Author: Caroline
see chap. 1 for warnings, notes

The Medallion: Epilogue
A Toast to the Witch

"Zechs, a married man," Duo said, taking in the sight of his former lover in his Armani tux, looking devilishly handsome in the warm, late spring sunlight. "You know, I never thought I'd see the day. All this time I kept expecting you to be pulling everyone's leg. That at the altar, you and Wufei would turn around, yell 'Psyche!' then run off to Tahiti laughing your heads off."

Zechs grinned and took a swig of his champagne. "We'll still be running off to Tahiti, if it makes you feel better."

Duo snorted and turned his attention from his friend to the crowd mingling on the Peacecraft estate grounds. In the past he'd always felt uncomfortable and out of place in these kinds of social settings, but the past few months living with Heero had given him a kind of self-confidence he hadn't realized he'd been missing. He scanned the crowd and caught sight of his lover, talking animatedly to an older gentleman and his wife, who appeared to be enjoying the younger-looking man's company. Duo smiled to himself and wondered what they'd think if they knew Heero outdated them by a couple of millennia.

"Can't keep your eyes off him?" Zechs joked, nudging Duo with his elbow.

"Can you blame me?" Duo replied, giving Heero a little wave when the other man saw that he was looking at him. Heero said something to the couple, excusing himself and heading in Duo and Zechs' direction.

"Ah, no. I suffer from the same thing myself. Although, I seem to have lost sight of my wayward husband."

Duo smiled, tugging at his own expensive waistcoat. He'd shed the stuffy jacket as soon as he thought it was polite. He'd been proud and honored to stand up for Zechs during the ceremony, and even though Zechs and Wufei's union wasn't legal in the eyes of the law, everyone present could feel the love and devotion between the two, even when the taller groom pinched the best man's ass on their way back down the aisle after the ceremony.

"Maybe he wised up and left," Duo joked, grabbing a fresh glass of champagne from a passing waiter.

"He's probably just stuffing his face with hors d'oevres. He's been on a strict diet for the past few months. Said he wanted to fit into his tux." Zechs rolled his eyes. "I swear, he's been worse than a woman these past few weeks."

Duo snorted. "Don't let him hear you say that. You might be sleeping on the floor of your honeymoon hut."

"Like he'd last ten minutes after I undressed and flexed my..."

"Heero!" Duo jumped the last couple of feet and latched on to his lover's arm. "Enjoying yourself?"

Heero nodded, stealing Duo's glass and tasting the champagne. "Immensely. I just met Lord and Lady Wynstae. Lord Wynstae collects antiques from the Victorian era of Great Britain. I was tempted to tell the man I knew her..."

Duo blinked. "You slept with Queen Victoria?!"

Heero laughed. "No, I did not." There was a pause. Duo waited for the kicker. "But I did enjoy the company of her daughter, Victoria Adelaide."

"Didn't she become the empress of Germany?" Zechs asked, intrigued.

"That was after my time."

Duo had to consciously tell himself to close his mouth.

Zechs slung his arm around Heero's shoulders. "So, Heero. Are you prepared to go it alone for the next couple of weeks?"

Heero straightened his shoulders. "I am. Although, I'm afraid if your sous-chef, Henri, makes a pass at me one more time, I might have an unfortunate accident between your French rolling pin and his ass."

Duo laughed. "Just let me have five minutes alone with him, love."

"The rolling pin would take less than thirty seconds," Heero replied dryly. "I think he'd get the point."

"I'm not so sure," Zechs said. "Henri likes it rough."

Both Heero and Duo stared at him.

"What? I hadn't met Wufei then." He patted Heero heavily on the back. "Don't worry. I have my faith in you."

"I shall not let you down."

Duo smiled again. He knew Heero was nervous about being left alone in the restaurant while Zechs and Wufei were on their honeymoon, but he had confidence in his lover. He took the champagne glass back from Heero and sipped at it, marveling at how life worked out sometimes. After the curse had been broken, Heero had moved into Duo's small apartment. They'd been sad to leave their hotel - Zechs' hotel now, but Duo had to go back to work, which left Heero alone in the apartment during the day.

Those first couple of weeks were trying. Heero had no birth certificate, no Social Security number, no identification. Legally, he did not exist. Zechs had helped on that part. He knew a guy who knew a guy who created Heero a set of papers that even the most diligent expert would have trouble telling them apart from the real thing. Heero was now Heero Yuy, a twenty-eight-year-old, half Japanese man originally from Hawaii (it explained the Asian look about him, and for all Heero knew, his mother may have been from ancient Japan). And thanks to Zechs' generous offer of a job, he was now an apprentice pastry chef at La Boheme. Though Heero didn't think he would stick with pastry, as he discovered he had a flair for more exotic, savory dishes... dishes he had grown up with but had been lost through time. But working under Zechs would get him experience and look good on his résumé when he felt ready to apply to a respected cooking school.

Zechs clapped him on the back again. "I'm sure you won't." He turned back to Duo. "So how are the two of you enjoying your new apartment?"

"Apartment?" Duo snorted. "More like a friggin' palace! Sometimes I get lost in the place for weeks. Heero has to send out a search party for me." He and Heero had realized quickly that Duo's tiny apartment wasn't really suited for two people. Though Duo made a decent living, and Heero hadn't yet gone to work for Zechs, they'd worried about affording a bigger place. That's when Wufei had suggested Heero see if the medallion - which had turned back into a regular, if ancient, coin - was worth anything.

