by: Shoori

Marking it Down to Learning + Chapter 24
Remorse, Remonstrations and Renewal

"Wufei. Wufei." Zechs leaned down, and gently shook the Chinese man's shoulder.

Wufei's dark eyes opened, and he looked directly at Zechs, his expression slightly quizzical. It amazed Zechs how quickly Wufei woke up ­ he didn't require any of the re-acclimation time most people needed upon regaining consciousness.

"Is everything all right?" Wufei asked immediately, his brow creasing as he pushed himself into a sitting position in the hard wooden chair in which he'd fallen asleep.

Zechs nodded, but the gesture came hard. "Duo and Quatre are still unconscious. Trowa is...the same," he managed, hoping Wufei hadn't caught his slight hesitation.

The same. Trowa was still hovering between life and death, and while there was hope in the fact that his condition hadn't worsened in the hours since he'd gotten out of surgery, he hadn't gotten any better, either.

And the damned doctors were still shaking their heads and looking grave and wise and muttering platitudes...

He'd spent the last hour or so running interference, keeping Heero away from them so that Wufei could get a little more sleep.

But the doctors didn't think that Trowa was going to live.

And Zechs was amazed at how much that thought hurt him.

Yesterday ­ God, was it only yesterday? ­ Wufei had told him that things would change when they had gotten the others back, though he didn't know exactly what the changes would entail.

Zechs had thought he'd known. He would follow Treize, as he always had, and Duo would return to fill the hole that his absence had left, and that Zechs had temporarily occupied in his absence.

But now...

He hadn't really talked to Treize. First there had been Quatre, then the medical personnel, then Treize had passed out, exhausted from the sudden changes the night had brought ­ and from the medication that the harassed medical staff had given him.

He'd woken up a few hours earlier, but with all the people bustling in and out they still hadn't really said anything to each other.

Maybe...maybe Treize wouldn't want him anymore.

He hadn't saved him, after all. He'd let him remain a prisoner all those years.

And even if Treize did want him, Zechs was suddenly unsure if he could just...turn his back on the others who had welcomed him into their circle.

It was a ridiculous thought. They probably didn't want him either, didn't need him, with Duo.

But Wufei had said...and Heero...

Zechs scowled, almost immediately forcing the expression away before Wufei could misinterpret it.

It was all such a God-damned mess.

"What about Treize?" Wufei asked, and Zechs heard the strain in the Chinese man's voice as he spoke their mutual lover's name.

God. He hadn't even thought about that. Wufei had plenty to reconcile when it came to Treize as well. And Treize had wanted Wufei, back all those years ago, wanted him so badly that he had compromised his own principles and his relationship with Zechs and risked his standing in the army that he'd fought so hard to build just to possess the Chinese boy.

Maybe Treize would want Wufei again, and not...

Zechs forced himself to stop. He was torturing himself by imagining the worst-case scenario for every possible situation that could arise amongst the seven of them...

The seven of them. There had to be seven, it had to stay seven. They couldn't lose one of their number, not like this, at the very moment of their triumph and success...

"They...they said Treize can leave. He's fine. I was going to take him back to my apartment, and..."

"Where?" Wufei interrupted, his voice sharp.

Zechs couldn't meet his eyes. "I thought I would take him to my apartment, and..."

"You haven't been there in six months," Wufei reminded him coldly. "Why are you going there?"

Zechs stared at the wall behind Wufei's head. "I just thought...it would be better," he managed lamely.

"Why would it be better?" Wufei demanded. "Zechs!" he barked angrily when the blond continued to look past him.

Startled, Zechs met Wufei's hot black gaze. "Why are you taking him there, Zechs?" Wufei pressed aggressively. "Why aren't you taking him back to the townhouse?"

"Wufei...I just thought..."

"You don't want us anymore," Wufei accused flatly. "You have Treize back, and so..."

"No! Wufei, that's not it," Zechs swore desperately. "That's not right, Wufei, I just..."

"What is it then, Zechs?" the black-haired man pressed. "You haven't gone back to that apartment for months, so why..."

"I didn't know if I was still welcome there," Zechs blurted. "If he is welcome there, or if you want..." He stopped, unable to continue.

Wufei stared up at him, his anger suddenly gone. For a long time, they stared silently at each other. "Zechs..." the younger man finally said slowly. "Please...go back to the townhouse."

