Author: pyrzm
see ch. 1 for warnings, notes, disclaimer

Broken Warriors + Chapter 116
Pampering

Duo climbed out of the rental car and sucked in a lungful of cool sea air, then threw out his arms and yelled, "Goddamn, I love this place!"

It was warm for early May in this part of the world, and the weather reports looked good for an outdoor ceremony. That was something he and Heero, both raised on climate controlled colonies, had forgotten to work into their plans. On Quatre's advice, they were renting a large pavilion, just in case, but Duo fully intended to make his vows to Heero with his feet in the Atlantic, just as they'd planned, come rain or shine.

Turning, he grabbed Quatre as he was about to open the trunk for their bags and lifted him in a rib-crushing hug. "Thank you, Kat. Thank you thank you thank you!"

Quatre hugged him back. "It's a beautiful place to get married. I'm glad it's so special to both of you."

Duo grabbed his suitcase and followed Quatre up onto the porch. He and Heero hadn't lived here very long, but they'd certainly made a lot of memories while they did.

+

They spent the first day pulling dust covers off furniture and cleaning away the winter's dust, grime, and spiders and making springtime repairs.

"Maybe we should have eloped," Duo grumbled, as he and Quatre wrestled with a broken water heater and a leaky gas line in the kitchen.

The day was pleasantly warm and breezy, and when the sun set it was cool enough for a cozy fire. Duo had intended to sleep alone, and made up the bed in the upstairs side bedroom, while Quatre took the bedroom downstairs. After an hour or so of tossing and turning and missing Heero and the others, however, he was really glad when Quatre showed up at his door in his rumpled shorts and tee shirt. It looked like he was hiding something behind his back.

"Did you bring me a late night snack?" Duo asked hopefully, scooting over so Kat could climb in beside him.

"Not exactly." Quatre shook out the contents of the small paper bag he'd been holding. A good-sized baggie of pot, a packet of papers and a lighter spilled out across the comforter.

"You bad thing!" Duo laughed, and helped roll a couple of blunts.

"I just talked to Tro. He and Heero are all settled in at the hotel. I feel a little guilty. He's sleeping alone."

"He'll survive," Duo chuckled.

They smoked for a while, knocking their ashes into a seashell balanced between them. When they were both nicely buzzed, Quatre cuddled up next to Duo and wrapped his arms around him, head nestled under Duo's chin. "Ahhhhhh! This feels good."

"Sure does," Duo agreed, idly stroking Kat's blond and blue hair. He'd grown it out longer again, and put in more of the blue streaks Heero liked so well.

Duo wound some of the blue around his finger, admiring it. "So, blue again. You got a thing for Heero?"

"I got a thing for both of you," Quatre giggled, hugging him. "Love the hell out of you guys!"

Duo kissed him, lost in the good buzz and the warm comfort of his best friend. "So, you sorry about that night?"

"What, when you fucked me, you mean?"

"Yeah. Do you wish we hadn't, or that Heero had been the one . . ."

Quatre sat up and looked at him, some of his dazed good humor giving way to concern. "I don't regret anything, Duo. With my empathy, it was like we all did each other, that everyone did me. I told you that, remember? And it was beautiful! But for your sake, I'm glad Heero didn't actually do me. You're pretty jealous."

"I am not!"

"Are too!" Kat flopped back down beside him and cuddled in again. "It's OK, I think it's nice. Heero is, too. You're made for each other."

Duo mulled that over for a while then sighed and lit up another joint. "I guess you're right. Sorry."

"Don't apologize! It's beautiful and cute, too. I wish---"

It was Duo's turn to look at him. "That Tro was more like me?"

Quatre shrugged. "Sometimes. He's been seeing Dr. B."

"Still? Wow, I never thought he'd stick with that."

"Neither did I, but he has, and it's helping a lot. That's the only reason I didn't worry about him and Heero going off alone like that."

"And it gives you a break," Duo murmured, hugging him back into place.

