5-14-2001

Everlasting Love By: Jim Morrison.
Disclaimers: Don't own Gundam Wing. Everlasting Love is by U2 as far as I know.. Don't sue, cause I own Jack-all.
Warnings: None really. Just some sap and angst.
Pairings: 1+2, 3+4, Original Characters, A bit OCC and AU.
This is the last part in the trilogy began with Wonderful, And I Will Buy You a New life. Have fun with it. I don't know what else to add really. Comments are wanted/needed/craved. On with the fic.

++

The doorbell rang at the sleep. He had just gotten back from the Doctor's and he was still too edgy and beat to do anything else except sleep his anxiety away. And whoever it was that was at the door didn't seem to be willing to let him do just that.

He groaned when he heard the cheerful, incessant ringing. He rolled over and buried his head into the pillows, hoping that whoever it was would take the hint and bugger off. No such luck. The bell kept on ringing as if it were somehow reading his thoughts.

"Fuck!! All right! All right!" He growled as he clumsily got off the couch and stomped to the door. Yanking it open, he threw a furious glare outside. "WHAT?!"

Heero blinked and took a step back. "Did I wake you up, Duo?" Duo's eyes widened and he turned beet-red when he saw who it was that he had yelled at. He laughed weakly before throwing himself into Heero's arms and hugging him tightly.

"God! I'm sorry! I'm sorry! It's just that I haven't been able to sleep lately and I finally got a chance to and.." Heero laughed softly as he kissed the babbling American he held in his arms.

"It's all right. I was just startled that's all." He assured Duo, who had finally stopped babbling and was now enjoying the warmth of Heero's arms about him.

"I'm sorry either way." Duo apologized again. He was nuzzling Heero's neck when he realized something and pulled away.

"Duo? Is something wrong?" Heero asked, a concerned look on his face. Duo chewed his lip thoughtfully as he studied his ex. Heero was dressed up in a nice wool coat. Underneath, he had on a nice suit that fitted him like a glove. His hair, although still streaked with gray, was neatly combed. He also looked like he was actually eating and had completely parted ways with the booze.

"No. Nothing. I was just noticing how good you look right now, that's all." Duo said. =Damn. He does look good. So good, in fact, I'm actually tempted to lay him right now.=

"Also, I was just wondering why you're here at this time. The cheque isn't due yet. I mean Jude's birthday was just two months past and I thought that after last week we weren't going to uh.." Duo blushed and Heero smiled at him.<He's so cute when he's embarrassed.>

"I know that. Don't worry. I didn't come here to ravish you on Quatre's carpet." Duo's face turned red at the image it brought up. Heero, naked on top of him, his hands entwined in his hair.. He was brought out of the memories by a hand being waved in front of his face.

"Have you joined the living yet?" Heero teased him gently. Duo smiled briefly. They were still too edgy with each other to truly joke with each other. Most of their exchanges were brief and very cautious, as if they were slowly rediscovering each other's territory again. Duo nodded and watched as Heero pulled out a cheque from his inner suit pocket and handed it to him. Duo took the slip of paper and looked at it suspiciously.

"Why are you giving me this right now?" Duo asked him, a cold feeling settling itself at the pit of his stomach when he saw the large amount the cheque was written out for.

Heero's face became pensive. "I have to leave for a while, Duo. I probably won't be back till Jude's birthday next year." Heero told him quietly. Duo shook his head as his hand tightened around the slip of paper. His lips trembled as he tried to keep his composure.

//Hearts gone astray
Keeping up when they go
I went away
Just when you needed me so//

"Why do you have to leave me again? Why?" Duo whispered, his violet eyes slowly brimming up with tears as he looked at a stunned Heero. Heero reached out and pulled Duo close to him again. <What is wrong with you? What aren't you telling me?>

"I have no choice, Duo. Lady Une gave me the assignment. I have no choice." Heero whispered as he stroked Duo's heavy masses of hair. Duo bit his lip as he buried his face into Heero's shoulder. <Why is he acting like this? Why won't he tell me anything?>

"Can't you stay with me for a little while?" Duo pleaded tearfully, looking up into Heero's face. Heero smiled, but shook his head sorrowfully.

"Normally I would. You know that I can't resist you looking at me like that. But I'm the only one that's available right now. Wu-fei and Sally's child shall be born soon. Trowa must stay close to home because of Quatre and the kids. I was the only choice."

Duo sniffed as Heero told him this. He sighed and closed his eyes before leaning into Heero once more. Heero kissed his forehead, then his lips before gently letting him go. Duo's eyes flew open at the movement and he looked at Heero in bewilderment.