It had apparently been worth quite a lot. More than either one of them had even dreamed of. The dealer they'd taken it to nearly had a heart attack when they'd shown it to him. Apparently, there had only been four of that type of coin in existence. Now there were five. And after verifying its authenticity, Heero had let go of the last bit of his past and had come out a very rich man. They bought a luxurious apartment overlooking the ocean and put the rest away when Heero started earning good money at the restaurant.

"We like it very much, thank you," Heero replied, nudging Duo with his elbow.

"Ow. Yeah. Lots of room. Big kitchen for Heero to play in. Big TV for me to play video games on. It's all good," Duo said in agreement. "We'll have to have you and Wufei over for dinner when you get back from Tahiti."

"We would be delighted," Zechs replied. He opened his mouth as if to say something else, but was interrupted.

"Hah-loo, Heeroo." A staggering body bumped into Duo, pushing him out of the way. Duo scowled as Relena latched onto his lover's arm and breathed into his face. From the face Heero pulled, it was obvious Relena had been imbibing too much of the celebratory champagne. "I thought I shaw you over here."

Duo ground his teeth together, ready to knock the pink harpy out of the way if she didn't get her grubby claws off his man.

Heero more tactfully removed his arm from Relena's grasp. "How are today, Miss Peacecraft?"

Relena made a face. "F-fine. Just dandy. Forced to shtand here in these shoes, shmiling at all these people come to shelebrate this farsh of a wedding..."

"Relena, no one forced you to be here," Zechs said, with a long, suffering sigh. "If you are that uncomfortable, you may leave."

Relena stuck her tongue out at her brother. "You can't make me do anyth..."

She swallowed her words when Zechs reached into his breast pocket and pulled out a photograph. Her face turned white and she stepped away from them. "Ah, if you'll excushe me, I have to... go get shomething to drink."

Duo shot Heero a glance and tried to hide his smile in his cocktail napkin. He knew he really ought to feel sorry for her, but it was hard to feel sympathy for someone who lacked any herself. He could only hope one day she'd change, or meet someone who would bring out the good in her. She was his best friend's only relative, after all.

"I never thought to ask, Zechs, but what exactly is that a picture of?" Duo asked after a moment.

"This? This is a naughty picture of Wufei that I took last week," Zechs replied, slipping it back into his breast pocket.

Heero snickered and Duo grinned. "So what do you have on her?"

"Nothing."

"But..."

Zechs grinned. "She doesn't know that though, so if you don't mind keeping this on the down-low?"

"S-sure," Duo said, confused. "But, well... you obviously know something on her, even if you don't have proof."

"I do. And it did happen during the Fourth of July picnic. It seems my dear sister slipped away from the festivities and down to the boat house with a paramour..."

"Is that all?" Duo asked, rolling his eyes. "And how did you find out?"

"Well, I myself had thought to do the same thing. That's when I found them. My dear sister... with her best friend, Dorothy Catalonia. Let's just say either my sister was giving Dorothy mouth-to-mouth or there was some serious lesbian snogging going on."

Duo felt as though his eyes were trying to bug out of his head. He glanced at Heero and saw that his lover was having a similar reaction. "You mean..."

"Yes. My sister is a 'friend of Dorothy' ... in every sense."

Duo groaned. Heero rolled his eyes.

Zechs drained the last of his champagne and set the glass down. "Gentlemen, it's been a pleasure talking to you, but if you would excuse me, I think I would like to molest my husband before we cut the cake."

"We'll see you before you leave," Heero said, nodding at the man.

Duo leaned heavily against the terrace wall after Zechs had left. He sighed and tugged at the collar of his dress shirt again. "I forgot about the cake," he moaned, closing his eyes. "I think I'm supposed to give a speech."

Heero moved over to him and began to rub his shoulders. "Tired?"

"A little. I hadn't realized just how raucous a bachelor party could be when both members of the 'bridal' party are bachelors. How Zechs and Wufei looked so wide-eyed and bushy-tailed this afternoon, I don't know."

"You look pretty good yourself," Heero replied, leaning in to nibble along Duo's jaw. "Good enough to eat, even."

Duo tilted his head back and grinned at his lover. "What say we ditch the cake-cutting and find somewhere quiet so you can have a... snack?"

The wicked glint in Heero's eyes told Duo he wouldn't mind doing that at all. "Where? The house is full of people, and the boat house is apparently a little too popular."

"Um..." Duo scanned the ground, his eyes alighting on the black stretch limousine waiting to take Wufei and Zechs to the airport later that evening. "Come on," he said, taking hold of Heero's hand. "Let's christen their limo for them."

"You sure they won't miss us during the cake-cutting?"

"Trust me. I think Zechs will understand. He's ditched me to have sex in the car often enough. I just want to return the favor."

Heero laughed and wrapped his arms around Duo as they made their way stealthily toward the limo. "You know, if we get back in time, remind me to make a toast to the witch who cursed me."

"Why on earth for?" Duo said, looking around to make sure no one was watching as he opened the back door to the limo.

"Without her, I would have never met you." He slid inside the car and pulled Duo in after him.

"And without Relena, I never would have stolen you," Duo said, grinning from his position in Heero's lap. "So I guess I should be grateful to her."

"Remind me to thank her later," Heero said, sliding a hand into Duo's lap. Duo hissed and pulled the door closed behind them. And if Zechs and Wufei wondered why their seat was a bit sticky when they left, they never said anything. And proceeded to make it stickier.

THE END

[part 14] [back to Caroline's fic]