"No! I don't-"

"It's OK, Kat. You've earned it, with all the crap you've gone through with him, and with me, for that matter. Y'know, it's kinda nice not being the 'crazy one' anymore. Oh, not that I'm saying Tro is crazy or anything---"

"It's all right, Duo. He's got 'deep rooted emotional and psychic scarring.' That's Dr. B's diagnosis, anyway. I'm just glad he's dealing with it. But yeah, it's is sort of peaceful right now, being here like this."

+

Duo spent a good part of the next morning on the phone, squaring up final details with the JP who was going to officiate, the florist, and the bakery making the cake. The special decoration Trowa had fashioned for the cake hadn't arrived yet.

After lunch he and Kat began beachcombing for the shells he needed for various decorations. Every guest was going to get a simple necklace made from a local shell on a chain.

+

One Wednesday morning they met Wufei at the Boston International shuttle port. They'd dressed down a bit, just jeans and jackets, sunglasses and hats. Quatre had foregone makeup since he got to Massachusetts, but still had most of his piercings in, looking tough rather than sexy. Even so, they attracted more attention that they wanted.

"Bastards," Duo muttered, keeping his head down as a few tourists caught sight of them and raised pointing fingers and cameras.

They did their best to ignore the unwanted attention as they waited outside the customs area for Wufei to appear. When he did, however, they couldn't help staring as much as any tourist. "Holy shit!" Duo whispered as Wufei emerged with a crowd of other travelers.

"Yeah!" Quatre agreed.

They'd talked to him often by vidphone, and caught him and Zechs on the news now and then, stalked by the European paparazzi, and had noted how much better he looked these days. But here in person, frowning slightly as he maneuvered his duffle through the crowd, he was just plain stunning.

He wore jeans more these days, like the rest of the, but his were classy, expensive ones tailored and faded to show off his slender build to perfect effect without looking trashy. Today they were topped with a crisp white open collar shirt and a long tweed and leather jacket. He was wearing the jade necklace Zechs had given him again, too. Trendy Italian boots completed the outfit, the stacked heels adding a couple of inches to his legs and giving the impression of height, though he'd never be tall. His long, shining black hair was pulled back today, but less severely than in the old days, with a few shorter strands loose around his face. A small red jade dragon dangled from his right earlobe, swinging against his neck as he looked around for them.

"Holy shit again. 05's wearing an earring! And makeup?" Duo whispered as Wufei caught sight of them and started over in their direction. He looked as dour as always, and he was clearly on the lookout for photographers.

"No makeup," Quatre, the expert on such things, whispered back. "He's just healthy and happy again. And getting laid on a regular basis."

"You can feel that from here?"

"It's written all over him. And I believe that's a large hickey peeking out from under his collar.

"A going away present from Big Blondie," Duo laughed, then strode over to hug Wufei and plant a kiss on his cheek. "Wuffie! Damn, you look good enough to eat!"

"Maxwell, really!" Wufei muttered, coloring darkly as he hastily returned the hug and pushed Duo away. There were a few photographers around, and they were already circling. "Hello, Quatre. Has he driven you to distraction yet?"

"No, we've been having fun, and so will you," Quatre said, grinning even as he grabbed Wufei's bag with one hand and flipped off the paparazzi with the other. A few people laughed, and others clapped as the trio made a hasty escape to the parking garage.

They went for lunch in an expensive little out-of-the-way seafood place on the waterfront that Quatre liked and caught up over oysters on the half shell and crab salads.

"Damn, Wuffie, you look great!" Duo couldn't help exclaiming, watching Wufei delicately slurp down his seventh oyster. "And I bet you need those, these days."

Wufei raised an eyebrow. "Oysters?"

"They're an aphrodisiac," Quatre explained, grinning.

"Ah." That elegant eyebrow arched a little more and hint of a smile tugged at the corner of his mouth as he squeezed a lemon wedge over another and tipped it into his mouth. "I assure you, I don't need anything of that nature. Not at all. I just like them."