"I have to go now, Duo. My plane leaves soon. I just came to say good-bye to you." Heero told him as he stepped off of the front step. Duo nodded, but he still felt the lump that had formed in his throat. Heero paused in his movements and for several minutes he stood still, staring at Duo all the while. =Why is he looking at me that way? Why?= Without warning, Heero ran up the step and swept Duo into his arms and gave him a deep and passionate kiss that forced the long-haired man's lips to open and receive him without any complaint. Heero kissed him until they both had to come up for air.

"If I can, I will try to come back soon. But if not, keep that as both a remembrance and a preview of what will come. Now I go." Heero said as he ran to his car, leaving Duo standing in the doorway with an utterly confused statement.

//You won't regret
I'll come back begging you
Don't you forget
Welcome love we once knew
Yeah//

++

Heero frowned as he stepped out of the taxicab. It was cold in London. He paid the cab-driver and watched as he pulled away into the drizzle of the London snow. He pulled his coat closer to his body and looked around himself.

He only had a few days free before he got down to work, he told himself as he looked around Petticoat Lane. <How did I end up here?> He shook his head as he took in the different shops in the area. <You did say you wanted to get the kids and Duo Christmas gifts.> He reminded himself.

He sighed in exasperation as he kept on arguing with his mind as he stepped into the first place, which looked like a cross between his and Duo's rooms during the war.

<Well, you did tell the man you wanted something unusual for the kids and Duo.> He looked around at all the odd things that cluttered the shop.

<Shut up.> He finally told his mental voice as he chanced upon a display case of antique jewellery. The voice in his head chanced to shut up as well when Heero bent to examine an exquisite piece closely.

"Found somethin' you like, love?" Heero looked up and smiled slightly at the young girl behind the counter. Straightening up, he nodded.

"Could I have this one, please?" He asked her.

Several minutes later found him standing out in the Lane with the piece wrapped up with gold and red foil sitting securely in his coat pocket. He smiled to himself as he headed on his way to finish the rest of his Christmas shopping.

<Soon, I will be worthy of him. Soon. And this jewel shall be the symbol of it.>

++

//Open up your eyes
Then you'll realize
Here I said was my
Everlasting love//

++

Duo was sitting in the bay window in the den, watching as the fat snowflakes slowly and gently fluttered down to cover the withered rosebushes in the garden below him. He was feeling highly lethargic today. He didn't care. Heero had been gone for a month now. To where, he didn't know. He often wondered if Trowa himself knew, but the green-eyed man swore that he didn't when they had been discussing Heero's departure at the dinner-table. He sighed as he pulled a blanket around himself. Wouldn't do to get a cold.

"Da?" He turned away from the window and smiled at his eldest son.

"What is it Liam?" He asked as he watched his son walk up to him. =He looks so old! I can still remember when he was clinging to that stuffed platypus!=

Liam sat down beside Duo and did his own examination. Inwardly, he frowned. There was something different about him. He didn't look so tired and sad anymore. He looked like he was alive now. Not like he was just walking through life, but truly alive.

"I don't know where to start, Da." Liam said, making Duo feel suddenly concerned.

"What is it, Liam? Are you in some sort of trouble?" Liam swallowed hard.

"No. Neither are the others." Liam quickly assured him. "It has more to do with you and Father, really." Duo unconsciously straightened at this statement from his son.

"What I want to know is if you and him are thinking of getting back together again?"

Duo was utterly stunned and could only gape at his son as he tried to gather his wits around him. =Fuck! Why the hell couldn't ask he ask me about sex or something?= He asked himself as he tried to disentangle his thoughts and find a truthful answer to the same question that he had been asking himself for months now.

"I really can't answer that, Liam." Liam's eyes shone brightly. "Not because I don't think you deserve an answer." He added hastily. Liam frowned.

"Why not?" Liam asked as he began to play with his braid. Duo bit his lip.

"Because I don't know the answer to the question myself." Duo answered softly.

"What about father? What does he think?" Liam prodded. Duo turned back to the window and tired to keep his voice neutral as he spoke.

"I don't know. We have talked a bit, but he hasn't said anything about it to me." Duo said, speaking to the pane of glass before him to keep the tears from falling.= Fuck! Why am I crying all the time now? Why can't I stop?= But they fell anyways.

"Why do you ask?" Liam reached over and wiped the tears from his Da's eyes.

"Will it make you happy if he did? If he changed his ways and treated you like he used to, would you go back to him?" Duo turned to his son.

"Not if it meant that you guys would be unhappy, no, I wouldn't." Liam nodded as he then got up and walked out of the room. Duo shook his head and turned back to the window. =It doesn't matter what I say or want. Heero and I will probably always stay apart. A year is a long time and things can change.= But even though he was being pragmatic, the tears that fell down his face said otherwise.

