6-19-2001

Return to Happiness : Part Two
by: Chiaki
Pairings: 2x1,3x4,5xSally.....
Ratings: YAOI/SHOUNEN AI, AU, OOC, angst, romance, sap, Standard Disclaimers apply.....Don't own `em, but the story's mine.

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[ Part Two ]

Duo stood in awe at the sight of Quatre's mansion. It was obviously not the same one they had used three years ago. He stood in the middle of a very large hall; probably where the parties were held Duo thought. At one end was the entrance to the house and at the other end stood a marble staircase. He could see the left and right corridors at the top of the stairs. The dining hall was to his left, while the parlor and library were to his right. The entire place gave a sort of heavenly feel to it. Duo grinned.

"Nice place Q-chan, real nice."

"Why thank you Duo. We plan on having the wedding in the garden at the back of the house and the reception here." Quatre said as he stood beside Duo. "An untraditional wedding for an untraditional marriage."

"No. A beautiful and unique wedding for a beautiful and loving couple." Duo replied as he gave Quatre a hug. Quatre's smile brightened at his words.

"Rashid has taken your things up to your room Duo. Would you like to come into the parlor? We'll be having tea and snacks shortly." Trowa commented wrapping his arms around his lover.

"Oh my God!!" Duo exclaimed once again in awe. "That's the most I've heard you say" - pause - "ever!! What have I missed?!" Duo asked the trio made there way into the large room.

"Too much Duo." Quatre whispered more to himself than anyone else. If it weren't for the fact that Duo was an ex-gundam pilot he wouldn't have picked it up, but he was, so he did. Looking a little uneasy, he sat himself down across from the two lovebirds.

"What do you mean, /too much/?"

Quatre stiffened as he was caught. // Damn. I've got to remember that we're NOT normal people. //

"Oh, nothing really." Quatre replied off-handedly as he searched Duo's eyes. He could see that Duo wanted to know, but didn't want to seem too eager.

"Oh." Duo nodded nonchalantly as he leaned into his seat. "So! When are the others going to get here?"

"Wufei, Sally, and Lianne will be arriving this evening." Trowa started.

"Lianne?" Duo tilted his head.

"Yes, Lianne is their one-year-old daughter....." Quatre answered.

"Wufei and Sally got married??!!" Duo screeched and his eyes bugged out.

"Yes..." the couple answered simultaneously.

"Why didn't you guys tell me?" Duo asked looking a little hurt.

"You didn't want to be found remember Duo?" It was more of a statement than a question, " It took us a year to track you down and then you ignored us. We tried."

Duo stared at the young emerald-eyed man sitting across from him. Trowa didn't say it to blame Duo, he just stated the facts. Which made Duo feel all the more guilty and ashamed. He turned his glance to Quatre who would not look him in the eye. Duo pushed back his bangs and sighed.

"You're right Trowa and I owe you two an apology. I owe /ALL/ of you an apology, which I plan on doing once the others arrive. I came here to celebrate your wedding and to fix all that I've made wrong....I only wish I did it sooner."

Quatre reached over to grasp the American's trembling hand. Violet met aquamarine, and Quatre spoke.

"Better late than never. You're forgiven Duo."

"Quatre's right. I forgive you too Duo. Just don't do that to us ever again." Trowa grinned.

"Thank you.....and yes. Never again...." Duo wiped away the few tears that had fallen unbidden from his eyes. Quatre withdrew his hand from Duo's and leaned against Trowa.

// I thought he'd ask about Heero-chan by now. Hmm...Maybe he's not ready to fix that problem just yet. He'll ask when he's ready. Good thing I sent Heero-chan on that business trip and won't be here until Tuesday.// Quatre contemplated.

"Master Quatre." Rashid said as he entered the parlor carrying a large silver tray. "Your tea and sandwiches are ready."

"Thank you Rashid." Quatre replied. Duo looked up at the mention of food which the other three noticed.

"It's good to know that some things never change!" Rashid exclaimed. The parlor was promptly filled with laughter.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

The three ex-pilots were still in the parlor "catching up" when Rashid announced the arrival of the Changs. Quatre and his lover hurried to the door to greet their guests. Duo lingered in the parlor for a few moments before following them. As he neared the large oak double doors, Duo recognized the Asian man in Quatre's embrace. There stood Chang Wufei, ex-pilot of Shenlong, with the biggest smile on his face. He still resembled like the justice obsessed gundam pilot Duo knew all too well and yet he was different. Wufei had obviously grown both in height and in frame. He now stood as tall as Sally. Shoulder length ebony hair was held back in a loose ponytail and his eyes danced with happiness as he greeted his two friends. After shaking hands with Trowa, Wufei moved back to put his arm around his wife. Then Wufei said something which caused Sally to blush and the little girl in her arms to giggle.

Laughter ceased from the group as Duo stepped into the small circle. Swallowing the lump in his throat, Duo addressed Sally.

"Hi there Sally, or is it Mrs. Chang now?" Duo smiled slightly.