Zechs stared at him, uncertain.

"I know...I know you may not want to stay, now that you have...Treize...again," he continued, with obvious difficulty. "But right now...I can't lose...anymore."

"Wufei," Zechs murmured, at a loss as to how to respond. It was unheard of in his experience for Wufei to so blatantly admit to any vulnerability, or so plainly ask for help.

Wufei wrenched his eyes away from Zechs' and stared at the floor. A moment later he looked up, and his chin jutted out with its customary arrogance, and his eyes were carefully expressionless. "You can go where you want to," he said flatly. "Don't worry about it. I apologize for..."

"Damn it," Zechs growled furiously, glaring at him. Wufei looked up at him, clearly surprised. Zechs supposed that that sort of outburst was uncharacteristic for him as well. Apparently this was to be a day of surprises. "Do you want me or not, Wufei?" he asked flatly. He couldn't do this dance anymore. It seemed that all his life he'd been moving in circles, trying to determine what the people in his life felt and wanted without ever asking them, or telling them what he wanted in return. He couldn't do it anymore ­ he needed to know.

"I..." Wufei's eyes moved to the others in the room. "I don't know what they...want...but..."

"I'm not asking about them. Or Treize," Zechs interrupted, tacitly acknowledging the other unknown in this very convoluted equation. "I'm asking about you. Do you want me, or not?"

Wufei stared up at him for a moment, his expression still blank, though Zechs imagined that now it was from confusion and trepidation rather than from anger.

"I...I do want you, Zechs," Wufei managed.

Zechs stared at him for a long moment, amazed by how much...lighter he felt. So...relieved.

They wouldn't abandon him. Wufei hadn't just wanted him as a replacement for Duo.

However amazing it seemed...the other man ­ for some reason ­ wanted him.

It still might not work. But...

But he had that much.

"I'll take Treize to the townhouse," he said simply. "I'll get him settled, then I'll come back to..."

"No," Wufei interrupted him. "Stay with him. You don't have to come back."

"But...I want to help," Zechs said slowly. "I want to be sure that Quatre and Duo and...and Trowa are..." He couldn't finish. He knew that his standing vigil in a hospital room wasn't going to make any of those three ‘all right,' and he couldn't even bear to say the trite words that would diminish the seriousness of all that had happened, all that was happening...

"I'll call you if there are any changes," Wufei assured him, rubbing one hand across his eyes.

"But..."

"I don't want you to leave him there alone," Wufei told him.

Zechs sighed. He didn't really want to leave Treize, and he desperately needed to talk to the other man, to say at least some of the things he'd been imagining saying for months...years...

But he didn't want to leave Wufei either.

"I have an idea."

Zechs jumped slightly as his sister suddenly materialized by his side.

Relena smiled at him. "Why don't you take Treize home now," she said, nodding at her brother, "and this evening, Wufei can go home and get some rest, and you can relieve him?"

Zechs nodded as Wufei vehemently shook his head in the negative. "That's not necessary," the Chinese man insisted. "I'm not leaving until..."

"You're not spending another night sleeping in that chair," Relena informed him, frowning quellingly at him.

"Heero can go get some rest, I..."

"Oh, I'll drag Heero out for awhile this afternoon," Relena assured him calmly. "Une will stay here with you," she told Wufei, ignoring him as he rolled his eyes rather theatrically. "The doctors want to keep Duo and Quatre asleep a little longer...until...until they're more sure of Trowa's condition," she said gently. "So Heero and I will wait with you for a few hours, then I'll take him to get some sleep, and he and Zechs will come back tonight."

"Relena, I'm not going. I'm..."

"Is that all right with you, Zechs?" Relena asked, pointedly turning away from Wufei.

The Chinese man practically growled in his frustration. "Relena, I'm telling you, I'm not..."

"We'll discuss it later," Relena assured him, waving her hand loftily at him. "Zechs?" she asked again, raising her brow at him.

"That sounds fine," Zechs assured his sister quietly. He had no doubt that Wufei would return to the apartment that night, to take his place with Treize.

Somehow, that thought didn't bother him as he once thought it would.

"You'll call me if..."

"If you're needed," Relena finished, nodding at him.

Zechs nodded, and with one last glance for Wufei, turned and walked to the bed at the end of the ward where Treize rested.

The older man looked up as he approached. "How is Trowa?" he asked carefully.

