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

Broken Warriors + Chapter 117
Happy the Grooms the Sun Shines On (Part 1)

Zechs flew his private shuttle to Boston the day before the wedding, accompanied by three security guards. Wufei had urged him to bring more, but the threatening mail had slowed to a trickle and Zechs didn't want to impose on the happy occasion with any more strangers than absolutely necessary.

His men went out first, ascertaining the gate area was secure, and then he joined them. Heero and Trowa met him inside the terminal. He shook hands and looked around in surprise. "Where is Wufei?"

"At the house with the others," Heero told him. "You're staying at the hotel with us tonight. It's the same one where your room is reserved for after the reception. Tro and Quatre will be staying there, too."

"In a different suite," Trowa assured him with a small grin.

Zechs arched an eyebrow in surprise, and covered his disappointment as they made their way out to the parking garage with light conversation. But three nights without Wufei in his bed were quite enough!

"Sorry," said Trowa, sussing him out. "Duo says if he's not getting any, nobody's getting any."

"I see. Well, fair enough." His men, well trained and discrete, remained impassive behind their dark glasses, but he thought he caught a fleeting smirk from Captain Tirmani.

He rode with Heero and Trowa in their rented SUV. His men followed in a sedan. In New Providence they stopped first at a boutique called Loose Threads to pick up Zech's wedding attire. The Italian made suit of crisp cream-colored linen was beautiful, and needed no alterations. He owned a number of suits from this designer; perhaps they'd used his measurements they had on file.

The shop boys fawned over all of them, and seemed more than a little flustered to meet him. Had he been a single man, he could have had his pick of any of them. That pleased him, though he wasn't really tempted, horny as he was. That pleased him, too. Now and then he asked himself if fidelity to Wufei was a sacrifice. Time and again, the answer was no. All those easy fucks had been an attempt to fill a void. Hundreds of such liaisons had never added up to what one dark-eyed, complex young man had given him from the moment they'd first kissed.

He was not an official member of the wedding party and Wufei had been concerned that he'd feel slighted, but Zechs understood. This wedding was an important rite of passage for the boys, perhaps the last one before each couple settled into their new lives. They were not losing each other, but things would change. Zechs was satisfied to be included in that tight inner circle as much as he was.

That acceptance was underscored when they reached the suite that afternoon. Heero showed the security men the room they'd be sharing, then led Zechs back out to the sitting room.

"Trowa and I are sharing," Heero told him quietly, pointing to one of the bedrooms. Zechs could see the end of a large bed through the open doorway. "You're welcome to join us."

Perhaps if the security detail wasn't there, he'd have accepted, but for once he considered appearances, for Wufei's sake. He also had to admit that in his current state of deprivation, memories of the brief passionate tryst he'd shared with Trowa during the war had made a rather strong reappearance as they drove in from the airport. For the first time, such thoughts made him feel unworthy, both of Wufei's love and trust, and his friendship with the others. No, he would sleep alone one more night. "So, what's the plan for tonight?" he asked, after carrying his bag into the third bedroom.

Heero shrugged. "Play some cards? Watch a movie? All the arrangements for tomorrow are taken care of."

"No stag party?"

Trowa chuckled and shook his head. "The past few years have been one long stag party for us."

"I want tomorrow to be special," Heero said with a shy look that was endearing on his usually impassive face.

Zechs clasped his shoulder and gave him a gentle shake. "How could it not be, my friend? And you're setting a very good example for me, too, when my time comes."

"It must be hard to wait."

Zechs shrugged. "This week has given me a small taste of what it will be like when he's off at school. Can't say I'm looking forward to it, but I'll survive."

+

Heero was glad of Trowa's warmth beside him that night. He wasn't really nervous about tomorrow, but a strange excitement gripped him. Logically, this ceremony was a formality, a celebration, certainly, but it wasn't as if he'd feel any different about Duo afterwards.

He tossed and turned for a while, until Trowa finally spooned in behind him and wrapped an arm tightly around his waist. "You need to rest. Tomorrow will be a long day."

"I know." Heero covered Trowa's hand with his own. "Were you nervous, before you and Quatre married?" "No, we were too stoned." Trowa sounded sad as he said it.

Heero turned over and looked into those green eyes.

Trowa ducked his chin, hiding behind his bangs. "There are a lot of things I'd do differently for him, if I could."

"Regret is pointless."

"I know, but it seems to be my nature."

"Then it would be best not to do things you regret."

Trowa laughed softly at that. "You sound like Batoosingh. And I've already figured that much out." He sighed and stroked Heero's arm. "You always lived like that, no apologies. No regrets."

"That's not true. I regret the mistakes I made, the lives it cost. And I regret leaving Duo alone at the end. I'll spend the rest of my life making that up to him."

"He doesn't see it that way, you know."

"I know, but I do. But that's not why I'm with him. That's not why I'm marrying him."

Trowa chuckled at that. "Lighten up, 01. Anyone can see you're crazy in love with him. Now go to sleep. That's an order."

Heero turned his back to Trowa and pressed back against his warmth again, clutching a pillow in his arms. "Mission accepted."

+

Duo sat on the front steps in his robe with a cup of hot coffee, watching the sunrise over the ocean. "Today's the day!" he whispered, unable to stop grinning. He'd hardly slept, and ended up on the couch when a half awake and very grumpy Wufei threatened him with bodily injury some time around midnight.

He'd slept a few more hours, then got up and began his final check of everything. The clothes were ready, and his other "accoutrements", as the Loose Threads boys called them. The flowers were in the fridge and all the chairs were set up on the beach. The house was immaculate and ready for guests. After a bit more aimless wandering, he'd made coffee and headed for the widow's walk on the roof to watch the sunrise, but somehow the door had gotten locked and he had no idea where the key was. Quatre would know, but he decided to let his friend sleep in some more. He and Wuffie had knocked themselves out for him and deserved the rest.