"You are an aphrodisiac," Duo chuckled under his breath. Even Wufei's hands were beautiful.

"Thank you, Duo. You're looking quite radiant yourself. You both are. How are you doing, being away from your lovers for a whole week?"

"He'll thank me for it," Quatre said.

"I better," Duo groused. "So, you all ready for school, Wu?"

"Yes. I've completed all the placement exams, and have my class assignments."

"Well, my hat's off to you," Duo said around a mouthful of crab. "School? Homework? Deadlines? You can have it. Heero's going to art school, though. Did I tell you?"

"Quatre mentioned it last time we talked. What about you, though?"

"What about me?"

"Well, I thought, with your talent, that you might consider it, as well?"

Duo shrugged. "You said it. I got the talent already. What do I need school for?" He pushed a lump of crabmeat around the edge of his plate. "Besides, I can't get in like you guys."

"I don't understand."

"I never finished high school."

"Oh, I see." Wufei set his fork aside and eyed Duo thoughtfully. "And you're too proud to do it now."

"Hey!"

"Well? Heero and I went to night school while we were in Preventers. I'm submitting to this prep school necessity. Quatre, I'm assuming you've done something to complete your secondary education?"

"I had private tutors."

"See? So why not you, Duo? You're certainly as smart as the rest of us."

Duo shifted uneasily in his chair. "Well, y'know, there was that whole being batshit crazy for a while, and being dirt poor. Plus, can you see me in a classroom, sitting at a desk like a good little boy? Hell, I barely made it through undercover assignments. No, I've learned plenty on my own. It's better for me that way. Anyway, have you seen what my masks sell for? It's ridiculous! And I've got my first gallery show in New Orleans in August."

"Congratulations! I'm glad for you." This time Wufei's smile was open and genuine.

"So, when'd you get the earring?"

Wufei touched the little dragon self-consciously and the light caught the gold ruby dragon ring on that hand. "Oh, that. Just something Zechs likes."

"It's very sexy," Quatre told him. "Sexy and understated."

"Thanks."

Duo grinned at his friends. "We've all come a long way from being terrorists, haven't we?"

"Indeed we have," Wufei agreed.

+

Wufei let the subject of school drop, sensing even without Quatre's warning look that this was a sore topic. Duo was certainly intelligent, but he lacked anything like a normal schooling background, which Wufei and Quatre had been lucky enough to have. Heero had gone along with the whole night school thing at Wufei's insistence, and perhaps out of boredom. Both of them had passed easily. He suspected that Duo and Trowa were both capable of doing the same, but Duo had a point. They were already accomplishing more than many people with college degrees did. Still, he hoped it didn't become an issue, with Heero going back to school.

After lunch they drove what seemed to him an endless distance to New Provincetown, out at the very tip of Cape Cod. The coast was quite lovely, and the air was very bracing, in a different way than the Sanque coastline. The smells seemed more intense and sweeter here.

He was glad to be back with his friends, even if it did mean losing a few precious nights with Zechs. He'd missed too many opportunities with his friends over the years, and really let Quatre and Trowa down. He wasn't about to make that mistake again, and had Zechs's blessing for the trip. He'd sealed his approval by giving him an embarrassing love bite, and despite his high collar, he'd caught Quatre and Duo smirking at it. The best part was, he found he didn't really mind. Let them look. They'd seen far worse in New York, and Wufei was well beyond embarrassment now. He was proud to be the lover of Zechs Merquise, or Milliardo Peacecraft, as the news insisted on calling him, and in time he would be his husband. He was proud of that.

He was not completely debauched, however, and looked askance at some of the outfits displayed at the store they went to, a place called Loose Threads. It was clearly a place that catered to gay men, and many of the outfits were scanty, if not downright scandalous, and he began to worry what Duo's idea of "wedding attire" might be. There was not a proper tuxedo in sight.

Several pretty, overly effusive young salesmen greeted them, and were introduced to him as Nicky, Sam, and the owner, Sal.

