the problem by gathering his friends into one tight mass and laughed, loudly proclaiming, "Group hug!"

Utterly out of character compared to the bulk of their time together, this comment brought forth a series of laughing jokes which were ended when the four newlyweds were summoned for the usual "wedding bullshit" as Duo indelicately put it.

The apparently mandatory photos were taken, then Laurel's adoption ceremony took place. Present was Sakura Kinomoto representing the adoption board and the justice of the peace handled the official document.

Everyone was quite happy as they finally joined the reception already in swing at a local park. Just as Laurel had foreseen, they were having the reception next to a man-made lake in a park that Quatre's father had sponsored when he was born some 18 years previously. It seemed strange to have a wedding reception at a park named after one of the new husbands, but no one cared after the music began and the entertainment and food distracted everyone.

All of the children from Laurel's old orphanage were present, too, just as she had foretold. For entertainment, Trowa had asked Catherine to bring some old friends to the reception and the children were amazed by the numerous tumblers, jugglers, magicians, and clowns that were present simply for their enjoyment. Some of the adults found this enjoyable as well, even if Trowa was disappointed that Catherine refused to reprise their old knife throwing act.

The obligatory wedding cake matter was a surprise to the second couple, since Quatre had selected a rich pound cake for his and Trowa's reception initially. Realizing a second cake would be more than appropriate, a bakery had been located in Paris that produced a marvelous chocolate wedding cake for Heero and Duo. To get it there in time, however, Rex had happily volunteered to fly over to pick it up the morning of the wedding. Thus, it was a complete surprise when there were two impressive cakes, one with multiple tiers and white suited grooms at the top while the other was several flat pieces arranged with bridges connecting them and flowers for decorations. The flowers were the colors of the two lovers' eyes and everyone found it amazing, especially Duo who thanked the pilot of the Shooting Star profusely for giving up a chance to be present at the ceremony to bring it to the reception.

While mingling, Duo found himself standing with Sally speaking about a variety of things.

The Preventer physician, however, gave him a gentle tug to sit down. Leaning forward she gave him some important advice, "Duo, I know how wonderful this day is, but you are going to need to start keeping track of your pulse rate." He looked shocked, then curious as she entrapped his wrist n a gentle hold for a few moments.

She nodded sadly to herself. "You're pulse is way too fast and you're starting to get pale again. Take a break and rest if you want to enjoy your wedding night, okay?" She smiled at him reassuring him that as always, his 'adopted' big sister was watching out for him.

Concerned by what he'd heard, Duo decided a little solitude would be a good idea after all.

on to part 25

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