Author: BleedToBlue
Pairing: 6x2, former 1+2, 1xR,
Rating: R at some point, Fluff, Sap.
Disclamer: Gundam Wing and all the GWboys belong to someone else.

A/N: Many thanks to marasmine for her skilled use of the sharp stick.

Just A Wedding + Chapter 1

It was just a wedding, even if the guest list read like a roster of Who's Who in the known universe, even if it was billed as the social event of the century by the tabloids. Just a couple in love, exchanging vows, pledging eternal devotion; it happened all the time. He was the best man, wearing a sleek new tux, and a rosebud in his lapel. He'd made sure the groom showed up, produced the ring, made a toast. Nothing he hadn't done before, nothing he was likely to do again. It shouldn't have been quite so painful, shouldn't have felt like he was cutting his own heart out, offering it up on the altar; a willing human sacrifice. He was being foolish but it had hurt.

After the ceremony, after the toast, after the bouquet was thrown, and the happy couple was honeymoon bound he'd found himself sitting alone at an empty table in the mostly abandoned hall. Alone, with a bottle kindly supplied by a cute bartender who had stared at him and blushed when caught in the act of looking. The bartender who hadn't held a grudge because he wasn't interested; but had left a number written on a napkin 'in case you change your mind.' The napkin and phone number handed over with a sweet smile, a wink, and a bottle of expensive vodka.Duo thought about going back to his room but couldn't quite face it; couldn't quite face the empty bed, the smell of sex on the sheets; the scent of betrayal, the essence of loss. He gazed at the number on the napkin and wondered if maybe he should have just said 'yes' to the bartender. Yes, to a warm, willing body that would chase away the cold feeling in his soul, at least for a while. No strings, nothing that would hurt later. It wasn't his style to pick up strangers but now that his hopes were permanently dashed maybe he should rethink the way he'd lived his life. His life didn't seem to be working for him right now. Duo crumpled the napkin into a ball and tossed it on the table.

He poured another shot of vodka, raised his glass in silent toast to his best friend, the person he loved more than his own life, the person he would never, ever have. And told himself to stop being melodramatic, he'd never had Heero, not really. They were friends, nothing more; Heero had made it clear; what they had was...friendship. But he'd only ever wanted Heero. Duo tossed the liquor back, then almost sprayed it across the table when a familiar voice sounded next to his ear, warm breath brushing against his skin. Damn it, he was supposed to have left already.

"Drinking alone?" Zechs' deep voice and smooth patrician tones seemed to mock him, tease him. Why wouldn't Zechs just leave him be? He'd made a pest of himself since the moment they were introduced; held on to his hand too long, stood too close, smiled too much. Made it hard to breathe. Now here he was when he should have been on his way back to...wherever he'd come from. Duo imagined Zechs' home was someplace elegant, warm, masculine, like Zechs himself and there would be someone waiting for him, wanting him. His own apartment was empty and cold; all of Heero's things gone, like he'd never really been there.

"Duo?" Zechs spoke his name, bringing him back to the present. Zechs was still there, looking at him, waiting for an answer.

Duo glanced around in an exaggerated way, eyed the empty chairs on either side of him, thought about raising the tablecloth and pretending to check underneath the table, too. He pointedly didn't look at the intruder; not that ignoring him had made any difference so far; tried not to notice how good he smelled; like leather and musk, and something indefinably male.

"Yep. All by myself. Alone." He'd emphasized 'alone' hoping the Zechs would take the hint. Maybe if he was rude enough Zechs would go away, not that it had worked any other time. Duo didn't look around but heard the scrape of a chair being moved, felt someone sit down close enough Duo could feel heat radiating off the big body. Damn the man for not taking a hint, for being so obtuse, so persistent; for being there, for not being Heero.

"Mind if I join you?" Duo could hear amusement, the man was laughing at him. He knew if he looked up he'd see that laughter in the blue eyes and his mouth would be curved in a wicked, knowing smile. It had been like this the whole week, every time he thought he was alone the big blond showed up and made himself a nuisance. Talking, joking, teasing. Asking him impertinent questions he wouldn't answer, telling him things that more than once left him speechless and blushing, giving him attentions Duo didn't want but that he responded to none the less. A smile when Zechs caught his eye, a touch in passing, always standing too close, always seeing too much. Duo hated that some part of him had liked Zechs being there.