"This is a great day for us," Sal told Wufei, taking his arm in a very familiar manner and leading him to a large photo display at the back of the shop. It was covered with pictures of handsome men in outfits he suspected came from this shop. Duo, Heero, Trowa and Quatre took up quite a bit of space. "See, we have all the Gundam Boys here, except for you!" Sal went on.

"Yep, you've finally collected the whole set," Duo laughed, apparently at ease here.

"Don't worry," Quatre assured him. "You're going to like what Duo picked out."

"So long as it's not a bridesmaid's gown," Wufei muttered. "Or a leather skirt."

"Naw, it takes a special sort of man to carry that off," Duo replied, striking a pose as he pointed out a photo of him in his leather kilt. "And all the fashion rags agreed, no one did it like yours truly."

To Wufei's considerable relief, the outfit ordered for him was an elegant cream silk suit, cut very loose and casual, with a sky blue silk tee. Quatre and Trowa were wearing similar outfits, with different colored shirts.

Duo's wedding ensemble was quite different. He was going to wear loose, gauzy linen trousers, rolled above the ankles, and a long, collarless shirt of the same fabric, open over a bare chest.

"Very nice. But that's it?" Wufei asked, surprised.

"Wait 'til you see how he accessorizes!" Sal told him. "He's going to be so beautiful!"

"Nobody gets to see that until the big day," Duo said, smiling a secret smile that made him look more lovely than usual.

Wufei couldn't help giving Duo a small, quick hug, seeing him like that. In all the years Wufei had known him, he'd seen Duo go through a lot of stages, most of them not very happy ones. In the months since Heero had come back to him, Duo had blossomed. Happy, healthy and in love, he was, in Wufei's opinion, the best looking of the five of them. A far cry from the filthy, violent, foul-mouthed waif who'd shared obscene poetry with him in that OZ prison cell.

They ran a few more errands, and then drove to the beach house Wufei had heard so much about. It was a very nice place, the sort of place he'd like to bring Zechs sometime, he thought, remote and comfortable. HE and Zechs were both a bit out of place in the mansion, but with Wufei's school plans, plans to find or build a new, more manageable place were on hold.

A lot of things were on hold, thanks to him, and he couldn't help feeling a little jealous of Duo and Heero.

"Hey, you OK?" Duo asked as they climbed the stairs to the bedrooms.

"Of course," Wufei told him, shaking off the unworthy thought. He had made his decision and knew it was the right path for him. Zechs supported him in it. There was no reason for second thoughts, and envy was a most unworthy emotion. "Where should I put my bag?"

"Well, about that," Duo drawled, exchanging a nervous grin with Quatre. "You can have any room you like, but Kat and I have been bunking in together, like always, and we were kinda hoping that you'd want to, too. But if you aren't comfortable with that. . ."

"No, that will be fine," Wufei replied without hesitation, and grinned at their look of mingled surprise and relief.

"Wow, we really have worn you down, haven't we?" Duo grinned, showing him to a side bedroom with a wide bed and pleasant, relaxed decor. Wufei decided this was one of the nicest, most welcoming houses he'd ever been in.

"I suppose you have."

He changed out of his travel clothes, putting on a pair of looser, worn jeans, sneakers and the Foo Dogs shirt Duo and Heero had bought for him during his own breakdown. He'd worn it for Duo and was glad to see him recognize it.

They spent the rest of the afternoon stringing seashells on chains, then had beer and steaks on the beach and watched the stars come out. He wasn't terribly surprised when Quatre pulled out some joints.

Later, nicely full, nicely buzzed, and very glad with his friends for another special occasion, Wufei changed into some sleep pants and a tee while the others were off getting ready for bed, then pulled out his computer and made a vidphone call to Zechs.

"Ah, there you are," Zechs purred, and Wufei's heart skipped a beat. Zechs looked tousled and drowsy and very, very sexy. It was early morning in Sanque and Zechs was still in bed, and most probably naked. Zechs's smile widened as he reached out and moved his own computer. The view shifted, giving Wufei a full body shot of his indeed very naked body and stiff, weeping erection.