//Need you by my side
Come and be my bride
You'll never be denied
Everlasting love//

++

He stayed at the window for the whole day. Even though he didn't eat as much as he used to, Duo would make it a point to be punctual for meals. But today, he hadn't bothered to make the effort, making Quatre worried enough to come and search him out.

"Duo?" He asked as he tentatively touched Duo's shoulder to get his attention. Duo shifted and smiled at Quatre. Quatre returned the smile before he sat down beside him.

"Hey, what's up Quatre?" Duo asked in a quiet voice, his eyes tired looking as he spoke.

"You didn't come to supper." Duo shrugged. "I wasn't hungry." He replied evasively.

"You haven't been eating much lately, Duo. All you've been doing is sleeping and sitting up here. Duo, there is something wrong, isn't there?" Duo looked down for a little bit before he looked up into Quatre's concerned face once again.

"I'm pregnant. I don't know how it happened, since I thought that the womb I had gotten implanted for Jude's gestation was taken out. I went to Sally, and she examined me, did some tests and we found out I was pregnant." Quatre felt his face going white at this information.

"Who's the father?" He asked Duo, wondering if it had been Zack or Mark, the two men that Duo had dated briefly a while back. Duo's mouth twisted into sickly grin.

"Heero's the father." He suddenly turned a nice crimson colour. " We- ah- before Jude's birthday." Quatre nodded, unsure of what to think about these new developments.

"Does he know about the baby?" Duo shook his head.

"I just found out the day he came to let me know he was leaving. I wasn't thinking straight, so I didn't tell him. He knew something was wrong and asked me about it, but I kept on brushing him off." Duo admitted as he started to cry again that day.

"Will you let him now soon? Or will you just wait until he comes back and present him with the baby then?" Quatre asked as he pulled Duo close. Duo shrugged.

"I don't know. Things are as mess now. I mean, things between Heero and I are going well, but I don't know if he positively wants us to get together again. He's given hints, but I don't want to put too much stock into them until I have concrete proof." He hiccuped as he angrily brushed his tears away. " And I don't want to get a hold of him and tell him about the baby and make him come back to me because he has to and not because he wants to. I don't want to live in another hell, Quatre. I've lived through too many of them already." Duo said, while Quatre only nodded at his words.

//From the very start
Open up your heart
Feel the love you've got
Everlasting love
This love will last forever
This love will last forever//

++

Christmas morning found Heero sitting in the pew of a Catholic Church somewhere in Manchester. He had been warned it wasn't an ideal travel spot, but he didn't give a damn. The dreary industrialism of the city couldn't really touch him, since all his thoughts were with his absent family. Being inside the church eased the gnawing loneliness somewhat. It brought back memories of midnight mass and the way that Duo would cling tightly to him as the boys sang in the choir.

<I wonder if he's taken them to church for Christmas this year.> Heero said to himself as he looked around the dark and sombre interior of the church that was occasionally broken by the shafts of multi-coloured light that the stained glass windows let through. As he watched the colours shine on the wooden pew in front of him, he wondered if Duo was all right. The American had been quite jumpy and emotional that day he had come to say good-bye and also had avoided any questions that he had asked of him. This really preyed on his mind, since Duo couldn't lie. He could try to twist the truth till it looked like a pretzel, but he couldn't lie. Or avoid a direct question.

<Oh well. I shouldn't begin to really worry unless Trowa tells me otherwise.> Heero smiled as he recalled how Trowa had reacted at Heero's request.

##

"You want me to keep an eye on Duo and the kids while you're gone?" Trowa had asked slowly, as if trying to get the idea to sink into his head. Heero nodded.

"Look, Trowa, I know that I'm not on your favourite people list right now, but I really need this favour from you. When I left, Duo was acting weird. I can't explain it, but I think that something's wrong. I unfortunately couldn't stay and find the problem, But I would just feel better if I knew that someone was looking out for him and the kids."

Trowa was silent for so long that Heero was tempted to switch the vid-phone off and try elsewhere. He had just been reaching for the switch when Trowa spoke.

"I will do it. I know that despite all you have done in the past, you still care for him. Don't worry. Quatre and I will take care of everything." Heero nodded.

"Thanks Trowa. I really appreciate it." Heero said as he severed the connection.

##

So far, he hadn't gotten any alarming news. Jude had gotten stitches from crashing into a door, Solo was the captain of the hockey team and they were in the finals with Liam as his assistant captain.They had also gotten the Christmas box that he had sent. And Duo was fine. If somewhat lethargic and quiet, but fine.

"That's good." He murmured as he finished mentally reviewing the information that Trowa had sent him that past week. Smiling slightly, he got up and went to the front of the church. On either side of the altar, there stood a table that was covered with thousands upon thousands of candles in ornate brass holders. Some were lit, some weren't.