Duo had avoided being alone with him, as much as was possible, all week. Until last night; when it was just too much to watch Heero and his bride-to-be; too much to be alone and lonely. Then he'd allowed Zechs to maneuver him into a darkened alcove where Duo had turned the tables and proceeded to kiss the astonished Zechs breathless. It hadn't taken much persuasion at all for Zechs to join him in his room. Zechs had been more than willing; he hadn't objected to anything Duo had wanted to do.

"Why are you still here? I thought you left." Duo didn't add 'leave me alone' like he wanted to because Zechs didn't listen.

It hadn't mattered what Duo said, he knew Zechs wouldn't go, wouldn't just take a hint and go away. Hell, Duo had told the man he wanted to be left alone all week and it hadn't fazed Zechs. He'd just laughed, like it was a joke, and asked Duo to have dinner with him, invited him for drinks, suggested a stroll in the moonlight. Pushy and persistent. So much for the vaunted good manners of the aristocracy; arrogant bastard. Duo had thought last night would have ended it; no matter what Zechs had said, no matter what he'd implied.

"I told you I'd see you after everyone left. I had to make sure the happy couple got to the airport." Zechs reminded him. "So do you don't mind if I sit here?" Zechs was insufferably smug as he moved his chair closer, draped a long arm over the back of Duo's chair. Smug and proprietary. Duo knew last night had been a huge mistake; even if at the time it had been very, very good.

"I'd rather you didn't." Duo continued, not that it mattered since Zechs was already sitting down and making himself comfortable. He couldn't put it any plainer than that without screaming 'go away.' Duo looked over, hopeful Zechs might actually take the hint and leave. Duo wasn't surprised to see that Zechs wasn't making any move to go but was surprised at the expression on his face; sorrow, compassion, understanding. That was worse than the other look, the one Zechs had used all week, the heated one that seared Duo to the core. Duo knew that Zechs wanted him, he just wasn't sure why.

"Last night was just that; last night. You didn't need to hang around. " Duo added when Zechs didn't move away. Zechs looked as if he hadn't heard; he was damned good at that Duo noted.

Zechs leaned in and said. "It was more than that to me. I think it was more to you, too." Then added softly.

"You aren't the first person that lost someone they love, you know." That's when Duo remembered.

No, he wasn't the only one; how did Zechs bear it? 'By taking comfort where he could, like they had last night,' Duo answered his own question.

"Sometimes," Zechs' deep voice continued, a little huskier now, "sometimes, you are fortunate enough to have a second chance. You just have to be brave enough to take what's being offered."

"Sorry. I don't think sometimes." Duo said and by way of apology pointed to the vodka bottle and asked. "You want a drink?" And poured himself another. He could understand pain and loss.

The room was emptying around them; security had vanished; now it was just a few workers stacking chairs, sweeping up. Duo looked at his watch. The newlyweds would have caught their plane by now. All that was left was clearing up the debris and detritus left behind. All the discarded, unwanted things, he thought bitterly; time to go, time to move on. Duo didn't think he had the will to make that effort. He looked up because Zechs hadn't answered and asked again.

"So, you want something or not?" Duo offered again looking up at Zechs, waiting for his answer.

"Oh, yes. I do," was Zechs' response, along with a slow, sure nod and a hungry smile from his persistent companion; a smile that warmed him, encouraged him. Duo looked into the ice-blue eyes that weren't cold or cruel; saw in those eyes, something more, something he hadn't noticed before. Not just amusement, or lust, but something that touched the empty place inside; helped him make a decision; made him want, gave him the strength to speak.

"Want to take this someplace else? My room?" Duo ventured hesitantly, his voice low; taking a chance on the strength of that smile. Duo thought he saw heat, desire, acceptance in Zechs' blue eyes and felt an answering line of need rush through his own body; he needed something, someone. At least Zechs wasn't a stranger, not anymore, not after last night, and he wouldn't be so alone. He was very tired of being alone, he could use one more night of not being alone, just tonight.

"No." Duo heard the deep voice say and felt the refusal like a slap, stared at the man sitting next to him, felt blood rush to his face in anger, embarrassment. God he was stupid. Then Duo noticed Zechs' big hand held out to him, palm up, asking, offering.

"No. " Zechs repeated and reached for Duo's hand. "Not here. Come home with me."

[ch. 2] [back to BleedToBlue's fic]