Zechs sighed. "He's...the same," he replied unhappily. "The doctors are not optimistic."

"Doctors never are," Treize pointed out dryly. "If the worst happens, they're prepared, if not, they claim their efforts saved the day."

Zechs smiled. Treize had always attributed the most base of motives to people. He was right more often than not, though.

"They do say that you can leave if you're feeling up to it," Zechs continued hesitantly. "Would you like to go?"

Treize was silent for a moment. "I would," he said finally. He looked up at Zechs, and the younger man felt his chest ache as those bright blue eyes stared into his. "Where am I going?"

"I thought...Back to the townhouse," Zechs managed lamely. Damn! Nothing was coming out right.

"The townhouse?" Treize prompted.

Zechs felt himself flush. "It's Quatre's townhouse. But it's...it's very big, and it's where..."

"Where you live?" Treize finished smoothly.

Zechs nodded, not speaking. He'd like to tell Treize that the older man had the wrong idea, but he didn't.

And Zechs had no idea how he would take it.

"That sounds excellent," Treize said, a faint smile on his face. "Can we leave now?"

Zechs nodded, relieved that Treize didn't seem outwardly angry. "Une brought some clothes for you," he said, nodding to a bundle on the chair.

Treize winced. "They aren't...my clothes, are they?" he asked, his voice pained. "That would be quite touching, but not a little...disturbing."

Zechs actually grinned. "I think she bought them this morning," he assured the older man. "Though I think you'll find that virtually all your possessions have been carefully preserved..."

"For what?" Treize asked, tilting his head curiously.

Zechs grinned again. "I believe she intended to open a museum," he told the other man significantly.

"Good God," Treize groaned, shaking his head. "At least now we can put a stop to that," he declared, sitting up in the bed.

Zechs nodded, and moved to pull the curtain around the bed to give Treize some privacy to dress, again aware of a warm feeling of relief.

We. Treize had said ‘we.'

Twice.

God, he was so pathetic.

A few moments later Treize was dressed, and after an interminable round of paperwork, they took the elevator up to the level of the parking garage, and both climbed into one of the Preventer vehicles Une had had brought there for all of them to use.

Neither spoke as Zechs drove the car out of the garage, onto the highway that led to the townhouse.

"We're in Sanc," Treize said suddenly.

Zechs glanced over at him, nodding.

"This...the Order was in Sanc?" Treize demanded.

Again, Zechs nodded.

The older man turned away, staring out the window. Zechs looked back to the road, unsure of what to say. He didn't know how he could reply ­ he'd felt the same angry, helpless frustration when he'd realized that, all this time, Treize had been so close to him.

He drove silently for another few moments, until a small sound caught his attention. He glanced over again, and saw Treize, his hand pressed almost reverentially to the window, a strange expression on his face.

"Treize?" he asked carefully. "Are you...is everything all right?"

"Fine," the older man assured him, his voice carefully controlled. "I just...haven't been outside in..." He stopped. "I haven't even seen the outdoors in...years."

Again, Zechs couldn't reply. This time the sorrow rose so heavy that it threatened to choke him.

Of all the people in the world to be imprisoned, it was so...unjust that it happened to Treize. He was a man that should never have had to survive behind walls.

He couldn't speak, but he pressed a button on the console, and the large solar panel in the roof slid back, opening the interior of the car to sunlight and wind. Treize lifted his face toward the light, and the wind brushed his hair off his face.

"I'd stop so we could walk," Zechs said a little stiffly, "but no one knows you're alive yet, so I thought..."

"This is fine," Treize assured him absently, and then they were silent again.

Several moments later, they pulled into the parking garage of Quatre's building. Thankfully, none of the media were present ­ they must have gotten wind of the raid and gone off to try to find what was going on with that. Zechs pulled the car into one of Quatre's spots, and closed the roof. They took the private elevator up, and Treize followed Zechs silently as he punched in the alarm code and unlocked the door.

They stepped inside, and Zechs was suddenly seized with indecision. Where should they go? He didn't want to take Treize into the room that was still full of surveillance equipment, or any of the other rooms that had been made into makeshift offices... At the same time, he didn't want to take him to a bedroom. He didn't want it to seem that...that...was what he was expecting.

But he could hardly take him into the kitchen.

With a sigh, he set off down the wing that held the large, communal bedrooms. He led Treize down to the very last room. It should be a good compromise ­ it was the largest of the rooms, and it held a few couches and a television set as well as the huge bed.