Heero noticed the box on beside the table and quickly put four pound notes into it. Picking up the taper, he lit it with the flame from another candle and carefully lit seven candles. One for every person that he cared for in this world. He knew that he should have said a prayer for each of them, but he wasn't really sure if Wu-fei, Trowa and Quatre would be pleased if he commended their souls in a Catholic church. So he just lit them and watched them for awhile before heading back to cold London.

++

//Hearts gone astray
Keeping up when they go
I went away
Just when you needed me so
You won't regret
I'll come back begging you
Don't you forget
Welcome love we once knewYeah...//

++

Quatre had just popped another batch of cookies in the oven when Duo showed up in the kitchen. Quatre smiled and gave him a cookie. Duo looked at it for a bit before biting into it cautiously, as if he expected the cookie to blow up.

"Duo! Come on! They can't be that bad!" Quatre protested before Duo finally dropped the act and polished off the cookie with a couple of bites and laughing.

"I'm sorry, Cat! It's just so much to tease you!" Duo told him as he grabbed three more cookies from the pile that lay cooling on the counter. Quatre slapped his hand away when he tried to grab a few more cookies, making Duo pout.

"Leave some for the kids. Besides, you know what will happen if Jude finds them all gone before he gets home." Quatre warned as Duo shot him a look.

"I know. I know. But the resident has been demanding more chocolate lately." Duo informed Quatre as he pointed to his swollen belly. Quatre grinned.

"It's not funny! I hate having to scrounge around for chocolate in the middle of the night! And what about the time I was craving pickled cow tongue with mustard and peppers?"Quatre turned slightly green at that memory. He had never thought that he would ever see anything so disgusting in his entire life. Nor could he have ever believed that someone actually wanted to eat something like that.

"Okay. You win. Cravings are awful." Quatre conceded. Duo ate his cookies.

"I know. I think that they're worse when you expect to never have to live through them again." Duo noted as he sat down on a chair and stretched out a bit.

"I also hate the backaches. Although with this one it isn't as bad." Duo noted in satisfaction as he got comfortable. And received a kick for his efforts.

"Hey! Take it easy there will ya?" Duo told the baby, much to Quatre's amusement.

"I swear, you're one lucky man, Quatre. Just two more months and I'll get even." Duo warned him ominously, which made the blonde man laugh even harder. Duo rolled his eyes and slumped in his chair. He simply couldn't win. Finally, Quatre calmed down enough and apologized before Duo had another mood swing and made him eligible to join the ranks of the Farinelli.

"Cookies! Cookies!" Jude and Esteban had come home and were now tearing into the kitchen at breakneck speed. Quatre and Duo laughed softly as they watched the chibis tear into the cookies.

"Jeeez! Are you going to leave any for us?" Liam and Solo yelled out. Two thumps were heard and both boys, sweaty and grimy from soccer practice, appeared in the kitchen.

"Where are the girls?" Quatre asked them. Solo and Liam shrugged.

"I think they went to visit Uncle Wu-fei and Aunt Sally and Fei Long." Liam replied.

Quatre nodded, while Duo got up. "Did you tell them they have to come home before supper?" He asked Liam, who nodded.

"I'm going out for a walk, Quatre. I feel restless today." Duo told his friend.

"Sure. I'll just fight these ravenous beasts for some cookies." Quatre replied, eliciting cries of "Hey!" And "We're not beasts, dad!" From the boys in the kitchen.

Chuckling, Duo went out of the kitchen and walked to the hall closet to get his coat. On his way there, he had been distracted by the ringing of the vid-phone. Thinking to answer it, he changed his route and inadvertedly tripped over Liam and Solo's equipment bags.

"Oh Fuck!" Duo yelped out as he found himself falling and hitting the floor with a sickening and painful thud. He had time to register the hard floor beneath him, and Quatre coming up to him, and the sudden, agonizing stabs of pain in his abdomen.

"Heero!" He cried out before he let go into painful blackness.

++

Heero was about to pack it in and call it a night when his vid-phone rang, loud and insistent. Frowning, he looked at his watch. <Fuck. It's three a.m. whoever it is better have a good reason for this.> He thought as he walked over and answered it before it irritated him even further.

"Heero?" Heero's eyes widened when he saw who it was. "Quatre? How did you get this number? Is there something wrong with Jude and the boys?"

Quatre shook his head. "It's Duo." Heero's heart stopped briefly when he said this.

"Duo? Was there an accident? Is he sick?" Quatre shook his head.

"Yes and no." He answered as he frowned. "The thing is that Duo just gave birth to your daughter, Heero." Heero couldn't have been more shocked than he was at that moment if the Loch Ness monster, Elvis Presley and Jim Morrison all had shown up in front of him.

