sunhawk16: (Lev hawk)
[personal profile] sunhawk16
Merry Christmas!
I wish you good health and good cheer.
I wish you warm fuzzies, and no stress.
Try to look past the commercialism and the glitter and find some real joy.
Whether you are celebrating Christmas, or Yule, or just the awesome full moon... enjoy!

Moving back to pick up the pair from Thanksgiving (we'll call it the Kitchen-verse since Duo spends so much time there. LOL ) I suppose we can call this Layers 2, if anybody needs a title, so I bring you...

He’s stressing and I’m finding it bizarrely… adorable.

Duo Maxwell is my partner in all aspects of life. My work partner, my life partner, my biggest cheerleader, the best support system a man could ask for. Witty, charming, loyal to a fault, smart as they come, handsome and… a damn fine cook.

When we’d moved in together five years ago, I’d considered us as married as any other couple. Neither of us holds any real belief in organized religion, so there hardly seemed to be any point to some sort of ceremony. But we’d bought a house together, and are on each other’s ‘who do we call’ list in case of emergency. We shared a bed, we shared a house, we shared a life… married.

But then the first of our friends had gone and made it all official, and it was brought to my attention that maybe Duo needed something just as official.

So here we were, Christmas eve, and Duo hadn’t been out of the kitchen all day.

We’d settled on the date based on a process of elimination of ‘days that were something else’ and then decided at least this way we’d never be able to forget our own anniversary. At least, that was Duo’s reasoning. I was still a little confused about how this would be our anniversary and not last Monday, when we’d gone down to the Courthouse and actually made it legal, but whatever made Duo happy.

Our guest list was small, though not as small as I’d have liked; Trowa, Quatre, Wufei, Relena and Kai. Duo would have invited Howard if he hadn’t been somewhere in the vicinity of Mars, making the commute just a bit unrealistic. Secretly, I was just as glad… the old man would probably have spent the day making jokes about ‘giving away the bride’.

The table was set with freshly bought linens and what would from here on out be considered the ‘good china’. The feast that Duo was in the process of laying out on it was… epic. Small nations would envy the bounty.

And beside each of our plates, sat a ring box that was conveniently unobtrusive in all that bounty.

My husband… though I’d been told I wasn’t allowed to call him that yet… bustled into the dining room with another dish to deposit.

‘Damn it,’ he grumbled, ‘I think that center piece is going to have to go. There’s not going to be any room for the turkey.’

I’d known that a good hour ago, but didn’t mention it. ‘I’ll just put it on the sideboard with the drinks’

He brightened and gave me a smile. ‘Good idea! Check and make sure things are staying cold.’

Like the ice buckets weren’t seeing to that.

‘Calm down, Duo… everything is fine,’ I told him, not quite able to stop the grin. Like I said… bizarrely adorable. ‘It’s just our friends.’

He gave me a huff of theatric exasperation. ‘No… it’s our wedding day! I just want everything to be perfect.’

Having deposited the festive candle and greenery on the buffet, I came on around the table to catch him by his apron string and pull him in for a kiss. ‘All this wedding needs is you and me… ‘

‘It’s tradition for the groom to be jittery,’ he informed me after the kissing back part. ‘I am merely holding with tradition.’

He missed the amused snort when he disappeared back into the kitchen.

Maybe that was adorably bizarre?

The doorbell made me not have to decide.

When I opened the front door, I was greeted with a conversation already in progress.

‘…past the sixth month mark, I think we should all get to re-pick,’ Trowa was saying, giving me a distracted wave as he led the way into the house.

‘That’s because you already lost,’ Wufei replied, grinning openly at Trowa’s back. ‘Hi Heero.’

‘What has he already lost?’ I asked, and Quatre, bringing up the rear, looked around with a vaguely guilty expression.

‘Uh… are we the first to arrive?’ he wanted to know, and lost the shifty look when I nodded. ‘They’re arguing about the Kai pool.’

‘The… what?’ There was a pool? And it involved Relena’s only slightly less than new spouse?

Coats were being deposited in various spots of the living room and it was Wufei who explained it to me. ‘We have a betting pool on how long Relena is going to put up with her pans…. Uh… new husband.’

