Disclaimer: Duo and Heero and the rest of the GW gang aren't mine. This
story is. Nuff said.
See Part 1 for warnings
************ Time passing or scene change
*~*~*~*~*~* Major POV shift
Marriage + Chapter 18
Waking abruptly, Heero wondered
at first what had woken him. After the hectic wedding day, a night that
consisted of a long shuttle ride, then the morning filled with emotional
revelations followed by an afternoon of making love, he would have expected
to sleep straight through the night. 'Oh shit,' he remembered suddenly,
'that's why I woke up. Wonder if it's too late...' A quick glance
at the clock showed that it was not yet midnight. 'Good. There's still
Leaving Duo asleep, he dressed before quickly gathering blankets and pillows.
Adding a picnic basket equipped with bottled water, fruit, and other snacks,
he nodded in satisfaction. Everything was ready. Returning upstairs, he
leaned over and kissed Duo softly on the cheek, pressing a series of small
kisses across his face until reaching his mouth. Duo's arms came up around
Heero's neck as he woke and responded to the kiss.
"Mmm, what a lovely way to wake up," Duo murmured, slowly opening
his eyes. Puzzled, he asked, "What time is it? It feels like I've
only been asleep a few hours."
"You have," admitted Heero. "It's almost midnight. I hated
to wake you, but I didn't think you'd want to miss this."
"Miss what?" Muttering grumpily under his breath, Duo dragged
on the clothes that Heero handed him.
"You'll see. Come on."
Leading his grumbling spouse downstairs, Heero handed him the blankets
and pillows. Taking the picnic basket himself along with a red-lensed
flashlight, he guided Duo out the backdoor, down a narrow but well-maintained
pathway, and onto a smooth strip of beach. The red glow from the flashlight
was the only visible light other than the stars twinkling brightly above.
Not even the moon brightened the night. The island they were on was sufficiently
isolated that there was no urban light pollution to dim the stars and
the small town on its far side did not have enough lights to be a problem.
Motioning towards the sky, Heero said simply, "They're supposed to
peak around 0200, though there should be quite a show still for the next
couple of nights."
Following Heero's motion, Duo saw a faint streak shoot across the sky.
Suddenly, it all became clear. "The Perseid meteor shower!"
he exclaimed in delight. "I haven't been on Earth at the right time
since during the war... So that's why you picked this particular
place of Quat's. Perfect viewing conditions..."
Heero hastily set down the picnic basket as he suddenly had an armful
of happy spouse to hold onto instead.
"Thank you, Heero! This is absolutely perfect!"
Making his way back through the crowded spaceport, Duo was careful not
to spill the fresh fruit drinks he carried. Ahead of him, he could see
Heero already seated at a small table, the sandwiches he had gone to get
sitting on the table in front of him. As he neared the table, Duo saw
Heero reach up and touch the spot where the cross rested below his shirt,
a small smile tugging at his lips as he touched it. 'I think he touches
that thing more times in a day than I ever did, and that's really
sayin' something. God, I'm glad I didn't take it back when he tried to
return it. Tellin' him it was on permanent loan got me one of the
most beautiful smiles I've ever seen from anybody, let alone Heero.' "Hey
there, husband-mine, I got our drinks, anything else you want?"
"No, that's it. The shuttle should be here for us in another hour
so if we want anything else, we can have it onboard." Raising an
eyebrow at the sight of the two fruit drinks, Heero asked, "What,
couldn't find any sodas?"
Sticking his tongue out at Heero, Duo answered, "Yes, I could, but
I already *had* two today and you have a conniption if I
have more than that. So - a nice, healthy fruit drink instead.
Heero smirked slightly as he responded, "Ecstatic."
'I know. And that's why I got it,' Duo thought as he picked up his sandwich.
'Just like I'm sittin' here eatin' a nice, healthy sandwich instead of
the greasy fried food I woulda rather had. I can't completely make up
for three years of bein' an idiot, Heero-love, but I sure as hell am gonna
try. If me eatin' healthy and wearin' riding helmets makes you happy,
then I'm gonna be eatin' healthy and wearin' riding helmets. And doin'
whatever else it takes to make sure that Apache blessing, "May happiness
be your companion and your days together be good and long upon the earth"
comes true for both of us.'
Lying back in his reclined seat with Duo curled up beside and half on
top of him, Heero thought about how very different things were now than
when they were in this same position during the shuttle trip at the beginning
of the week. 'Then, I only hoped he had come to care for me as more than
a friend. Now, I know he loves me. If I'd had any lingering doubts, they'd
be gone after that meal at the shuttleport!' he thought, directing an
amused glance down at his softly snoring spouse. 'Fruit drinks and sandwiches?
I saw the longing look you gave that fast food place, Duo-love. I'll have
to make sure to take you out for pizza or something soon - I certainly
don't expect you to give up all your favourites entirely! I just want
to make sure that you're around to grow old and gray alongside me...'
As Duo and Heero exited the shuttle, Quatre twisted his hands together
anxiously. Other than a quick call to confirm that the restraining orders
had been served, no one had heard from either of them all week.
"Stop worrying," Trowa scolded, catching Quatre's hands in his
own and stilling their fidgeting. "If anything had gone wrong, they'd
have called." As Duo bounded towards their group, he noticed something.
Shifting his gaze sharply over to Heero, he gave a small smile before
telling Quatre, "Take a good look at Duo, then Heero. Notice something
out of place?"
"Out of place?" Looking quickly from one to the other, Quatre
said, "No, I don't. What is it? What's wrong?"