Wufei shot a quick look at the open doorway, listening for the others. "God, I miss you already!"

"That's very good to hear. This place is a mausoleum without you."

"My poor, poor, lonely emperor," Wufei sighed, stroking the image on the screen with one finger.

"Wufei, are you stoned?"

"Yes," Wufei sighed again. "I told you they are very bad influences."

"And I've been very glad to reap the benefits," Zechs chuckled, propping his head on one hand. "Are you going to sleep with them?"

"Yes."

"Good. At least one of us won't be lonely."

"I'm sorry. Do you want me to come home?"

"Of course not. You know I'm only teasing. Just be a good boy and remember our agreement."

Wufei nodded solemnly. "No touching myself. And you won't either."

Zechs held up his free hand. "Not touching. Though I can't be held accountable for what I do to you in my dreams."

"Oh yes, dreams. I hope I don't embarrass myself with them."

"Just think pure thoughts before you go to sleep. I'm sure you can manage." Zechs's voice dropped to a husky purr. "Just think of the reward you'll get when I arrive."

"So much for pure thoughts!" Wufei shivered happily, then yawned.

"Get some sleep, little love, and have fun with your friends. I love you."

"I love you," Wufei whispered back, sad to break the connection, but he could hear Duo on his way back from the bathroom, laughing about something with Quatre.

He had the vidphone off before they came in, but Duo took one look at him and burst out laughing. They were both dressed for bed, Duo in a pair of loose shorts, the necklace he always wore, and nothing else. His chest was smooth and lightly tanned now, his nipples tight little points. Quatre was in cut off sweats and a loose tee shirt that probably belonged to Trowa.

Duo had a fresh joint in the corner of his mouth and was holding a steaming basin of water that smelled like rosewater, with towels over his arms. Quatre's hands were full with a light blue leather case, more towels, several bottles, and a large zippered plastic pouch with pink and white kittens printed all over it.

Duo gave Wufei a knowing look. "Uh oh. Somebody's already homesick."

"And blushing," Quatre added. "How's Zechs managing without you?"

"He's fine," Wufei said, not bothering to deny the call. "What's all that for?"

Duo put the basin down beside the bed and Quatre dumped his collection beside Wufei.

Duo took another drag on the joint, then put it between Wufei's lips. "Here. You're falling behind, buddy. It's pampering time."

Wufei took a drag and passed it to Quatre. "What's he babbling about?"

"Pampering time!" Quatre repeated brightly. Unzipping the kitten pouch, he dumped a cascade of colorful little bottles into Wufei's lap. Wufei picked one up and his eyebrows shot up. "Nail polish?"

"Toenail polish," Duo corrected. "Pick your color, Wu Man."

"I don't have a color. I don't wear nail polish. Anywhere."

Duo gave him a wicked grin. "Oh, you do now. Trust me, sexy Zechsy is gonna love it. Heero does on me. C'mon! Kat gives the world's best pedicures, with a foot massage and everything."

"It's no big deal, really," Quatre urged, giving him that big-eyed look that made him look very young and adorable, even with all the face metal. "If you hate it, I'll take it off, or change the color. We'll need to do it fresh for the wedding anyway. This is just for fun."

"Fun, eh?" Wufei grumbled, but as usual, found himself already wavering. What was it about the two of them that had such a weird effect on him? He retrieved the joint, took a deep drag, held it, and then wheezed, "Oh, all right. If it will stop your nagging."

"Ha! Told you, Duo. Pay up," Quatre crowed.

Duo gave Wufei an accusing look as he handed Quatre a five-dollar bill. "Man, I figured you'd at least put up a fight or something."

"Shouldn't have gotten me high first."

He was pretty high, and helped them smoke another joint as he watched, bemused, as Quatre made him soak his feet in the warm rosewater, then went to work with a succession of defoliants and moisturizers, trimmed his nails, then gave him the promised foot massage that was dangerously close to foreplay. Wufei ended up flat on his back, holding pillows over his burning face, and his crotch, while Quatre kneaded his feet and ankles with devilishly clever fingers.

