Warriors + Chapter 100
Wufei was given little peace by his doctors. His aorta had mended well with the last treatment, but he was still being given all sorts of antibiotics and drugs, and was constantly being monitored. At least he was allowed to begin physical therapy again. He soon grew sick of the sight of the corridor, but doggedly made his way up and down it as often as his mending body would allow, trying to rebuild his lost strength.
Wufei's doctors were pleased with his recovery rate, but he remained frustrated by his own weakness. As his release date neared, at the end of the first week of January, he was no longer in any pain but remained short of breath and he tired all too easily, even as he tried to push his own limits. It was too soon to tell if he would have lasting any lasting physical disabilities but for now, he was burdened with a whole list of cautions about what he could do and not do, even what he should eat.
One good sign was the gradual, if tenuous, reemergence of his libido. Strenuous sexual activity was still out of the question, but Wufei managed to coax Zechs into masturbating for him again twice more before they left Tokyo. He was amazed at how much he enjoyed his lover's performance. It was very pleasurable to be able to watch with detachment as that strong, virile body became aroused and reached climax. He could tell that Zechs found the situation equally enjoyable, too, though he did not initiate the activity himself. When he came to bed afterwards his skin was hot, and smelled wonderfully of sex and sweat. Zechs would not hear of any direct sexual contact between them yet, but Wufei insisted on licking his fingers clean of semen, and he could tell that this pleased his lover.
A troubling element of a different sort had arisen, or perhaps Wufei was finally well enough to notice. For the first time since they'd been sleeping together, Zechs was restless at night, muttering and twitching his sleep enough to wake Wufei. Propped on one elbow, he watched as fear and desperation played across that proud, handsome face. He'd never seen such an expression when Zechs was awake, and suspected that the nightmares that plagued his lover were his fault. Wracked with guilt, he stroked Zechs's brow and kissed him gently until he quieted or awakened. He would not speak of his dreams, but held Wufei almost painfully tight until he fell asleep again.
Out of bed, however, Zechs proved to be an incorrigible nurse. He oversaw Wufei's treatments, and his release, taking charge of the forms and medications. On the day of their departure he dressed Wufei for the journey home, in his favorite jeans and a soft wool sweater, and would have carried him through the halls in his arms if Wufei hadn't put his foot down and insisted on a wheelchair. Even that hurt his pride, but there was no help for it. He was still woefully unsteady on his feet and lacked stamina. This was at least preferable to falling on his face in front of all the nurses and security guards.
And of course, the press.
Hospital policy and security had kept the reporters and paparazzi out of the ward, but they were waiting in a pack when Zechs wheeled him out onto the snowy sidewalk where a limousine was waiting to whisk them off to a private jet. But there was still this gauntlet to be run, and he and Zechs had agreed ahead of time that it was probably better to give them a brief statement than try to escape without comment.
Bundled in his black cashmere coat and a blanket like the invalid he was, Wufei grimly endured the inevitable whirr of cameras and the volley of questions from the crowd of reporters trying to clamber past the police and Zechs's bodyguards.
"How are you, Wufei?"
"Prince Peacecraft, is it true you two were secretly married here in Tokyo?"
"Will you be living with him, 05?"
"What do the other Gundam boys have to say about your relationship?"
The questions flew as thick as the falling snow for a few moments, while Wufei and Zechs silently waited for them to stop long enough for an answer.
At last Zechs held up a hand. He was wearing an expensive topcoat over his jeans, with his hair loose over his shoulders. The photographers ate it up, as Duo would say.
"Thank you all for your concern," he said. His voice had never recovered fully, and it went a bit thin and raspy as he tried to raise it to be heard now. With a small frown of frustration, he stepped closer to the forest of microphones thrust in his direction. "Thank you," he began again. "Unfortunately, Captain Chang is still too weak to speak with you, but I'll be happy to answer a few questions. A few, mind you. We have a long flight ahead of us and Captain Chang's strength is still limited."
"Are you two married?" asked the American reporter who'd first shouted the question.
"No," Zechs replied, and left it at that. Neither of them wanted the news of their engagement to come out in this undignified fashion. Like it or not, Zechs was still royalty and there were protocols to be followed.
"What is the nature of your relationship?" someone else persisted. Wufei looked over, recognizing the German accent at once. It was Meir, from Berlin.
"That is private," Zechs replied coolly.
