Author: Mel

Seven Days + Epilogue

"So that's that, Mister Maxwell."

"I swear it Une, if you call me 'Mister Maxwell' one more time I'm going have to whoop some ass." Duo grumbled. The early morning sun peaked over L4's horizon, lighting the dark Winner mansion with its presence. The inhabitants were beginning to stir as Duo Maxwell and Lady Une stared up the Winner mansion.

She smiled at Duo. "Another mission done with."

"And no one was killed."

"Always a good thing," Une murmured in acknowledgement. "And you pulled it off with relative ease. If it hadn't been for Mister Winner's kidnapping, the whole thing would have gone off without a hitch."

"And the paperwork?" Duo tried not to look too hopeful.

Une waved the idea away with a flick of her wrist. "Don't worry about, I'll see to it personally."

If Duo weren't nearly as tired as he was, he would have hugged the tall woman.

"Now if you'll excuse me Mister Maxwell (Duo growled) I have a ship to catch and a terrorist group to put on trial. With the evidence you've given me, it shouldn't be too difficult."

"Aw shucks madam," Duo put on an outrageous southern American accent, "I was
just doing my job."

Une scowled reproachfully. "It's things like that that will get you in trouble one day, Mister Maxwell."

Duo sighed. "Yes boss."

Une shook her head and turned down the driveway. "I don't want to see you or Mister Yuy in the office for at least three months." She slipped into the backseat of the open car door that was waiting for her. She smiled at Duo, "but I'll see you for Sally's wedding, she wants me to walk her down the isle." And with that the door closed and Une was gone.

Duo rolled his eyes and turned back towards the mansion.

Heero and Trowa stood in the doorway. They were talking quietly to each other. Heero was missing the leather jacket he had been wearing the day before and was just in his green tank top. There was a bandage on his upper arm where a stray bullet had pierced him. And it was quite obvious to Duo that the boy was freezing.

Trowa seemed to have noticed it too and slipped his hands beneath his green turtleneck, pulling it up. The neck got caught around his nose, leaving the boy blinded and almost making Duo laugh. Heero actually smiled and lent forward, standing on his toes. And kissed Trowa's exposed lips softly. Duo's jaw dropped.

Trowa, for his part, seemed to be enjoying the obviously welcomed kiss, but was torn between pulling the turtleneck down and kissing Heero properly and taking it off and giving it to the other boy, ending the kiss. Heero made the decision for him, slipping the garment over the rest of Trowa's face, his lips still pressed to Trowa's and resting his arms around the taller boys neck.

Trowa encircled his arms around Heero's waist and pulled him closer. Duo averted his eyes, finding the driveway insanely interesting and giving his two friends a moment of peace. It wasn't too much later when they joined him by the fountain on the front drive. There was a moment of silence. "Une says she doesn't want to see us for three months."

"Good," Trowa murmured, "Heero's staying with me for a while, till we figure out what we want to do."

Duo smiled, pleased. Though he hadn't picked up on the whole 'Trowa/Heero' vibe (probably because he was too busy worrying about Quatre), he was glad the two had found each other. They deserved it.

"How's the arm?"

Duo looked at Heero, grinned and rolled his eyes, lifting the offending arm. "Broken, Sally says I'm not allowed to anything with it for three weeks."

"Isn't this just great?" Catherine fumed, joining them. "I come up here, looking for a boy friend, and my brother tackles one." Her face lit up from the scowl, "if he's moving in maybe we could share him?"

Trowa wrapped an arm around Heero's waist, who actually looked quite horrified. "Mine," Trowa hissed possessively, making Catherine giggle.

"Don't be silly, I wouldn't even consider taking Heero from you, although," she let her eyes travel up the shorter teens body. "I can understand why Relena chased you around for so long."

Heero looked at Trowa, wondering how he could possibly live with a woman like Catherine. And Trowa smiled, all Heero's problems and worries disappeared. Heero smiled back.

"Speak of the devil." Duo said in warning as Relena and Hilde joined them.

"Weren't you wearing that shirt yesterday?"

"I was," Relena allowed, grinning at Duo, "but it looks better on Hilde."