Plus, since it was on the corner, it had two exterior walls, both of which were set with floor to ceiling windows. It was the brightest room in the place.

They had mostly avoided it in the time Zechs had been here. It had, Wufei explained briefly, been Duo's favorite room.

Zechs opened the door and went right to the window, opening the heavy drapes and flooding the room with sunlight. When he'd finished, he turned and saw that Treize had seated himself on one of the sofas, and had kicked off the dark shoes Une had brought for him, and was unbuttoning the cuffs of the bright blue shirt he was wearing, carefully smoothing the soft material between his fingers.

"Do you..." Zechs stopped and cleared his throat. "Do you want to rest?" he asked, hearing the hoarseness in his voice as Treize looked up at him inquiringly.

The other man nodded. "I would," he admitted. "But I don't want you to go," he added unexpectedly.

Zechs stared at him, suddenly unable to speak. It was time, then. Time to...

"We haven't had a chance to talk yet," Treize said, right on cue. He nodded at the empty space on the sofa next to him. "Sit down?"

It might have been an order, but the lilt at the end of the statement made it a question.

Zechs answered without words, crossing the room to sit in the corner of the sofa.

There was silence for a few minutes. Finally, Zechs forced himself to look over at the other man. Treize was looking at him, a pensive expression on his face.

When he spoke, his words weren't what Zechs had been expecting.

"Why did you leave?" the older man asked abruptly. "During the war," he clarified when Zechs frowned at him, confused.

Zechs stared at him, utterly unprepared for the question. "I...I didn't see where you were...what your plan was," he said slowly when it became clear that Treize would continue to wait until he answered him. "OZ had become nothing but a front by which...powerful men...," he stumbled, as Treize nodded ruefully, "attempted to vie for supreme power with other powerful men. I couldn't see where the...the honor was in that fight. And I felt like I was..." He stopped, his face twisting as he remembered the agonized confusion and pain he'd felt at that time.

"Yes?" Treize prompted, his voice smooth and non-threatening.

Zechs sighed. "I felt that I was betraying my father," he said tiredly. "Everything I had done for years had been a betrayal of his memory," he conceded, "but I'd done all of that from a conviction that I was acting for right. But if I'd died for you as you'd asked," he continued, forcing himself to stare directly into Treize's eyes, "it would have been for nothing. It wouldn't have helped people any. Just...just you, in a struggle that was dishonorable. I'd have died for you, for any reason but that."

"Zechs..." Treize murmured. He looked away, his head bowed. The younger man stared at him, panicked by that posture. Treize never...slumped. Never. "Zechs, what..." He stopped, and forced himself to look up at the blond. "What did I do to cause you to have so little faith in me?" he asked rawly.

The other man could only stare at him, utterly confused as to what he was asking.

Treize sighed. "Zechs, I didn't want you to die. I never thought you'd obey that order. But half of Romefeller was listening to that transmission. If I'd said anything... I was trying to get you out of that whole mess, clear of me. I thought..." he looked away again. "I thought that when you'd gotten away, and I'd gotten out, you'd...you'd come back. But..."

"I thought..." Zechs stared at him, aghast. "Treize, you said...I thought..."

"I know. You thought I really expected you to...to die." Treize looked back at him. "Somehow, I made you think that you were unimportant enough to me that I could casually order you to your death. Thank God you didn't listen to me, but I'm trying ­ I've been trying for almost nine years ­ to figure out what I did to make you believe I would want that."

Zechs could only stare at him. Une had been right. Treize had been noble in his intentions, and Zechs had left him. He could have been with him, could have helped him, maybe he could have prevented all of the things that had happened to Treize in the last eight years from happening... If he'd had faith in him.

"Zechs." The blond looked up, trying to hide the sick horror he felt. "Zechs." Treize's voice ­ that deep, smooth, familiar voice ­ held a note of earnestness in it that Zechs didn't think he'd heard before. "I want to fix this, Zechs. I want to know where I went wrong. I want to..."

"Why?"

Treize frowned. "Why, what?" he ventured slowly.

Zechs forced himself to swallow. His mouth was entirely dry, and it was hard to speak. "Why do you want to fix it?" he asked hoarsely.

"So...that I don't do it again," Treize responded slowly, obviously unsure as to what Zechs was asking.