"But isn't it true that Captain Chang was formally disciplined by the Preventers for his relationship with you, sir?" the bastard persisted. It was like Heero's return, all over again.
"I assure you, Captain Chang is in good standing with the Preventers," Zechs replied. "As you know, he was wounded in the line of duty, and most heroically, I might add. I expect he will be receiving a commendation for his part in apprehending a very dangerous serial child murder and sex ring."
"What was Heero Yuy's role in that, and Duo Maxwell's?" someone else shouted.
"I cannot comment on that, except to say that their conduct was exemplary."
"Is Captain Chang going back to Sanque with you today, sir?"
"Yes." There was no point in trying to hide that fact.
"Then you two are involved?"
Zechs arched an elegant eyebrow at that and shot Wufei a questioning look. Wufei sighed and nodded. "Yes, I am happy to say that we are, but you must not expect me to share any personal details with you here today. We are private people and I hope you will respect that."
Fat chance, thought Wufei, watching the way the reporters were slavering over this crumb of information.
Zechs politely but firmly extracted himself from the reporters and helped Wufei into the car as the bodyguards closed ranks around them.
"Well, that wasn't so bad," he said, settling the blanket snugly Over Wufei's knees again and buckling his seatbelt for him.
"Compared to what?" Wufei grumbled, glad of the tinted glass. He hadn't realize how sheltered they'd been up until now. They hadn't even watched the news. Now it seemed the whole world was descending on them. Still more fragile than he cared to admit, Wufei clasped Zechs's hand and rested his head on his shoulder, trying to master his unruly emotions.
"It's all right, mei," Zechs murmured, putting a protective arm around him. "We'll be home soon, and no one will bother you there. I'll see to that."
"I'm not ashamed of our love, you know," Wufei replied, emotion making him sound overly gruff.
"I think we proved that the other night, with the bottle game," Zechs chuckled.
"I simply don't feel comfortable with so much attention. Especially from people like that!"
"I'm afraid you're going to have to get used to some media attention, though. Gundam boys and ex-terrorist princes can't get free of the limelight so easily."
"Prince Peacecraft." Wufei savored the name wonderingly.
"Please," Zechs laughed. "That's Mr. Merquise to you, my little love."
"Agreed. But it does occur to me that I am to marry the handsome prince who rescued me. I suppose the press will have a field day with that."
"They don't know how I rescued you, my little love, from your lonely delusion about yourself, nor need they. And I'll be certain to tell them how you threw yourself in front of a bullet for me."
"You aren't going to let that go, are you?" asked Wufei, thinking again of Zechs's nocturnal torment.
Zechs's brows drew down a little at that. "I don't think I'll ever be able to, mei. That moment is etched in my heart forever. Promise me you'll never be so foolish again."
Chastised yet again, Wufei squeezed his lover's hand. "I will not be so careless again, but I will always protect you with my life."
Zechs sighed and hugged him. "I suppose that will have to do for now."
The private jet Relena had sent for them was outfitted like a hotel suite, complete with a dining table and a double bed hidden behind a partition, in addition to several rows of first class style seating. Their bodyguards took the seats, and Zechs insisted Wufei make the trip in bed. He tucked him in, then went to join the copilot in the cockpit to oversee take off. Wufei stared out the curved window by his bed, feeling even more like an invalid, and embarassed to be seen being coddled like this by the bodyguards. He lay back, intending to find a proper seat as soon as they were airborne, but his weak body betrayed him again, and he slept all the way to Sanque.
An armed chauffer and more security personnel met them in Sanque that evening, and Wufei had a pleasant moment of deja vu as he sank into the plush leather upholstery of the Rolls. This time he was returning with Zechs to a more certain future, one he was very much looking forward to, if only he could get well again.
There was no snow here, but the air was crisp and the houses were still decorated with lights and wreathes for Christmas.
"It's a very pretty holiday," Wufei remarked, enjoying the spectacle as they made their way thorugh the capital to the coastal highway.
"I can't say that I'm particularly religious, but I do enjoy the good feelings and the celebrations that go with it," Zechs admitted, kissing his hand. "I'm glad you're not uncomfortable with it."
The great house overlooking the sea was a blaze with lights. Strings of twinkling white lights had been wrapped around all the trees lining the long drive, and covered the bare bushes and trees that flanked the grand entrance. Zechs helped him into the waiting wheelchair and, with the help of one of the bodyguards, got him up the stairs. It was awkward and embarrassing. By the time they'd gotten him up to the wreath-decked front door he wished Zechs had just carried him.