"Excuse me? Did you say that Duo just gave birth to my daughter?" Quatre nodded.

"When did he get pregnant?" Heero asked, his voice hoarse from the shock.

"Two months before you left. He had just found out the day you took off. Trowa didn't tell you of it because Duo begged him not to. He just wanted to wait until you came back to let you know of it." Heero nodded in understanding

.<Duo? Why didn't you say anything? Why did you just let me go?>

"Well, Duo had an accident today and he went into labour. The problem is that there are problems with the baby's lungs and they're not sure if she'll be fine." Heero's stomach dropped when he heard the news.<No. No. Oh God no. This can't be happening. Can't be.> He swallowed a few times to ease the lump that had suddenly formed in his throat.

"Does Duo know you've called me?" He asked as he began to make plans for his departure. Quatre nodded in affirmation.

"He's been calling for you the whole time. He wants you there right away." Heero nodded.

"I'll catch the next flight over, Quatre. Tell him that I love him."

++

//When love's river flows
No one really knows
'Til someone's there to show the
Way to lasting love//

++

"He says he's coming." Quatre informed the silent group huddled around the hospital bed that contained the weak and pale-faced Duo. Trowa nodded and embraced his partner. Liam and Solo were utterly solemn as they watched Jude carefully brush their Da's hair and plait it, using that as an excuse to touch and reassure Duo.

"How long do you think it'll take him to get here?" Liam asked Trowa.

"Four hours at the most." He answered. Duo closed his eyes when he heard the answer.

"Do you think Rei will live long enough for him to see her?" He murmured.

"Yes. In fact. I think Rei's going to be around to have him give her away for her wedding day, Da. Don't worry. She's strong. She'll make it." Solo answered in a quiet, yet strong voice as he leaned over his Da and brushed his jagged bangs out of his face.

"You really think so?" Duo asked as he opened his violet eyes and looked at all of them.

"Yes. We do. Rest, Duo. Rest." Quatre told him, his voice unwavering. Duo nodded and closed his eyes. In several minutes, he was fast asleep. He was too weak to resist his own tiredness and the morphine in his I.V. line. Liam watched him sleep for a few moments before he looked at Trowa and Quatre.

"Are you sure he is coming?" Liam asked them, his voice low and his eyes eerie.

"He will come. He cares about your father and your sister very much. He would never break his promise to come. He knows how much exactly is at risk here." Trowa replied.

"For his sake, I hope he does." Liam said as he looked back at Duo.

++

Heero carefully stroked the soft, chestnut down that covered the small head of his daughter. His daughter. Even though he had been through this three times with the boys, he still felt the same sense of wonder he did when Duo had first handed him Liam all those years ago. But they had been healthy, thank God.

"Don't die on us, Rei Evangeline. Don't die on us. We want you to stay." Heero whispered as tears flowed freely down his face. But he didn't wipe them away. Instead, he focussed on the small scrap of humanity that was breathing with the aid of a respirator. He ignored the machines and only paid attention to how much like Duo she looked. The idea of having a female chibi-Duo made him laugh briefly.

"Don't die on us. We need you, baby." He whispered again before a nurse told him it was time to go. He nodded, and made his way to Duo's room.

++

//Like the sun it shines
Endlessly it shines
You always will be mine
Eternal love//

++

Heero entered the room as silently as possible. He expected to find only Duo in the room and didn't want to disturb him. To his surprise, he was met by Trowa, Quatre and his sons, who were all crowded around Duo, who appeared to be sleeping. He only had time to exchange hellos with Quatre and Trowa before his kids over-whelmed him.

"Father!"Jude and Solo ran up to him and wrapped themselves around him. Heero laughed softly as he ruffled his sons' hair. Liam walked up to him slowly and looked at Heero steadily, almost as if he was issuing a challenge. Heero expected a fight and braced himself for one when he saw his oldest son coming up to him. To his surprise, Liam only nodded before he spoke.

"You kept your promise for Da." He said, his voice raw with undefined emotion. Heero only inclined his head before offering his son his hand. Liam nodded and clasped his hand warmly before he returned to Duo's bedside and gently shook him to wake him up.

"What? What is it?" Despite all those years out of the wars, Duo was still a comparatively light sleeper and woke easily no matter what. His eyes darted around for a few moments before they settled on Heero, who was disentangling himself from his sons and was making his way toward Duo.

"Duo." Heero whispered as he came up to his love and kissed him delicately. Duo closed his eyes as he felt Heero's lips against his own. =You came. You came to us=

"Did you see Rei?" Duo asked after Heero had pulled away from the kiss, but still hovered close to him, idly playing with the chestnut strands that had come out of the braid that Jude had tried to put it in.

