Author: May Chang
see prologue for warnings. disclaimers

The Path Between + Chapter 14: Epilogue

My head hurts. In fact, if I didn't know any better, I'd say a bunch of smiths had gotten together and decided to us my head as a forge.

......ouch..........

I slowly sat up and dropped my head into my heads, grimacing in pain. I then turned to get off the bed, pausing, then lifted the covers. I rolled my eyes; either Heero or Trowa - actually, it could've been both, now that I think of it - had decided to take off my clothes while I was unconscious, it would seem. I gathered up the covers and wrapped them around me and got off the bed. The first thing that came to mind was a bath.

As I entered the bath, I caught my image in the mirror. I stopped and stared. I haven't seen myself like this in over 400 years. I studied my face as I dropped the covers a bit, exposing my shoulders and a bit of my chest. I had stopped aging by the age of 25, mind you, and right now, I thought I looked a bit like Zechs. I snorted softly; hell, I am related to Zechs! I'm his freaking, lemme see now, great (times about 10) great-grand uncle, thrice- removed. My hair seemed the same, despite the streaks of silver coming from my temple. In fact, it made me look more distinguished, now that I think of it. I sighed as I turned back to take my bath.

"Duo?" Heero's voice floated to me just as I dropped my cover.

I turned to blink at him and Trowa. The two were watching me from the door.

......ok, boys? Stop staring down there, please.

"Hey, loves," I greeted. Hm... is it me, or did my voice just get deeper and huskier? "What time is it?"

"About 3 in the afternoon," Wufei replied as he entered the bath. "Yuy, Barton, what are you sta-- oh. Oh."

Great. Is my anatomy that interesting?

"Guys, what are you doing?" Quatre asked, squeezing between the three. Then he stopped and stared at me.

.....that's it.

"Alright, people! Out! Now!" I commanded. I was not in the mood to be ogled at. "Do not make me go and find Deathscythe!"

"But then we'll miss the show!!" Trowa protested. I narrowed my eyes and placed my fists on my hips. ......if I didn't know better, I think I just turned them on some more.....

+

After averting a major orgy and taking a nice long bath, I returned to my room to look for some clothes. Thankfully, I discovered that someone - and I'm betting it's Zechs - left me some clothes that would fit me just fine.

I had to admire his taste in clothes. The white shirt had a V-shaped neck, exposing part of my chest. The sleeves were kind of poofy, but then again, it was a courtier shirt. There was also a nice pair of black pants that showed off my ass to good effect and still not be too constraining. The boots were also nice and worn in as I slipped them on. I then got up and studied myself in the mirror.

Damn, I look good!

Grinning slightly, I turned to get the hairbrush and froze to see Relena standing by my door.

"Relena! What are you doing here?" I asked, a little shocked. She smiled shyly at me.

"May I come in?" Always polite; what a girl.

"Oh! Sure, come on in!" I said, grabbing my brush in the process.

She entered the room, then walked right up to me. Gently, she took the brush out of my hands, smiling.

"Sit down," she said. I obeyed, and sat down on the bed. She then began to brush my hair. I had to control the urge to start purring at this point. We sat there in silence together for a while. Finally, she broke the silence.

"I remember you," she said softly as she began to braid my hair.

"Hm," I replied. I couldn't think when someone's doing my hair.

"You were there when Mother died," she continued as she finished tying my hair up. I roused myself from the pleasure trip, then looked at her.

"Yeah, I was there," I replied, looking right at her. "...you look like her, did you know that?"

"People have been telling me that for years," she laughed. It sounded like bells to me. "And you look like Zechs, but that's to be expected, right?"

I looked at her. Had she figured it out? The look in her eyes told me what I needed to know. I shrugged. "Yeah, well, I like to see someone in the family doing something better than trekking around the world, killing chaos-masters," I said. "I made sure that Solo would be the one to never stain his hands with blood. He was the one who helped out your great-something- grandfather a long time ago. Technically, we're related, since Solo was a little cough indiscreet with Silvia."

"No wonder Zechs looks like you," Relena mused. I shrugged, then stood up. I offered her my arm. "Shall we meet the others now?"

"Sure," she smiled. Then her smile turned mischievous. "It'll be an honor, uncle of mine."

I groaned.