So instead, here he was on the steps, newly painted toenails glowing a pearly white in the soft morning light. It was going to be a perfect day, clear and warm.

"Today's the day!" he whispered again, and happiness welled up so strong inside him that he had to set the cup aside and run on the beach, flipping a few cartwheels along the way, robe whipping around his legs. "Today's the day!" he shouted up to the circling gulls, and laughed out loud.

+

Quatre was adamant that no one, and most especially Heero, should see Duo before the ceremony, so he and Wufei served as hosts as the guests arrived at one thirty for the afternoon ceremony. Heero and Duo had arranged to fly everyone into Boston, and then get them on several busses. As a result, everyone arrived at once.

The first bus was loaded with their friends from Circus Della Notte. Everyone from the performers to the ticket takers had come and they all wore their masks, in honor of Duo. The second bus brought Howard, Duo's friend from the Sweepers, Trowa's sister Cathy and their friends from the old circus, Sally Po and her date, a doctor named Sikes who she'd met soon after Wufei's meltdown. Doctor Batoosingh had come, as well, with a beautiful Hindi woman in a sari, his wife. Trowa and Quatre handed out shell necklaces to each guest and everyone milled about in the house and on the beach, sipping champagne that was set out in ice buckets on the porch.

At one fifty, as planned, a long limo came down the sandy road, carrying the groom and his friends. The car pulled in behind the house and Heero and the others dashed unseen into the house through the kitchen door.

Wufei met them, as Quatre was upstairs now, helping Duo with his final preparations. Zechs was the first one out of the car and Wufei's heart gave a giddy leap at the sight of him. He was gorgeous in that suit, with his long pale hair pulled back. And those blue eyes were so intense as they met his that Wufei was instantly hard in his pants. It was all he could do not to jump him right there in the kitchen.

"Not until after the ceremony and reception," Trowa chuckled. "Where's Kat?"

"Upstairs," Wufei said, blushing as Zechs stepped to his side and wrapped an arm around his waist.

"Is the roof ready?" asked Heero.

"Affirmative. We had to send him on an errand, but I don't think he suspects a thing."

"Thanks."

Wufei felt a pang of guilt. He'd been so overwhelmed by the presence of his lover that he'd barely acknowledged the groom!

Heero's wedding attire was similar to Duo's: a loose white linen tunic, open to show his toned bare chest, and loose trousers rolled at the ankle over bare feet. As always, he wore no make up, no nail polish or tattoos or piercings. His only adornments were his sapphire ring and those sapphire eyes. Like Zechs, he didn't need anything else. It make Wufei a little self conscious about the pale shell pink polish on his own bare toes, until Zechs looked down and then gave him a look of pure lust and approval. "Very nice, mei."

Wufei's thoughts strayed to the empty bedroom just down the hall, and he wondered how he was going to survive the afternoon without going crazy or embarrassing himself. He shook off the thought and concentrated again on Heero. For the first time since Wufei had known him, he looked nervous. Happy, but nervous.

"How's Duo?" Heero asked.

"Deliriously happy," Wufei told him, and smiled at how Heero Yuy, their impassive 01, grinned and blushed. Wufei took the flat white box from his pocket and handed it to him. "Here, this is for you, from Duo."

Heero's fingers were actually shaking a little as he opened the box to find the seashell choker Duo had made for him: a string of moon shells and striped periwinkles, with a single perfectly fanned white scallop shell as the central pendant, all strung on a thin white silk ribbon. "Wow!" he breathed, and Wufei thought he saw a brief hint of tears in his eyes. Yes, his hands were most definitely shaking as he lifted it from the bed of cotton.

Wufei took it from him and tied it around his neck. The shells glowed against his smooth, lightly tanned skin. "Perfect. You look perfect."

+

"Hold still!" Quatre ordered, smacking Duo on the shoulder with the hairbrush.

Duo could barely stay in the chair. "He's here! He's right down stairs! Can you believe it, Q-ball? Married! Us? 'Til death do us part?"

"Calm down," Quatre chuckled, weaving another long strand of tiny shells into Duo's shining unbound hair. When he was finished there were three strands on either side of his face. He lifted the delicate seashell wreath Duo had fashioned and settled it on his head.

"What do you think?" Duo asked anxiously, starting at himself in the dressing table mirror. "Too much?"

"No! You look beautiful," Quatre assured him, and it was.

Duo had matching bracelets on both wrists, shown off under the rolled sleeves of his open shirt. Around his neck he wore the Shiva's eye pendant, as always, and three graduated strands of moon shells. Quatre bent down and hugged him, careful of hair and jewelry.

"You are the perfect mermaid bride. I can't wait to see Heero's face when he sees you!" Aside from the painted toenails, Duo wore no makeup today. He didn't need any. He was glowing. "You look so lovely, Duo," he said, kissing him on the cheek.

Duo turned in his chair and hugged him. "Thanks, Kat," he whispered into Quatre's hair. "Thank you for keeping me alive through those bad times, so I can be here now!"

Their lips met in a chaste kiss, and then it was time to go.

Duo stood and smoothed his shirt and pants, and gave the bedroom a final appraising look. He'd decorated it for the wedding night with wild roses and lots and lots of candles. A cool ocean breeze stirred the curtains at the open window, and he could hear the sound of happy conversation from the beach below, and the first strains of music, a piece written for them by Quatre. He and Trowa had recorded it, and all the other music for the ceremony, so they could stand up with them today.

He drew in a shaky breath and grinned at Kat. "OK, then. Show time!"

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