"Yes. She's beautiful. Just like her mother. She's probably as strong and as stubborn as you as well." Heero whispered, tears leaking into his eyes again as he spoke of their daughter. Duo reached up and wiped them away from his face.

"You came." Duo finally said, breaking the silence that had fallen between them. Heero nodded as he reached for his love's hand and cradled it gently between his own.

"I was always planning to come back, Duo. Always." Heero whispered as he brought Duo's hand to his lips. Duo's eyes widened at Heero's reply.

"I was wrong. Wrong to have put you through all that hell. Wrong to have destroyed your faith in me." Duo's eyes were bright with tears when he heard Heero's words.

"It took me two years to see what an idiot I was to you and the boys. And now that Rei is here, I want to, maybe see if we can have a second chance to be a family again." Heero let go of Duo's hand and reached into his coat pocket. Duo only watched with cool detachment as Heero pulled out a simple, antique ring set with an emerald-cut amethyst the exact colour of Duo's and Rei's eyes.

"I think it's time for us to leave." Trowa commented, his eyes shadowed as he herded his partner and the shell-shocked kids out of the room. Neither Duo nor Heero noticed when they left, they were too busy weighing their options in order to make the right choice.

"Why are you asking me now?" Duo finally asked him, the pain evident in his face.

"Are you just doing it because Rei is so fragile? Are you doing it because you feel an obligation to me and the kids because of Rei?" Duo asked him quietly.

"No. I had always planned to do this after I returned from my assignment. When I was away from you, I realized I had been a right wanker in how I treated you. I also realized how much I needed you and the kids and how unfair I had been to them." Heero replied, telling Duo the truth that he had realized as he had sat in the Mancunian church.

"Also, Rei is important to me, Duo. Why didn't you tell me? I would have stayed." Heero asked Duo quietly. Duo bit his lip and looked away from him.

"I didn't want you to feel forced to stay because of Rei. I didn't want you to feel trapped and start the nightmare over again." Duo replied as he began to cry in earnest.

"No. I would have never felt trapped with you! Never! If anyone was trapped, it was you!" Heero told him harshly, his face set in stone. He then shook his head.

"Maybe I am getting ahead of myself. It's not the right time to ask this of you. Especially right now when we don't know whether Rei is going to be okay or not. Her welfare should come before any of this." He shook his head and put the ring back in his pocket. <I was an idiot. Why would I assume he would want to come back to you? Especially after all those years? Idiot. The best thing you can do right now is be strong and offer him support. Rei needs both of her parents to be strong for her if she's going to pull through.>

"Will you leave me then?" Duo asked, his voice quietly bitter.=Asshole! He doesn't care about Rei! He just came here to see if he could get another lay!=

"Do you want me to? If I am causing you that much pain, I will. I will stay out of your way when I come and see Rei. You won't see me again. I'll just see Rei and the boys."

Heero asked as he turned to leave. Duo let out a sigh of what seemed to be relief.

"Do you mean it?" Duo asked him. =Fuck. If you're smart, Yuy, you won't fail this test!= Heero turned around and smiled as he came back to the bed.

Carefully taking Duo's face in between his hands, he then kissed Duo deeply and softly.

"Does that give you an answer?" He asked when he had pulled away.

//Whatever love went wrong
Ours would still be strong
We'd have our own
Everlasting love
This love will last forever
This love will last forever//

++

Heero walked out of the room with and inscrutable look on his face and went up to his sons. Liam looked at him closely, as if trying to get an answer as to what may have happened in the room after they had all left. But Heero's face showed him nothing.

"Come on. We have to go somewhere." He told the boys in a quiet voice.

"Where are we going?" Liam asked, getting suddenly suspicious. But Heero ignored him and turned to Trowa and Quatre, who were only watching him with detached curiosity.

"Duo knows where we're going. In fact, he's the one making us go." He smiled, startling them with his statement. "So could you guys keep an eye on Duo and Rei while we're gone? It really shouldn't take long. I promise."

"Sure, no problem." Quatre replied, while Trowa nodded his consent. Heero smiled.

"Thanks. I owe you too many already." He then turned to his sons. "Let's go."

"You still haven't told us were we're going." Liam pointed out.

"You'll find out when you get there. Now come on. Your mom's depending on us."

++

"Why did Da want us to go to a church?" Liam asked as he walked beside Heero while Solo and Jude followed right behind them. Heero frowned as he looked up at the stained glass windows. He hadn't been here in ages. The last time he had been to this particular church was way before the boys had been born. He shut his mind to the memories that the surroundings threatened to bring up.