I blinked for a second, digesting that, and then had to look at Trowa. ‘And you only gave it six months?’

‘I was counting on more pressure from you, to be honest,’ he grumped. It was kind of surreal to think he was unhappy that Relena’s marriage hadn’t fallen apart faster. Not unfathomable, mind, just surreal.

‘Duo wouldn’t let me,’ I admitted and it at least made him laugh.

I wondered if it was too late to get in on this deal, and just how long Wufei and Quatre had given things. Six months… lame mistake if you knew Relena at all. Even if she’d come to her senses five minutes before the ceremony, she wouldn’t just give up. There would be counseling and everything else first. That doesn’t happen in six months. Two years, now, was another matter…

Quatre is the only one who dares to bring anything to one of Duo’s dinner parties, and even he limits himself to a bottle of expensive wine. There was, in fact, an empty ice bucket on the sideboard waiting for it. He headed off to the kitchen to check in with Duo while I finished dealing with the coats and hats.

‘So,’ I began, wondering what the anty was to get into this pool, when there was a tiny explosion from the other room.

‘What?!’ I heard from the kitchen and about two seconds later, my brand new husband was standing in the kitchen doorway, hands on hips, wooden spoon clutched in one fist, intimidating glare somewhat spoiled by the ‘My Kitchen, My Rules’ apron. ‘You guys are… are… betting on people’s happiness? Seriously?’

I closed my mouth and thanked my lucky stars that Quatre had talked faster than I had.

I shifted slightly to the side and turned to look at Trowa and Wufei, making sure to maintain my distance.

‘No,’ Trowa corrected him, ‘we’re betting on the return of Relena’s common sense.’

Wufei couldn’t help the snicker and the wooden spoon was leveled his way.

‘That is a completely suck thing to do,’ he was informed firmly. ‘How would you like it if you found out somebody was essentially hoping for your relationship to fail?’

‘Assuming you had one…’ Trowa offered under a muttered breath.

Instead of riling Duo up more, the way I had expected it to, the comment made him blush darkly and he turned without another word and stalked back into the kitchen.

Quatre slipped out through that same doorway instantly, looked at me with wide-eyes and said, ‘The hell?’

‘Wrong day for it,’ I sighed and went after Duo. Normally I don’t brave his kitchen when he was in a mood, but… well… circumstances. ‘You guys pour yourselves some drinks and make yourselves at home. Dinner should be in a few.’

There was Duo and there was a large carving knife and the turkey never knew what hit it.

‘You ok?’ I asked as I moved in beside him and took the server platter out of his hand.

‘Yeah,’ he grumbled, still looking embarrassed. ‘It was just… not a thing I found the humor in… you know… today.’

I held the plate while he carved and deposited perfect looking turkey slices, and if there was not a mood to contend with, I’d have been stealing bites because it was making my mouth water.

‘And I felt like I put my foot in my mouth with Wufei,’ he said. ‘Rubbing his face in his lack of a significant other.’

‘Duo,’ I snorted. ‘Wufei has choices. If he does not have a significant other, it’s because he doesn’t want one right now. He was not upset over the comment.’

He shrugged uncomfortably and continued his meticulous slicing.

‘I just…’ he began, but then stopped. The pile of turkey grew.

‘just?’ I prompted when the silence ran on for several minutes.
‘Will there be a pool for us, you think?’ he asked, voice weirdly hesitant and small.

The things he decides he’s going to stress over are just… bizarre sometimes.

‘We,’ I informed him firmly, ‘are as solid as a rock. Our relationship has already stood the test of time. If there is… I’m getting in on it and my money is on a hundred years.’

It made him snort a laugh and he glanced up at me from the turkey carcass. ‘Thanks,’ he murmured.

In the other room, the doorbell rang again and Quatre hollered, ‘I got it!’

‘I’m not jinxing it, am I?’ Duo blurted, and I suddenly understood the jitters and the weirdness and the fifty course meal we were about to sit down to.

There was already enough turkey on the platter for an army of forty, so I set it aside, took the carving knife from Duo’s hand, set it aside too and turned him to face me.

