Title: Bending the Rules -- part 14/epilogue
Author: Jade and Pharlain
Pairing: 1x2x1, 6x3x6, 3x4, 13x6, 5+2
Warnings: yaoi, lemon, AU, angst

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A week had passed since all three couples had gotten together, and they were once again ready to face the outside world without running into the nearest bathroom for a quickie. Well, Trowa and Quatre still did that, but... on the whole they felt they could get through an evening in public.

It had been an eventful week. Duo and Heero spent a lot of time getting to know every inch of each other's bodies, intimately. Heero kept saying he had years to make up for, and Duo was more than happy to help him catch up. They traded off, but most of the time Heero took Duo; Duo in turn introduced Heero to the tantra. They tried every position known to man, and made up a few. Heero used a day of sick leave for the first time in his life, because he couldn't bear to leave Duo. Duo got the week off, and, while Heero was at work, he spent most of his time practicing yoga on his own. And clearing his head, taking long walks and cooking for Heero. He had never in his life had the luxury of time to himself, and it felt wonderful. The specter of Wufei still hung over his head, but no one at the old yoga center reported seeing him. At the end of the week, Heero had asked him to give up his apartment and move in with him. Duo hadn't even hesitated. They had begun celebrating until Heero reminded Duo they were supposed to meet the other guys at seven. Reluctantly, Duo let Heero get dressed again, and they set off.

Quatre was filling in for Duo at the yoga center. He was also working part-time at the restaurant. He and Trowa saw each other every free moment, and when they both realized Quatre hadn't slept in his own apartment all week, they decided to give up the pretense and, as Quatre so succinctly put it, "shack up." Trowa told Quatre all about his past; how he had thought he was gay early on, slept with an older man but didn't like it. He had been on the bottom. So he had thought maybe he wasn't gay, and had tried to date girls. That had gone spectacularly wrong, and his impotence had been such an embarrassment that he had changed schools. He had avoided all emotional entanglements after that. Then he had met Zechs, and found in him a friend and sexual partner who also didn't want to go all the way, for other reasons. It was easy, they were there for each other, with no pressure for more. But both men had been empty inside. Until now. Quatre told Trowa about the fact that he came from a very wealthy family. He had been the good son, the golden child, until he had told his parents he liked men. Overnight, he had nothing; ostracized, kicked out, penniless, he was still shocked at his father's vehement reaction. Only his mother's intercession had kept the man from beating Quatre; but she just wanted her ex-son to leave, quickly. He had tried to contact them a few times but all mail was returned. He had started over, worked any job he could get, and dreamed of finding Prince Charming.

With Treize and Zechs, there had never been any pretense. From the morning they first woke up in each other's arms, they both knew it was real. When Zechs arrived at work the next day ~ slightly sore and late ~ he was greeted by 3 dozen roses and a delightfully obscene note. He had blushed and gotten aroused and wanted to cry all at the same time, and his secretary had stuck her head in the door and announced he was in love. He had attempted to frown at her but it didn't work; she had laughed and told him he had a very important caller on line 2. It was Treize of course; inviting him to an early lunch because he couldn't go much longer without seeing him. At lunch, Treize begged Zechs to move in with him, and marry him as soon as the law allowed; Zechs surprised himself by agreeing immediately and without reservation. They had been inseparable since. Zechs had given notice to his landlord immediately, and moved his things over. He still felt like he was living in a fairy tale, wandering around the huge house. Treize was generous with everything, insisting Zechs have only the best. Treize told him about his past; how he had inherited a small fortune when his parents were killed in a car crash. He had only been eight. He had been raised by his grandparents, and when his trust fund was his, he had taken the money and tripled it. He was an astute businessman and had predicted both the rise and fall of the internet stocks to his advantage. He was pulling back a bit now, his company more settled, and had time to spoil Zechs. He wanted him to quit his job, but Zechs wasn't ready for that. Treize accepted this, but insisted on buying him everything he would accept. Their lovemaking alternated between sweetly romantic and wildly animalistic, and Zechs never felt a twinge of discomfort ever again. And Treize never let him. It was Treize's idea for them all to get together. At first, Zechs had resisted, but then he realized if they didn't all meet soon, they would settle into their new lives and become distanced from old friends. Treize insisted; he knew Zechs cared for his friends. He knew his blond lover would regret it later.