<It's better not to think about that on this day.> Heero told himself as he walked up to the candle stand. Ignoring everyone around him, he pulled out a couple of dollars and plunked them into the donation box. He then pulled out four tapers and handed them to each of his sons. Liam looked at him skeptically.

"Your mother wanted us to do this." Heero told them as he calmly began to light his candles, which now numbered eight in total.

"Why did you light eight candles?" Liam asked while his brothers began to light the same number as their father. Heero didn't answer right away. He watched the candles for several moments before turning to his eldest son.

"They represent the ones I care about in this world. I usually lit seven: Four for the other pilots, and three for you boys. Now Rei is here, so there is a candle for her now." Heero explained. Liam looked at the candles suspiciously before he also lit eight.

"You still care about all of us that much?" He asked. Heero nodded.

"I always have, and I always will. I know that I didn't show it those years, but I always have. Your mother was the person that made me live, Liam. I think I forgot that when I was being bad to him. If it hadn't been for him, I would have killed myself a long time ago. I never realized how much he means to me until he finally left."

"Why? Why did you treat him that way? If you loved him, why?" Liam asked softly.

"Because I couldn't stop feeling. Because I wanted to stop. I don't know why, but that's my reason. It hurt too much to care. But when he left, I found that it hurt more NOT to."

They all stood silent for several minutes, watching the candles flicker gently in their holders. Suddenly, Liam's fist shot out and caught Heero square in the jaw, making his head snap back from the force of the blow. Heero looked at him in surprise, but said nothing, only waited for him to explain why he had done it.

"You deserved that, and you know it." Liam said before cold-clocking him again. "That's a warning of what will happen if you hurt Duo in ANY way again, Understood?"

"You don't have to worry about that, Liam. I swear on Rei's head that I shall never hurt your mother or you guys ever again." Heero assured him as he rubbed his jaw."So, am I forgiven now, or are you going to give me another shot to call it even?" Liam looked like he was seriously considering it, but finally shook his head and put out his hand.

"It's all even. For now. But if you break your promise, I WILL collect on that shot."

Heero nodded solemnly before taking his son's hand. "Deal."

++

//Open up your eyes
Then you'll realize
Here I said was my
Everlasting love//

++

"Any changes?" Heero asked Trowa as he entered Duo's room. Trowa shook his head.

"Did you get into a fight on your way here or something, Heero?" Trowa asked when he noticed the deep bruises on the left side of Heero's face. Heero shook his head as he came up to Duo's bed and found him asleep once again.

"I got forgiven by Liam." He explained as he sat down in a chair next to Trowa.

"Aah. I was wondering when he was going to get around to it." He said before he gave Heero a shot of his own. Heero looked at him in surprise.

"Does that mean I'm forgiven, or just warned?" He asked the silent man, who grinned grimly as Heero rubbed his badly abused jaw again.

"Both, if you will." Trowa said as he looked over to Duo's sleeping form.

"Hn. Is that from you and Quatre or is he going to give me a shot himself?" Heero asked as he prodded at his sore jaw. Trowa shook his head.

"Well, I guess I'm getting off easy. Quatre probably would have gone Zero on me." Heero said as he leaned back into his chair and studied the ceiling.

"Hmmm. Probably." Trowa replied, his manner mellower than it had been in ages.

"Any news on Rei? Or is she still the same?" Heero asked abruptly. Trowa shook his head in the negative, making Heero slump in his chair.

"Quatre's with her right now, and he says that her breathing is stronger, but not quite up there yet." Trowa told him. Heero nodded, but he still looked pensive.

"Heero?" Duo's sleepy voice asked. Trowa smiled and exited the room as Heero threw him a look before walking up to Duo.

"So, you talked to Liam?" Duo asked as he lightly caressed Heero's bruised face.

"Yes. Trowa got his two cents in as well." Duo winced, but Heero shook his head.

"I deserve it. And I don't blame them. They don't want to see you hurt again."

"Will I get hurt again, Heero? Can you promise me that I won't be?" Duo asked him, suddenly serious despite the joking tone of voice he was using.

"No. I won't ever hurt you again. I can promise you that. And if I disappear and my body is never found, then you'll know I didn't live up to my promise."

++

//Need you by my side
Come and be my pride
Never be denied
Everlasting love//

++

"She's adorable!" Sally exclaimed as Heero placed Rei in her arms. "She looks exactly like Duo." She noted as she cuddled the little girl who stared at her with wide violet eyes exactly like Duo's. Heero smiled as he tucked a bit of the shawl Rei was wrapped in closer to her squirming body.

"Yeah. We're so lucky to have her." Heero replied, his face clouding over momentarily as he recalled the three extra months that Rei had to spend in the hospital until she was declared strong enough to finally go home.