"That's only because I've got a great set of tits," Hilde smirked, "you, my dear, however have the greatest ass I've ever had the pleasure of-"

Relena, who was red as a tomato, caught Hilde's face in her hands and kissed her softly, effectively cutting off the rest of the sentence. Hilde was trying not to laugh even as she slipped her arms around Relena's neck.

Catherine placed her hands on her hips. "Am I the only one who didn't get laid last night?"

"Probably," Wufei answered for everyone else as he and Sally joined them. "Not you two, too!"

"'Fraid so," Sally smiled. "You are going to be my bridesmaid, aren't you Cathy?" Cathy grumbled something like a yes.

"You'll be pleased to know Catherine, I didn't get laid last night." Dorothy murmured, her hands in the pockets of her jeans that she wore. "Abdul fell asleep before I got the chance."

Duo sighed as all the new couples had formed around him, some in just the course of the party. He was still tired after last night, even after the few hours sleep Sally had forced him to take. And Quatre was still asleep.

"Don't worry Duo," Gabby grinned, "I'll get them to the airport. You go and see Quatre."

Duo smiled, amazed how the pretty little blond knew precisely what he was thinking. The hangers on took it as their cue to leave and said their goodbyes.

"Be good!" Catherine gave him a hug first.

"And if you can't be good, be good at it- Hey, Relena, don't you go pinching my ass!" Hilde admonished her girlfriend.

Relena was still grinning like a banshee when she hugged Duo. "Look after each other."

"You too princess," he murmured as she stepped back and into Hilde's welcome embrace. "I don't suppose I can steal that shirt?"

"No chance," Hilde grinned, "it's mine now."

Relena smiled, "but I promise I'll send you one."

Sally gave him a quick squeeze, "thanks for the excitement Duo, its been a while. And look after that arm right?" He nodded, still smiling. Sally jabbed Wufei in the stomach. "Ask him!"

Wufei looked a little awkward. "Duo Maxwell," he looked even more awkward, as if unsure what to say, and bowed to Duo. "Would you please be my best man at our wedding?"

Duo positively glowed. "Hell yes, you don't have to bow Wufei!" Wufei looked relieved as he righted himself. "And I promise I won't lose the rings."

Wufei's face paled to a sickly shade of grey and Sally laughed. Duo grinned. "I was only kidding Wufei. And you know. . . that's the first time you've called me by my full name. I'd be honoured to be your best man."

Wufei smiled, still looking a little worried, but was obviously grateful that Duo had said yes.

"Take care," Heero also grinned.

"Look after him." Trowa added.

"Ditto, look after each other for me, all right?" Trowa wrapped his arms around the shorter Heero and they both nodded.

"Thank you for the party Mister Maxwell." Dorothy said formally, Duo wincing slightly at the tone. "I haven't had such an interesting night in a long time." "Thanks, I think."

"All right people, if you're quite done, I'd like to get you on your ship as soon as possible." There were some smiles and a few rolling of eyes and more then a dozen farewells in Duo's direction as they marched down the drive. Sally turned around just before she got in the car. "And you'd better make sure Quatre comes to my wedding Duo Maxwell, otherwise you'll be in a lot of trouble." Wufei pulled her quickly into the car before she could say anything else and they were gone.

Duo grinned.

He was halfway up the wall before anyone noticed him.

"Master Maxwell!"

Duo looked down into the laughing eyes of the tall Mag'ua'nac leader. Rashid was trying not to smile. "Can you not use the door like a normal human being?"

"Are you saying I'm abnormal Rashid? Take that back!" the braided boy called out playfully.

Rashid shook his head in exasperation. "Just do not do any more damage to that arm, I will set it myself if you do. And be sure Master Quatre eats something when he awakens."

"Righto Sergent!" Rashid didn't want to know how he managed to pull off the smart salute with a broken arm clinging to the wall of the building, so he didn't ask. Instead he walked away, rumbling about crazy Americans. Duo rolled his eyes and proceeded to scale the wall.

He slipped through Quatre's window with little effort at all, even with his bound arm. And he was good to his promise to Sally and Rashid, he hadn't hurt it again.

Quatre slept on peacefully in his bed even with Duo's noisy entrance. It wasn't surprising considering the amount of drugs Sally had pumped into him the night before when Duo had carried the unconscious boy back to the mansion. They had been amazed to find that, with the exception of a cracked rib, Quatre's wounds were all surface ones. The boy would hurt for days, but it was nothing that would heal with time.