Zechs tried again to swallow, grimacing as his throat caught. "You mean, you want to...to..."

Treize blinked, an uncharacteristically uncertain look crossing his face. "I want to...be with you again, Zechs," he admitted slowly. "I suppose...I never really considered if you would...would want to be with me." His face twisted unpleasantly. "I can imagine that you wouldn't, after what happened in the war, and since... And you seem to be...with...others..."

"Treize." Zechs stared at the older man, aware that his voice had been overly harsh. "I've...I've been with them for about six months. When Duo disappeared, and the mission..." He shook his head, frustrated with himself. None of that mattered. "Before that...I wasn't... I was... I couldn't be with anyone."

"Why?" Treize asked guardedly.

"Because..." Zechs stared into the eyes he'd thought he'd never see again. "Because no one else was you. I didn't want to be ­ couldn't be ­ with anyone else because..." he hesitated, almost losing his nerve, but the steady blue gaze sustained him. "Because I only wanted you."

Treize stared at him. "How long were you alone?" he asked softly.

"Eight years," Zechs admitted.

"Eight years?!" Treize repeated incredulously.

Zechs flushed.

"Why did you do that to yourself?" Treize demanded.

"I didn't want anyone else," Zechs told him softly.

"Why?" Treize asked, his voice suddenly intent. "Why, Zechs? You thought I'd easily send you to your death, that I was a power-mad egomaniac, and that I was dead. Why did you..."

"I didn't think you were like that," Zechs interrupted. He couldn't let Treize believe he felt that way about him, couldn't bear the thought that he'd spent nine years in captivity believing Zechs had seen him that way. "I didn't, Treize. At least...I thought that after the war, it would be different. That we'd be together, like it was, and..."

"Like it was." Treize shook his head. "It wasn't good, Zechs. Why would you want it back?"

Zechs stared at him, unable to speak past the pain in his chest. It wasn't good? Treize thought that what they had hadn't been good?

"I wasn't good to you," Treize clarified quickly. He sighed, running his hands through his thick chestnut hair in frustration. "Zechs...I always wanted you. From the time you were too young to be thinking that kind of thing about a person, I wanted you anyway. And you were still too young when I..." Treize sighed. "But you always did what I wanted. I always knew that whatever I asked of you, you'd give me. And I took advantage of that over and over again, and you never said anything. Why did you do that, Zechs?" he asked, again looking over at the younger man.

"I..." Zechs couldn't answer that question. He couldn't let those words out, couldn't run the risk that they might be rejected.

"I have no excuse for the way I treated you," Treize said, and he sounded tired. "I don't have an excuse for the way I treated Une either, for that matter, or for what I did to many other people, but the way I treated you was unforgivable." He sighed. "I took advantage of you, when you were too young to make the sorts of decisions I was asking you to make, and for years I took you for granted, and didn't consider your wishes or your feelings to the point where you didn't have any faith in my feelings for you." He was silent for a long time, and when he spoke, his voice was very low. "That's not the way a person should treat someone they love."

Zechs reeled as though he'd been struck. Treize hadn't...he couldn't have said...

"I don't expect that you'll forgive those things," Treize continued. "But I've hoped that we could make another attempt at..."

"What did you say?" Zechs interrupted.

Treize looked up at him, frowning. "I said I hoped we could attempt to..."

"Before that," Zechs scowled ferociously. He knew he sounded like a character in a bad movie, demanding that that momentous declaration be repeated, but he had to hear it again, had to be sure that it was real, that Treize had really said...

"I love you," Treize repeated, staring at him. The other man's face twisted into an expression of regret. "Zechs, you didn't know that either?"

Zechs shook his head hollowly.

Treize sighed. "I'm...I'm sorry, Zechs," he said, and the younger man could tell that, despite everything that had happened, that admission had been difficult for the other man to make. "I'm sorry that I didn't let you know that. I'm sorry that I...failed..."

"You didn't fail," Zechs interrupted fiercely.

"I did," Treize corrected him. "I can't imagine why you would have wasted eight years of your life on..."

"I love you," Zechs blurted forcefully. "I do. I always have. I couldn't believe you were dead, and that I'd never told you..."

"Zechs..."

"I wanted to die, when I thought you were dead. I..."

"I'm very glad you didn't," Treize broke in, some of his usual suave amusement returning. "If I'd spent all that time waiting to get out, and found that you'd died..."