+

Noin stared at me as I entered the room arm-in-arm with Relena. She then promptly looked at Zechs, then back at me with a very confused and wild expression. Sally and the advisors....and a bunch of guards were also staring at me and Zechs.

......this is fun.....

Zechs looked at me with a serious expression, but I could see that he was enjoying this just as much as me. I spotted Heero and Trowa and grinned at them. Trowa smiled back shyly while Heero actually blushed. Hm... I could get use to this....

"Duo?" Noin said, looking very shocked at the moment. "Is that you?"

"But of course, Lu!" I replied. Then I sidled up to her, draped my arm over her shoulders and pulled her close. "Hey, look! I'm taller than you now!"

"Duo, get your hands off of her," Zechs said ominously at me, even though his eyes were twinkling in amusement. Noin was blushing furiously at this point.

"Ah, don't worry, Zechsy!" I said cheerfully. "I'll be back to normal by tomorrow." I grimaced. "Pulling Dekim's claws out of Trieze really shot my reserves. Oh, by the way, how are Trieze and Une doing?"

"We're fine, thank you," Une said as she and Trieze entered the room. The burn on Trieze's face caused by the bracelet had healed up nicely and he was dressed in black pants and an elegant shirt. Une was decked out in a dark blue dress and was holding on to Trieze's arm. I grinned as I looked her up and down.

Oof.... Damn, back to the regular routine already??

"It's an honor to meet you, Sir Maxwell," Trieze said, shyly.

"Please, call me Duo," I replied, holding out a hand. I winked at him. "And I think you're going to do just fine in this world." I looked pointedly at Une. The two of them began to blush furiously.

Zechs was trying to contain himself from laughing, while Quatre just buried his face in Wufei's arm. Wufei rolled his eyes.

"So, what's going to happen to the Romefeller Empire?" I asked as I spotted the wine. I proceeded to walk over and pour myself a goblet.

"Dorothy is taking care of it," Relena said as she sat down. "Since the death of her grandfather, there was no other heir. Dorothy is actually next in line to the throne, so..." She shrugged. I nodded as I took a sip.

"And the Kazarians?"

"They've gone into a civil war since Tri- er, Dekim killed off their king as well," Noin replied. Trieze looked down, fidgeting slightly. I sighed.

"Hey, it wasn't your fault, you know," I told him. Trieze was still looking down, but he nodded. I then gulped down the wine and placed the goblet on to the table. I looked at everybody, smiling brightly. "Well, since everything's is back in order," I said, "there's really no point in me staying here, now is there?" I turned to leave when Relena glomped me.

Seriously. She jumped on me.

"What do you think you're doing?" she demanded. I blinked. I could hear Trowa desperately trying to stop from laughing, giggling from Quatre and Sally, and a snort from Zechs.

"Um... going back to my wandering days?" I said blankly.

She got imperial on me at that point.

"Oh no you're not!" she began. "You're our uncle, no matter how freaking old or how many times removed. You're going to sit your ass right here, in this castle, for at least a week so we can go through all the stupid celebrations and also be there when I get Zechs and Noin to tie the knot! And there's also the fact that you're also going to be there when I get Trieze and Une to tie the knot and get them to stay here at the palace with me!" The four of them turned red.

"And that's not all!" she continued on. I think my eyes were getting wider by the minute. "You are going to stay here for the sake of sanity! I'm going to be making your two toys, Heero and Trowa, stay here as well!"

I think I heard Heero and Trowa protest on the "toys" part.

Quatre and Wufei were staring at the ranting queen. I think Wufei was particularly surprised to see someone out-ranting him.

"Heero and Trowa would be driving me insane with their `Hn' and `......'! And then I'm going to see Quatre and Wufei get hitched because they are so damn cute together, and - " I promptly clapped a hand over her mouth. Quatre was now a nice shade of red, while Wufei was sputtering out something and looking just as red.

"Ah.... Relena? I think you're scaring everyone," I said. She just blinked at me, confused, then understanding dawned on her. She pulled my hand off of her mouth and glanced around. She was turning a nice shade of pink at this point. She then drew herself up, trying to regain some dignity.

"Uncle Duo, you're staying and that's the end of this discussion."

"Just one thing?"

"Yes, Uncle Duo?"

"Stop calling me that. Please?"

+

~OWARI~

[ch. 13] [back to Singles l - z]