Those months had been hell on them all, since Rei's condition changed almost daily. In a way, if he could erase those months, he wasn't sure if he really would. They were gruelling and hellish, but in a way, they were almost a blessing, since their worry over Rei had strengthened both the bonds of the family and the bond between Duo and Heero. The stressful time also helped to re-new the bonds of friendship between the pilots.

"I know. She's as beautiful as her mother." Heero said as he looked up from his daughter and scanned the party crowd for his long-haired beauty.

"You're just biased, Yuy." Wu-fei told him as he came closer to inspect his god-daughter. "Rei is prettier than Maxwell by far." He informed Heero.

"Really? Why is that?" Heero asked as he kept on searching for Duo.

"She keeps her mouth shut and she's got an intelligence level higher than Maxwell's, even as a baby." Sally and Heero looked at each other and rolled their eyes.

"I hear that Wuffy! That isn't it fair!" Duo called out as he suddenly bounded out from nowhere and glomped Heero so forcefully that he nearly fell over.

"See?" Wu-fei said, as if Heero nearly toppling over was enough proof. "And don't call me Wuffy! My name's Wu-fei!" Sally and Heero exchanged grins this time.

"Sure, whatever you say, Wu man!" Duo said, egging the Chinese man on.

"You'd better stop, or else he'll start on a rant and even Sally won't be able to shut him up." Heero whispered to his lover as he nibbled Duo's ear gently. "And I want Rei's baptism party to go smoothly. Remember what happened with Liam and Solo's party!" Heero whispered. Duo frowned as he remembered the semi-disaster that the party had nearly become.

"Why? It would be fun, Heero! I haven't heard him rant in ages." Duo pouted.

"Well, You can hear him rant, but then you'd miss the surprise I have for you after the party." Heero said in a nonchalant voice as he began to disentangle Duo's arms from around his neck. Duo's eyes darkened and he tightened his grip on Heero.

"Heero! Come on! Don't be such a tease! You know I haven't had any since Rei was conceived! How could you be so cruel!" Duo demanded, still pouting.

"You want to know?" Heero asked coyly. Duo pouted even more, adding the chibi eyes for a good measure until Heero and Sally finally had to laugh.

"Still up to your old tricks again, Duo?" Quatre asked as he carried little Fei Long and was followed by his daughters and by Trowa. The boys were out in the garden playing soccer with Pax and Hamilton Merquise. Duo stuck out his tongue and glomped Heero even more, making Heero pretend to gag. Duo slapped him.

"Jerk!" Heero smiled sweetly at Duo before kissing him on the tip of his nose.

"You're still in the dog-house, Yuy!" Duo whispered. Heero grinned evilly.

"Heero, Duo, normally I wouldn't mind, but there are children present, so could you please behave like adults instead of two horny teen-agers?" Quatre pleaded.

"You should be the one to talk!" Duo snorted as he finally let go of Heero and put his hands on his waist before glaring at Quatre.

"Do you guys remember how Quatre and-YIPE !" Heero managed to cut off whatever it was that Duo was going to say by tugging on his braid. "Heeero! That hurt! You jerk! I wasn't going to say anything!" Duo exclaimed as he rubbed his head and looped his braid away from Heero's reach. Heero didn't say anything, only smiled beatifically at Duo before lifting Duo's left hand, which was now adorned by the Amethyst ring that Heero had bought for him in London.

Duo shut up right away when he say the look in Heero's cobalt eyes. =Oh yeah, I'm definitely looking forward to tonight.= He smiled in return, making Heero laugh as he pulled him close and gave him a somewhat passionate, if chaste, kiss.

//From the very start
Open up your heart
Feel the love you've got//

" I Love you, Heero." Duo whispered as Heero pulled him close and looked deeply into Duo's eyes. Heero smiled as he reached up and stroked Duo's face delicately. Heero swallowed as he stared into those deep violet depths. The words Duo had spoken felt like they were charged with worlds of meaning. He didn't quite understand the meaning, but to him, the words felt like a renewed vow from his lover. His mouth went dry when he caught the small smile and almost imperceptible nod that Duo had just given him.

"I love you too, Duo. Forever." Heero replied as Duo smiled and placed his own hand on top of Heero's. Heero nodded as he felt the comforting weight of Duo's hand on his. The vows had been taken by him.

"Forever then." Duo agreed as he finally leaned in and forcefully and possessively claimed Heero's warm and welcoming mouth. Their union was permanently sealed.

//Everlasting love//

The End.

Notes: Amethyst symbolizes fidelity and true love. By giving Duo an Amethyst ring, Heero is saying that he will be true to Duo.

Rei Evangeline- Someone suggested this pairing and I simply couldn't resist.

Liam and Solo were born on Christmas day, and Jude was born on Halloween, Rei was born on Beltane.