"Duo Maxwell?" Sally sounded both shocked and happy. She stood there staring at the only ex-gundam pilot she didn't know as well as the others. Sally had only seen Duo a couple times during the war but remembered a heart shaped face, vibrant amethyst eyes, a cheeky grin, and a long chestnut braid. She remembered a beautiful boy but this was a man that stood before her now. She figured that Duo was nineteen now, since the other three (her Wufei was sixteen) were around fifteen when the war started. He wore black pants and a red v-neck cotton shirt. The chestnut braid now reached a little below his knees and Duo stood about five foot ten. He was now the second tallest of the five, only a few inches shorter than Trowa. Duo had also filled out, stretching his cotton tee just a tad bit. He was built but wasn't bulky.

"And who's this cutie?" Duo asked snapping Sally out of her examination. He was smiling brightly at her daughter. Amazing the other four adults, Lianne smiled back, which was quite unusual since she didn't take well to strangers.

"Hi..." Lianne whispered shyly. Duo's smile brightened the more. Then he turned his attention to Wufei who was staring at him with a blank statement. Nervousness gripped his heart as he began to greet his former gundam pilot.

"Oh my God Duo!" Wufei shouted as he crushed said pilot in a bear hug. Shocked out of his wits only for a moment, Duo returned it full force.

"Hey Wu-man! Glad to see me?" Duo laughed but stopped short as he was smacked up side the head by a now glaring Chinese.

"What the HELL were you thinking leaving us all like that? You're just lucky I'm so damn happy right now or else I'd be kicking your ass!"

"Chang Wufei!! NOT in front of our daughter!" Sally commanded as she proceeded to smack Wufei up side his head.

"Onna~!" Sally glared at her love. Wufei grinned sheepishly at his wife.

"Sorry hon. I forgot." Sally's glare softened. The group made their way back to the parlor and sat down among the chairs. Trowa and Quatre occupied the loveseat. Wufei, Sally, and their daughter took the couch while Duo sat in his previous chair.

"So Maxwell. What have you been up to these past years?" Wufei asked as his tiny daughter snuggled closer to him.

"I've been living on L2, dingy little apartment, but it suffices."

"And work?"

"A mechanic for Hirde." Duo said a volume lower than normal. As he expected, the adults in the room quirked their eyebrows. Clearing his throat Duo continued. "Hirde and I are just good friends. Besides, her boyfriend wouldn't be too happy with me if I had the hots for his girl." The eyebrows de-quirked but he could tell that they were still skeptical. Duo sighed. He knew he wouldn't win them over that easily.

"Um, are you still with the Preventers Wu-man?" Duo decided to change the subject.

"Yes I am and do not call me Wu-man," he replied. "Sally stopped working for them when we got married two years ago. I've been working with Lady Une, Noin, and Zechs for a while now. Which reminds me. Quatre, Zechs and Noin have asked me to inform you that they will be attending your wedding after all."

"That's great! And Lady Une?"

"Yes, she will be too."

"Oh my goodness!" Sally interrupted a bit shocked. "Where's Heero-chan?! Shouldn't he be here too?"

"Yea~! Unkow Heewoow!" Lianne squealed looking up at her mother.

Duo visibly stiffened at his ex-lover's name but raised an eyebrow at the term of endearment. The blond man discreetly glanced at Wufei, who understood the message conveyed in the aquamarine depths. He lightly brushed Sally's side, which looked like a husband's caress, but Sally knew better. Trying to act as casual as before, Sally spoke up again.

"Wasn't he sent on that business trip, Quatre?" Duo became eerily quite as they others began a conversation about his blue-eyed love.

"Yes he was. He will be arriving this Tuesday though, so all is well."

"Quatre gave Heero a job after your departure. He lived with us for a while but eventually moved into an apartment in the next kingdom. We still see him almost every other weekend though," Trowa stated looking directly at the braided man formally known as 02.

"Oh...h-has he changed much?" Duo stammered making eye contact with the rug.

Wufei inhaled deeply. Glancing briefly at the other three first, he then cleared his throat. When Duo finally looked at him, Wufei began.

"Everyone changes right Maxwell? I mean look at me." Duo chuckled lightly at the comment. "And Hee-chan has changed" - pause - " just like the rest of us." Wufei decided it was best to stop there.

"I apologize, but my daughter has fallen asleep. Which doesn't sound like such a bad idea." Wufei said as he rose cradling Lianne. "Quatre, Trowa, we will retire to our room and see you in the morning. Good night."

"Yes, I suppose we should all retire for the night. Good night Wufei. Sally." Trowa stood up and kissed Lianne on the forehead before turning to Quatre. "Come, love."

Quatre watched as the Changs left the parlor then turned to Duo.

"Duo? Would you like me to show you to your room?"

"Huh? Oh. Nah, it's okay Q-chan. I think I can find my way later. Besides, it's still early."

"Okay then, good night Duo."

"Good night Quatre."

Quatre turned worried eyes to Trowa as he left the parlor. His tall lover just shook his head as he lead the blond towards the stairs. Without sharing a word they climbed the stairs, deciding that the ex- pilot of Wing and anything relating to him should not be brought up again until his arrival.

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Don't hit me!! Don't hit me!!

You KNEW there was gonna be some angst....well...angst. Just bare with me okay? ::laughs:: You like the others that have graciously read my fic will love it....just you wait.....:giggles:: Hopefully....