‘Duo Maxwell,’ I asked him solemnly, ‘will you marry me?’

The corner of his mouth quirked in a way that was pleased and was embarrassed and was excited again. ‘When shall we have the wedding?’ he asked playfully and I laughed.

‘How about now?’ I picked up the turkey platter and headed for the dining room. ‘Just… lose the apron.’

There were hugs received and handshakes given. Laughter and voices and our home full of good company and the smells of good food. And my husband sitting across from me.

Funny… I was finding I liked the sound of it.

Enough that I didn’t want to continue keeping it to myself. It hadn’t been part of the plan, but I decided that I needed to take charge of this wedding. It had mostly been for Duo’s benefit, and maybe that’s where his sudden fears were coming from. I didn’t want it to become something I just went along with.

Food was being ladled and compliments given, but before the actual eating began, I picked up my ring box and stood up.

‘Before we get started,’ I began, ‘we have a small confession to make. This isn’t really a Christmas party.’

I had the attention of the room, but I was only really paying attention to the attention I was getting from Duo and he looked pleased, so I bulled forward.

‘This is our wedding,’ I told them, and a couple of them actually looked around like they were expecting the sudden arrival of a priest and flower girls. I won’t say who.

‘But,’ Wufei ventured, ‘I thought…’

Quatre shushed him. Trowa gave a longing look at his plate, but then sat back with a grin and a nod.

Relena looked like she might cry, and was clutching Kai’s hand.

Kai… looked like he had questions he was prudently keeping to himself.

Duo was biting his lip. We hadn’t really practiced this part.

I looked down at the ring box that I found was rolling between my fingers and made it still. I opened it and looked at the plain gold band inside.

‘The first time I asked Duo out,’ I told the air in general, or the ring, I wasn’t sure. ‘I expected him to turn me down. I didn’t figure I had a chance with somebody like him.’

I managed to surprise Duo and he was looking at me kind of wide-eyed, but his embarrassment seemed to be forgotten. Down the table I heard Trowa hiss, ‘I told you…’

And this time Relena did the shushing.

‘They say opposites attract and I suppose we couldn’t have seemed any more opposite back then,’ I continued, and that got a chuckle from most of the room.

‘But we’re not so much,’ I said, ‘not in any of the ways that really count.’

I took the ring out of the box and set the box back beside my plate, gesturing Duo to his feet.

‘In my mind,’ I continued, ‘we’ve been married since the day we moved in together, but some things need to not just happen. Some things need to be… a little more official.’

I reached out and Duo put his hand in mine. I slipped the ring on his finger and smiled into those gorgeous eyes of his. ‘Duo Maxwell, I take you as my husband. I will have your back and be your partner through whatever life throws at us. You are above all things to me, now and forever. ‘

I knew I’d done good because he got misty for a second. Relena was openly dabbing at her eyes with her napkin. Wufei opened his mouth, but then looked pained and I suspect somebody kicked him under the table.

‘Oh damn it,’ Duo said, ducking his head. ‘I didn’t really think about this part enough.’

‘You don’t have your own vows?’ Trowa blurted, sounding kind of incredulous.

I couldn’t help remembering my earlier confusion about which came first… the adorable or the bizarre. I couldn’t help a snicker.

Duo rubbed at the back of his neck and then gestured at the table, in answer to Trowa.

‘It’s here!’ he said, and I tried not to look as confused as the rest of them. ‘What I was trying to say, I mean.’

Which just made it clear as mud.

‘Come again?’ Quatre tried and Duo couldn’t help laughing at himself. He took a breath and seemed to lose the embarrassment.

‘Look,’ he elaborated waving his hand at the feast of the century again. ‘Everything here is at least partly from Heero’s garden. The vegetables… the fruits… even the herbs I seasoned the turkey and dressing with. I do the cooking, but everything here we made together.’

I had to look down at the bounty and remembered a fall of canning and freezing. The potatoes…. The green beans… the apple sauce… the garlic and basil and thyme; all from my garden.

And about then, Duo found his stride.