Inside, the house had been decorated in typical lavish Sanque style. Every window was hung with fragrant pine and balsam garlands, and festooned with colorful red and gold velvet ribbons. Bowls and arrangements of fruit and red berries adorned tables. In the large living room that they'd hardly ever used stood a huge, colorfully decorated Christmas tree.
A light supper had been laid on a small, linen draped table by the fire. They dined there, with Wufei in his wheelchair, and then Zechs settled him on a chaise lounge by the tree.
Tomas appeared with a tray of sweets and hot cider. "A belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, your Highness. And welcome back, Master Wufei. The staff and I are so pleased to have you both home and well again."
"Thank you, Tomas," said Zechs. "I trust you all received the boxes I sent?"
"Most generous, your Highness. Shall I send in the maid to clear the table?"
"Yes, and then we won't need you again tonight. Please tell the others we're not to be disturbed."
Tomas bowed and left them, closing the sliding doors softly behind him.
Zechs joined Wufei on the chaise, holding him in his arms and feeding him tiny, delicately flavored sweets from the silver tray.
Wufei accepted the pampering, glad to be here with him again and enjoying the tree and the fire. "I think I like Christmas, so long as I don't have to convert."
"As you are marrying a confirmed atheist, I don't think that will be necessary. And there is no state religion in Sanque." He fed him another sweet, something sticky and redolent of apples and cinnamon. "Tell me, Wufei, how attached are you to this house?"
"Why do you ask?"
"Oh, it just seems a bit much, that's all. It was Relena's choice for me, you know. All this rococo frippery? That's her style, not mine. I spent most of my life in military academies."
"Rococo frippery'?" Wufei chuckled, cuddling closer. "Shall we move into a barracks, then, your Highness?"
Zechs smiled and kissed him. "No, but I was thinking of something smaller, and more modern, perhaps as a wedding present. Or we could build. Would you prefer something more Chinese?"
Wufei laced his fingers through Zechs's and their new rings caught the firelight. "I don't know. So long as I am with you, I don't care that much."
"My little romantic."
Zechs kissed him again, and this time Wufei parted his lips, teasing Zechs's tongue with his own. He pressed a hand to Zechs's broad chest, feeling how the pulse quickened there, then slid it down to the front of his jeans. "You are aroused, your Highness."
"Mmmm. I prefer 'emperor' from you, little love," Zechs rumbled against his lips.
Wufei smiled inwardly, sensing that his overly protective lover's resistance was low tonight. "Your humble blossom boy misses his emperor's touch very much," Wufei sighed, feeling the stirrings of his own arousal. "It's been so long! Weeks!"
Zechs pulled back reluctantly. "I know, my love, but the doctor's orders were very clear."
"Nothing too strenuous," Wufei reminded him as he pulled the tie from his hair and shook it loose. "That's what the release instructions said. But he did say that intimacy was acceptable and probably good for my recovery. I'm not asking for a hard-- Well, you know. But I need your touch. And--" He paused, pondering the best lure to overcome Zechs's lingering reluctance. "And I want to taste you. Really taste you."
"Oh, mei!" Zechs gently kissed his way down Wufei's throat and pulled at the neck of his cashmere sweater to kiss his shoulder. "I need you, too, but I won't jeopardize your recovery in any way. Not with you doing so well."
"I know. You're right of course, but still--" Wufei looked up coyly through his lashes; he'd learned a great deal about what Zechs found irresistible these past few months. "Undress me, Zechs. Do whatever you think best after that, just so long as you touch me. I'm so tired of being sick! I need you tonight, as my lover. I'll behave and do as you say, I promise."
Zechs shivered noticeably as he kissed him again, then shook his head. "You used to be shy, as I recall."
"You have corrupted me, my emperor. I'm yours to command."
"And if I command you to go to bed and sleep, like a good little blossom boy?"
"I slept through the whole flight," Wufei countered. "I'm wide awake now."
"You're pouting, Captain Chang."
"I never pout. I'm far too dignified," Wufei said, doing his best to pout as erotically as possible. He had no doubt that he looked perfectly ridiculous, but Zechs's defenses were crumbling. The man was grasping at straws. Wufei brought his lips close to his, not quite kissing, and delivered the coup de grace. "Please, my love, carry me off to our bed and do what you will?"