Duo found himself staring at the purple bruise that flared out from Quatre's temple. Sighing softly to himself he sunk into the armchair beside the bed and continued to watch over Quatre till he woke. . .

+

The artificial light was imitating the perfect sunset when Quatre finally woke from his drug-endorsed sleep. His blue eyes parted and he had to blink to clear the sleep from his eyes. His body ached with pain upon pain, but he knew it could have been worse, he could still feel the effects of the drugs floating through his system, dulling the pain. They, however, made waking up no easier. Quatre felt as if he had been used as someone's personal sleeping bag. Very carefully he lifted one hand to his eyes, wiping at the now closed lids in an attempt to be able to see again. When he opened his eyes a second time Quatre was seeing Angels again. This Angel was still wearing black, uncomfortable in his sleep as he was seated in the armchair. Strands of chestnut hair that had pulled free from the confines of the braid collected around his body. They caught the essence of the failing light and reflected around him as an angel's halo would.

Quatre's sharp intake of breath was enough to pull the slumbering angel from his sleep. Violet eyes opened and held Quatre's big blue ones. The angel choose to grace him with a tender smile.

"You're awake."

Quatre nodded. "Your arm?"

Duo held up his bandaged arm, "broken, Sally set it for me last night." Duo's smile faltered. "Quatre, I'm sorry you got dragged into my mission, it should never have happened."

"Mission?"

Quatre tried to sit up, only to have Duo beside him in a bare moment, pushing him firmly back into the bed. "Yes, mission Quatre, and don't get up."

Mission, that's why Duo was never here at night,
Quatre mused. And he had thought that only Heero had remained with the Preventers. Quatre smiled at him as he sat beside him on the bed. "You don't have too-" Duo's fingertips on his lips efficiently silenced the other boy.

"I do have to apologise Quatre, and please don't try to stop me." Quatre nodded, turning the touch into the lightest of caresses. Duo reluctantly removed his hand and ran it through the strands of his hair. "I shouldn't have gotten you involved, God knows I never meant to stay as long as I did. I just dropped into say hello, and then I was going to go. But," he floundered slightly, "you looked so miserable and tired that I couldn't go. And the longer I stayed, the harder it was. I kept telling myself that I'd go the next day, but I couldn't just leave, not after I saw you. . ."

"I'm glad you stayed." Quatre whispered, causing Duo to stare down at him. "Things have been so. . . heavy since the war. I have a lot live up to, and I guess I let it go to my head. I wouldn't let anyone help me, I had to do it all by myself, for my father." He smiled, "I gave my sisters a terrible time when they first pushed Gabby on me. But now I wouldn't be able to live without her. And you showed up and put so much havoc in my life. You disrupted everything and needed constant attention, something that I felt no one else could handle. I thought. . . I thought at first you were such a nuisance, coming in and ruining everything I built. But you weren't." Quatre now sat up slowly, causing a murmur of distress from Duo until he was fully upright and leaning against the wall behind his bed. "You brought a smile to my face when I was sure I'd never smile again. And if you leave I don't know what-"

"You're too young for worry lines," Duo whispered, his hand reaching out and smothering the lines off his forehead. Quatre's breath caught in his throat as he stared at Duo's intent looking face. "Quatre, can I kiss you?"

"Please?" Quatre whimpered in return even as Duo's lips descended down on top of his. Duo was gentle against Quatre's split lips. Quatre's eyes closed as he fell into Duo's embrace. It was like kissing sunshine, holding love. And Quatre couldn't get enough of it. All the doubts, all the sadness disappeared from them like ghosting emotions as they clung to each other.

"Please don't go," Quatre whimpered against Duo's lips as they broke apart to breath.

"Never," Duo returned relevantly. Quatre smiled, his face lighting up like a sunny day. "I'm sorry I made you cry."

"I'm happy you made me laugh," he whispered back. "And I'm glad you stayed for as long as you did. Kiss me again?"

Duo smiled and complied with the request, leaving Quatre breathless. "So am I. It's been the best seven days of my life. . ."

~Owari~

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