So here they were. Heero was early as usual, having dragged Duo out of the bedroom amid much complaining. He had secured a large table in the corner. The bar was relatively quiet tonight; some sports match or other was being televised and the music was muted so as not to drown out the several televisions hanging over the bar. Duo was trying to see how close he could move his chair to Heero's when the longhaired blond man he recognized from the yoga class walked in, closely followed by an older, very handsome man.

"Zechs! Over here!" Heero called, standing up to wave.

"Heero!" smiled Zechs, pulling on his lover's arm gently. "Great to see you again. Hello, Duo, I think we met briefly. I've heard so much about you."

"All of it true, I assure you!" beamed Duo.

They laughed, and Zechs went on, "Treize, I'd like you to meet one of my best friends, Heero. Heero, this is Treize." The two men shook hands, and they all sat down.

"Nice to meet you, Treize. This is my lover, Duo." Heero found it ridiculously easy to say the words; he had thought it would be difficult. Duo beamed at him. Heero felt his heart melt even more.

"Nice to meet both of you," Treize purred, and after he shook Heero's hand he took Duo's and kissed the back of it gently, which made Duo blush.

They talked for a few moments before a commotion at the door told them Trowa and Quatre had arrived. They both looked flushed and much too happy, and everyone immediately knew why they were late.

"Sorry, we ran into traffic," Quatre announced, which was met with much derisive laughing. "What?" he exclaimed with mock indignance, and introductions were made all around. It was several minutes before they all settled into chairs. Then the waitress took their orders, and confusion reigned once again. Treize would have no argument, and paid for the drinks, and they finally settled down. Trowa and Heero were the quietest of the group, and the two shared a look as they listened to the conversation. Both had thought this meeting might be awkward, but mainly due to Quatre and Duo, the conversation never lagged, skimming from subject to subject and going off on random tangents. Everyone was amazed by how easily they all got along. Treize insisted they would all have to come over to their house ~ and Zechs blushed at the plural possessive while everyone grinned at him ~ and Duo wanted them all to come to his new classes. Treize mentioned he had just ordered a large new hot tub that needed breaking in.

Duo glanced up at the television; the game had just ended and the local news was beginning. The lead story made his mouth drop open in shock.

The announcer began, "Our top story tonight: another car chase on California's freeways. Earlier today, a suspect led police on a 30 mile chase, reaching speeds of up to 110 mph, ending when police successfully used a tack strip to disable the suspect's car."

The picture showed a small blue car weaving in and out of traffic, then crashing into a concrete median after all four tires blew out.

Duo jumped to his feet, moving closer to the television. "I know that car," he whispered as they showed a closer shot.

The announcer went on, "The suspect jumped from the car, and despite having a cast on his arm, fought back against officers, landing several punches and additional charges of assault and battery on a police officer to add to his already impressive list of resisting arrest and fleeing and evading."

Duo cursed softly as the screen showed a shot of the unmistakable form of Wufei, led away by several cops, still struggling and cursing in several languages. His face was twisted with familiar rage. Heero came up behind Duo and held him.

"After finding the man was wanted on several charges in other states, bail was denied. Extradition back to Illinois is being sought on the more serious charges of drug trafficking and money laundering." The announcer went on to the next story, and Heero led Duo back to his seat.

Quatre came to sit next to Duo on the other side. "Duo," he whispered. "How do you feel?"

Duo looked up at Quatre. "Numb." He turned to Heero. "But... this means..." his face suddenly lit up. "It means he's gone! He won't come back! Not for a while anyway!"

"That's right, Duo," Heero agreed, and suddenly Duo was nearly crawling onto his lap, almost sobbing with relief. The last obstacle to their happiness had just been removed.

Treize ordered the most expensive champagne the place carried, and they got down to some serious celebrating.

The End