Zechs winced. "I'm sorry," he said miserably. If Treize was going to apologize for his failures, he had to as well.

"For what?" Treize demanded.

"I'm sorry I let you...that I didn't come sooner..."

"Zechs, you thought I was dead," Treize pointed out reasonably. "Everyone thought I was dead. You couldn't have known."

"But I should have...gotten you out," Zechs objected miserably.

"Zechs..." Treize waited until the younger man was looking at him to continue. "Zechs...you did get me out," he reminded the blond.

Zechs shook his head. "Quatre is responsible for that. He carried the mission, and..."

"It doesn't matter," Treize insisted. "You were part of it. You were there..." His voice dwindled away. "You were there. And I'm sure you heard plenty before that, so you know..."

"It doesn't matter," Zechs told him flatly. "It matters that you were imprisoned, and that you were...hurt, but the rest..." He shrugged. "It just doesn't matter, Treize."

The older man regarded him silently for a moment. "It mattered to you once," he pointed out.

"Wufei." Zechs sighed as Treize nodded. "It did. I was...well, I was younger then," he said wryly. "And I believed that you turned to Wufei because I wasn't... enough for you."

Treize sighed. "That's not what it was," he assured the other man slowly. "I...I felt for Wufei much of what I'd felt when I met you. He...affected me that same way, and many of the things I desired in you, he had as well." Treize shook his head. "So again, I acted dishonorably to someone too young to make that type of choice..."

"Treize...it's done," Zechs interrupted. "It's useless to hash over it anymore." So much had been said, and revealed and admitted that Zechs was beginning to feel overwhelmed. "Wufei says that our relationship ­ yours and mine ­ failed because I made you the only thing in my life, and relied on you for everything. I...I want to be with you again. But I don't want to make that same mistake."

The older man nodded slowly. "You want to...stay with the others?"

"I don't know," Zechs replied honestly. "I don't know if they want that. I don't know if you want it. But I don't want to lose Wufei. And I didn't realize until Trowa was hurt, but they all are...important to me. I don't really know..."

"I just want...to be with you," Treize told him. "Whatever it takes to do that, I..."

"Treize. I don't want to force you into anything," Zechs assured him softly. "I want to be with you. That's...that's a given," he announced rather boldly, feeling himself flush. "But you don't know the others. And they don't know you either. I just would like you to consider..."

"I will," Treize nodded.

Zechs took a deep breath. He was officially overwhelmed. They'd discussed far more than he'd expected to, more than he'd dreamed possible had been revealed, and somehow, amazingly, it seemed that he had everything he had wanted for so long.

Treize was back.

Treize loved him.

They would be together.

"You...should rest," he said reluctantly. There was more to say, more to be revealed, shared... Some of it would be horrible, but it all had to be done. But...it was enough, for now. He didn't think he could absorb anymore.

Treize nodded and stood up, but he reached down to grasp Zechs' hand, and pulled the younger man to his feet beside him, so close that their bodies were brushing against each other. "Will you rest with me, Zechs?" he asked softly.

Zechs felt himself trembling at the proximity of Treize's body to his own. "Treize," he managed, trying to keep the longing out of his voice. "Treize, you should rest. You've been through an ordeal, and..."

"And I'm probably in better physical health now than I was before," Treize interrupted. He leaned in a little closer, and Zechs forgot his arguments. "It's been so long, Zechs. I've missed you...so much," he admitted, his smooth voice a little ragged. "Let me love you, Zechs," he asked softly.

"Treize," Zechs whispered, hardly able to formulate a thought with those intense blue eyes staring so keenly into his own.

Then Treize was moving closer, and his lips were pressing against his, and Zechs could only moan with the rapture of a caress he'd been longing for for eight long years.

Zechs was hardly aware of what happened after that ­ all he knew was that he was with Treize, that Treize was touching him and kissing him...that Treize pulled the clothes from his body and pressed him into the sheets. He wasn't aware of his own constant moans of delight, or the tears that flowed from beneath tightly clenched eyelids when Treize surged slowly inside him.

And he was moving, and Zechs moved with him, and he shouted his lover's name as all of the touches and caresses and movement culminated in a hot flash of blinding pleasure.

And there was just him, and Treize, and Treize's voice murmuring softly into his ear as he drifted away into unconsciousness.

And finally, finally, everything was right again.

+

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