‘When Heero asked me out that first time, I was over the moon. And terrified I’d do something stupid and mess things up.’

The others chuckled, but I couldn’t help remembering my own sweaty palms and fear of not being enough fun… of not being interesting enough. That Duo had been freaked out too, was… an odd adjustment to that memory.

‘But that opposites thing is so true, just too much attraction to deny,’ he said, and grinned at me. ‘And this wouldn’t be so perfect if we were alike. We aren’t opposite so much as we compliment. And together we make something that’s better than the parts.’

He reached down and picked up his own ring box, and I held out my hand without having to be prompted. He took it with a gentle touch, as though allowing me to pull free if I chose to.

‘You are my partner, my right hand, and the air I need to breathe,’ he said as he slipped the ring on my finger. ‘I take you as my husband and promise to cherish you for as long as… as long as there are stars in the sky.’

I squeezed his hand, knowing the ‘long as we both shall live’ that he had stumbled over. I know Duo, and I know it would have twinged his thing about karma.

There was a moment of quiet and I was surprised when it was Relena who broke it.

‘Damn it!’ She blurted out, unabashedly wiping tears from her face. ‘Now my wedding looks all ostentatious and crap!’

Kai patted her arm, and tried to deny it, but Wufei was already laughing. ‘Now? Now you think it looked ostentatious?’

‘Can we eat now?’ Trowa asked, and I’m not sure if he was derailing Wufei or if he was really that hungry.

‘Congratulations!’ Quatre said over the other voices.

I still had Duo’s hand in mine, and still had his attention over all the rest of it, so I pulled his fingers up to kiss the knuckles.

‘Ewww!’ Wufei yelped, well and truly derailed. ‘Not you two too!’

Kai grabbed Relena’s hand and gave it a kiss and the three of them were off and running.

Duo and I sat back down and prepared to dig into our slightly delayed dinner. And if things tasted just a little bit better because of this new perspective, who am I to judge?

Down the table, Relena was threatening Wufei with a dinner roll, Kai was carefully saving her wine glass from her gestures, Wufei was mocking public displays, Quatre was complimenting the sweet potatoes, and Trowa was communing with his plate.

I found myself fiddling with the unaccustomed ring on my finger, rubbing my little finger over the side of it, and wondered how long it would take to get used to wearing it all the time. I looked across at Duo but didn’t notice that he was fiddling with his.

My husband. It had such a solid feel to it. Permanent. Real. Mine. Not like I owned him, but like… I had an obligation to him. He was mine to cherish… mine to protect… mine to support. Just like I was his. I am Duo Maxwell’s husband. For as long as there are stars in the sky.

It made me feel a little of that misty feeling Duo had exhibited earlier, and I tried to catch his eye, but something down the table had gotten his attention first.

‘Damn it, Barton!’ Duo grumbled, ’at least taste it before you start throwing salt all over it!’

‘I like it salty!’ Trowa shrugged, not really slowing down with his liberal application of the same.

‘Well,’ Duo tried, ‘maybe the food doesn’t like it, you know? Maybe the food was happy with the level of salt already in it!’

I snorted a laugh and shook my head. Adorably bizarre, or bizarrely adorable?

Date: 2015-12-25 12:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think you and I are the first people up and online in LJ this morning. :-)

I can't think of a nicer way to end this year's Christmas posts. This was heartwarming and romantic. It really feels perfect. I even loved seeing Trowa as the comic relief.

I hope you have a fantastic Christmas! Thanks for making mine even better. ♥

Date: 2015-12-25 12:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Christmas day is usually pretty quiet on LJ, so it was nice to see you on-line. *waves to the fellow early riser*
I had this in mind at Thanksgiving... now that gay marriage is legal, it seemed like I needed to write a story where I actually married these two for real. But this pair just didn't seem to want to have any part of any big ceremony, so... we had dinner. ^^;
Merry Christmas!

Date: 2015-12-25 04:11 pm (UTC)
ext_42681: (me)
From: [identity profile]
Wonderful! Merry Christmas!

Date: 2015-12-27 02:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Glad you enjoyed! Merry Christmas!

Date: 2015-12-25 06:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you very much! Hope you have a great day.