"Nothing's wrong, you worrywart. Something's right. Something
is very right." Seeing that Quatre still didn't get it, Trowa
sighed, then asked him, "Where's Duo's cross?" Even when Duo
wore the cross underneath his shirt, you could always see the small lump
it made in the fabric.
"He's not wearing it?! But..." Suddenly, Quatre realized what
Trowa was getting at, and quickly glanced over at Heero. "Oh my..."
he breathed softly. "Heero is wearing it... You're right,
something is very right..."
"Looks like we've got a regular welcoming committee waitin' for us,"
Duo observed as he and Heero exited the shuttle at the L4 spaceport. "Hey,
Zechs and Lu are with them!" 'And I owe Lu a big "Thank You"
for that book disk!'
Bounding over to the waiting group, Duo flung his arms around a very startled
Lucrezia in an enthusiastic hug. "Thank you!" he exclaimed,
giving her a quick kiss on the cheek.
"Uh, you're welcome? I think?" she answered as Duo backed away.
"What exactly are you thanking me for?"
Pulling a data disk out of his pocket, Duo waved it at her. "The
Complete Collection of the Best of Three Centuries of Harlequin Romance
Best Friends Make the Best Spouses Novels," he proclaimed dramatically,
"Yep, told me everything." Duo nodded emphatically before turning
to Heero and encircling his waist in a hug. "Everybody's always callin'
me a baka," he shrugged ruefully, "and I've gotta admit that
this time I really deserve it."
Waking slowly, Heero checked the clock. Seeing that it was still quite
early, he lay watching Duo sleep. Today was their first day back to work.
Both of them would be reporting to Une for the morning to plan out the
new sabotage and demolitions training course that they would team-teach.
In the afternoon, Duo would show him around the WEI "idea" labs
and then Trowa would show him the existing computer security measures.
The plan was for him to use his initial time in the "idea" labs
to upgrade WEI's computer security, then see where things went from there.
'So much has changed in only a month. I had high hopes going into this,
but the reality is even better than I could have imagined.'
For one thing, he hadn't expected Dorothy Catalonia to join WEI, splitting
her time between public relations and charity fund raising. All of her
political knowledge was going to come in handy for both departments. And
if Une occasionally called Dorothy in to help handle the Preventers' budget
proposals, Quatre certainly wouldn't object to the drain on her time since
he would probably be helping with the same thing.
Wufei was back on the move again, acting as a travelling troubleshooter
for the Preventers, but now he was permanently based out of L4. He had
enjoyed his time together with the others enough that he wanted to be
able to see them more frequently. Zechs and Lu would be leaving for Mars
again in a few days, unfortunately, but their organizational skills and
command experience were being put to good use at the Mars Project.
As Duo stirred to wakefulness, opening those beautiful violet eyes and
giving him a sleepy smile, Heero decided that, all in all, things were
looking very good indeed.
"Good morning, love."
Oh, there would probably be struggles over the Preventers' budget - for
an avowed pacifist, Relena sure carried a mean grudge - and other problems
still unforeseen, but together, he and Duo, and the rest of the former
Gundam pilots, along with their assorted former allies and enemies, could
handle whatever came their way.
A few additional Author's Notes in closing:
Harlequin Romances (Mills & Boone to those outside of North America)
and the "Best Friends Get Married" plot lines:
For those of you who aren't familiar with typical Harlequin plots, the
whole "best friends get married to: (a) save business, (b) get custody
of children of deceased friends/siblings, (c) protect inheritance, (d)
avoid fortune hunters, (e) avoid matchmakers, (f) make dying parent/grandparent
happy, (g) avoid pushy/nutty wanna-be boy/girlfriend" is pretty common.
Oh yeah, there's one other reason, but I'm not a big preggie-Gboy fan,
so I don't think "(h) have heir or just have kid because of biological
clock ticking" is too useful. The whole seductive clothing/behaviour/innuendoes
bit frequently makes an appearance, as does the nutty alternative fiancÚ(e)
(yes, there *are* some very, *very* nearly as bad as Relena is in my fic
- scary, isn't it?). Sometimes one friend is in love ahead of time, sometimes
both are and just think it's one-sided, sometimes they fall in love somewhere
along the way. And I *have* actually seen *several* Harlequins with Mission:
Marriage or some permutation thereof as the title. Somehow this all came
together in my admittedly wild imagination and well - "Mission: Marriage",
all 18 parts of it, was the result.
For information on gemstones (organized by colour, by birthday, by meaning,
etc., as well as an image library for pictures of the various stones -
including star sapphires), visit the website of the International Colored
Gemstone Association at http://www.gemstone.org/index_gemsite.html
- a really great site!
For pics of lots of star sapphires, take a look at http://www.multicolour.com/gemstones/star_sapphire.html
which lets you search their stock for star sapphires in specific colours.
For some general info on eternity rings, take a look at http://www.24carat.co.uk/eternityringstory.html
(the second page shows a stack of eternity rings made with alternating
coloured gems and diamonds). I couldn't find a good pic online of a plaited
eternity ring nor one of a star sapphire eternity ring, though various
jeweller's sites mention both.
The Wedding Ceremony:
I used several resources to put this together. Most of the ceremony (the
overall structure and the general wording used) came from the "sample"
ceremony at http://www.celebrityweddingsonline.com/
- very helpful! The actual vows are modified from standard Civil Ceremony
vows and the blessing is an Apache Wedding Blessing (both were pulled
which also provided sample structures for the parts and order of the ceremony.
(Yes, I can be positively anal about details.)
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