"Told ya he was good!" Duo laughed.

"Oh my god!" Wufei gasped into the pillow. "Will you teach me to do that?"

"Of course." Quatre applied a last bit of cream to his heels, and then patted him on the knee. "Duo's turn. You help. Quatre removed the chipped dark red polish from Duo's nails while Wufei was sent off for fresh water. Duo's feet were well cared for, presumably from living with Quatre, and very attractive. Once they were clean and dry, it was not at all unpleasant to handle them. Quatre did Duo's left, using it as an example, while Wufei did the right. Quatre used very expensive creams and it felt nice, working them into Duo's smooth, lightly tanned skin. His toes were long, and ticklish, Wufei soon discovered.

Duo sprawled happily on the bed while they worked, moaning unabashedly and not seeming the least embarrassed about the erection tenting the front of his shorts. When they were done he and Quatre changed places and they gave his small, delicate looking feet the same treatment. He was even more ticklish and squirmed and giggled until they were done.

"And now for the polish," Quatre gasped, wiping his eyes.

"I have absolutely no idea how to choose," Wufei told him, at a loss. Quatre's collection included just about every conceivable color, some pearly, others metallic.

"I'll choose for you," Duo offered. Fishing around in the pile, he held up a bottle of rich, dark blue lacquer, with a metallic sheen. "It's dark and mysterious and exotic, like you."

Wufei stared at him a moment, stunned by such an open appraisal. "You think I'm-exotic?"

"Are you kidding? Hell, yeah!"

"You are, you know," Quatre agreed. "Surely Zechs tells you that?"

"Well---" Wufei felt himself blushing again. "Yes, but we're-"

"Say it!" Duo said, grinning.

"Lovers," Wufei finished, refusing to give him the satisfaction of embarrassment.

"Well, you are. Exotic. And damn hot, too. So, whaddya say, Wuffie? 'Deep Space Midnight'?"

"Oh, go ahead." Wufei surrendered and stuck his feet out. "I should have realized things would turn out like this."

"Damn straight!"

Quatre went to work, laying down a coat of clear polish, then a coat of the dark blue lacquer, blowing gently on his toes to dry it. "I'll do another coat when this is dry. What do you think Duo?"

"Nice!" Duo approved, and then held up a bottle of pearly silver. "I'll take 'Angelfish'."

"Mermaid color, huh?" Quatre chuckled.

"Kat!" Duo hissed, turning an amazing shade of red.

"Mermaids?" asked Wufei.

"Uh, yeah," Duo mumbled.

Wufei had never seen him like this. "After all the mortifying things you've put me through, including climbing on me when I was naked---"

"OK, OK! It's just something Heero came up with, a long time ago."

"And?"

"Aaaaaand--- he thinks I look like a mermaid."

It was Wufei's turn to grin. "A mermaid? Not a merman?"

"Yeah, he was pretty insistent about it, too. Go figure."

"Ah, I see. So all the seashell jewelry you wear---?"

"Yeah, that's why." He touched the simple pendant at his throat. "This was the first he gave me. It's--- well, it's special."

Wufei touched the jade lotus at his own throat. "I know what you mean."

Quatre did Duo's toes, brushing on the silvery polish while Wufei smoked and thought of mermaids. Picturing Duo with his hair loose and scaly tail and seashell bra made him smile.

When their polish was done and Quatre judged it dry enough, Duo painted Quatre's a wild fuchsia pink, which apparently Trowa liked.

As he finished Wufei caught sight of the three of them, reflected in the large dresser mirror across the room, sprawled together on the wide bed. They all looked quite exotic, he thought.

As they settled down for the night, Duo and Quatre put Wufei in the middle and treated him like a teddy bear. Far from minding, he found it comforting, and slept very well, with only the gentlest of dreams.

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