That did it. With something like a snarl of arousal, Zechs scooped him up and carried him down the corridor past several surprised bodyguards to the room they now shared.
Once there, however, he turned the tables. He lit the candles that stood ready on the bedside table, then took his time undressing Wufei, kissing and licking bare skin as it was exposed. When Wufei was naked and panting, and sporting his first real erection since the shooting, he slowly stripped off his own clothing and joined him on the bed in the sixty-nine position. Lying close to Wufei, he smoothed a hand over his hip, then gently drew his cock into his mouth and caressed it with his tongue and lips.
"Oh god, yes!" Wufei gasped, and eagerly took Zechs in his mouth.
The smell and taste and heat of his lover washed over him in an erotic wave from head to toe. As one, they shifted their lower thighs to pillow their lovers' heads. Zechs wrapped an arm around Wufei's waist and caressed his ass as he worked magic with his mouth. Wufei was too overwhelmed by sensation to do more than cling to that wonderful body and take him down his throat as skillfully as he knew how. He kept his promise and lay very still as they slowly, gently drove each other to glorious simultaneous orgasm. Wufei moaned with pleasure as he drank Zechs's thick, salty sweet ejaculate and felt the answering vibration in his cock as Zechs did the same. It was pure bliss.
When they'd licked and sucked each other clean, Zechs turned and spooned in behind Wufei under the covers. He continued to gently stroke and caress him, but Wufei did not miss the way he also surreptitiously checked his pulse.
"I feel fine," he assured him. "More than fine. Wonderful! Thank you, my love. I really did need that."
"A sure sign of returning health," Zechs chuckled warmly against his neck.
Wufei did feel wonderful, still caught in the afterglow, but it had exhausted him more than he'd expected. He wouldn't admit that, but he could already feel his eyelids growing heavy. He yawned, then found Zechs's hand and clasped it. "And now I truly do feel like I'm home. I love you so!"
Zechs hugged him gently. "I love you, my darling, and I want the whole world to know it. I'm to go before Parliament in a few days, to formalize our engagement. I'd like to give them a date for the wedding. Are you ready to think about that?"
"I'll marry you tomorrow if you like. Is that soon enough?"
Zechs laughed. "Sanquese state weddings are rather long, tedious affairs. You'll need your full strength to get through it, and I mean to dance with you afterwards, in full view of the photographers. Spring is lovely here. How does April sound?"
"My emperor's wish is my command," Wufei sighed happily, nestling his bare backside against Zechs's spent cock. "I will marry you in April, not faint during the ceremony, and dance as much as you like. When you're not dancing with Maxwell, that is." He toyed with the diamond engagement ring he'd given Zechs. "Will we play 'spin the bottle' anymore, after we're married?"
"Oh dear. That sounds like a question with no right answer."
Wufei snorted, amused. "I did not mean to sound like an insecure woman playing mind games. I enjoyed kissing them, too, and enjoyed watching you with the others. Will it be different, when we are married?"
"I don't expect it to be. It doesn't seem to make any difference to Trowa and Quatre."
"And you have my word, as always, that kissing is as far as I will ever go with anyone else ever again, and only with your blessing."
Wufei turned over and looked earnestly into his eyes. "Are you certain this is what you want, Zechs?" It all suddenly seemed very real and final, this talk of setting dates. "Monogamy, I mean? Or are you just doing it for me?"
Zechs stroked Wufei's hair back and smiled. "Both. And yes, I'm certain. Your love completes me, mei. I don't need any other men, now that I have you."
Satisfied, Wufei kissed him and nestled down with his head on Zechs's chest. "You complete me, too, Zechs. You've made me whole for the first time in my life."
He went to sleep with Zechs's taste in his mouth and his scent filling his senses and dreamed of marrying him in the temple on L-5, both of them dressed in the traditional black robes. It was a good dream, but he was shaken from it when Zechs began to toss and mutter in his sleep.
It was too dark to see his face, but Wufie could hear him muttering, "No, no, look out. Vest, not wearing-NO!"
"I'm here, Zechs," Wufei whispered, kissing him and rubbing his chest. "I'm safe and alive. I'm with you, my love."
He wasn't certain if Zechs woke or not, but strong arms enfolded him, holding him tightly for along time before that frantic heartbeat under Wufei's cheek slowed to normal again.
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