Date: 2015-12-27 02:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You are entirely welcome! Hope you are having a wonderful holiday season!

Date: 2015-12-25 06:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Awwww, so sweet! What a lovely story to round out your Twelve Days of Christmas series!

Wishing you a wonderful holiday and a very happy new year!

Date: 2015-12-27 02:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Seemed like it was high time I wrote a fic where I actually married them off! lol
Hope you are having a great holiday and that 2016 turns out to be your year!

Date: 2015-12-25 11:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm dabbing my eyes just like Relena. What an absolutely perfect ending. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful writing with us once again.

Date: 2015-12-27 02:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Mission accomplished! :D Glad you enjoyed. Merry Christmas!

Date: 2015-12-25 11:16 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
So perfect!

Date: 2015-12-27 02:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Perfectly bizarre... lol

Date: 2015-12-25 11:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is wonderful - sweet and romantic. Relena isn't the only one dabbing her eyes. Thanks for the lovely Christmas present! It is perfect!

I hope you and your family are having a great day! Merry Christmas!!!

Date: 2015-12-27 02:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I decided this was the year to do some sort of wedding fic, and this is what ended up coming out. Glad everybody wasn't disappointed. :D
Hope your holidays have been good! Merry Christmas!

Date: 2015-12-25 11:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

What a wonderful way to wrap up this year's Twelve Days. Sweet, sappy - but not formal or over-the-top, because I agree, those two don't need the big formal ceremony. They need their friends and their home and the speaking of two hearts.

Date: 2015-12-27 02:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
What a lovely way of putting it! I just kept trying to come up with a ceremony and these two would have none of it, so... we had dinner instead. :D
Glad everybody seemed to enjoy.

Date: 2015-12-26 01:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Sweet romantic and heart warming. Absolutely loved all the humor. Perfectly timed and the perfect dose. Kudos!

Date: 2015-12-27 02:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed. Merry Christmas!

Date: 2015-12-26 01:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Eeeeeee! Dying from the cute! Trouble making Wu fei, hungry Trowa and whatever Quatre is doing...he's doing it well. Relena is Relena and I don't the end of this...I've kind of gotten a soft spot for Kai. XD

And the wedding vows *sniffs* so sweet.

Date: 2015-12-27 02:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I don't think Kai is going to grow on me, but I DID refrain from making him a total wuss. Though.... maybe that's because I never actually gave him any lines. >_>
Glad you enjoyed! ^______^

Date: 2015-12-27 03:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
no? not a good sign for his future then. :D

Date: 2015-12-26 03:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That was absolutely adorable! And now I see Relena working twice as hard to keep her marriage going.

And another Christmas bites the dust. Ours in the midwest (IL to be exact) was dry and semi-warm, not very Christmasy but since we traveled to the son's place, that was ok. I hope your Christmas went well.

Here's to the new year and maybe more ficcage?

Date: 2015-12-27 02:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ours was rainy and warm, not Christmasy at all. Though at least the traveling wasn't bad, but... my dang trees are trying to bud! O_o
I shall endeavor to write more often. And even post stuff!

Date: 2015-12-26 05:26 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
routhier says:

do they fight over the wishbone, though? does heero want something practical, like a new washer and dryer, but duo's beggin' for a convertible???

Date: 2015-12-27 02:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This Heero would want an in-ground irrigation system, and Duo would want a full sized chefs range or a kitchen remodel...

Date: 2015-12-26 06:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
What a wonderful treat. Thank you so much for sharing this. So adorably sweet. Hope you have a lovely day and that this isn't the last we hear from you until next Christmas. ^_- Hugs.

Date: 2015-12-27 02:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I have this New Year's resolution that I will write more. Or.... something. >_> Honest...
Glad you enjoyed! *hugs* And Merry Christmas!

Date: 2015-12-26 05:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You shoulda sent tissues with your Christmas Cards. Wibbles.

Date: 2015-12-27 02:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Sorry... that was not my intent. Reeeeeeally. ^^;

Date: 2015-12-27 01:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You're a writer. You like throwing us fans off the cliff of emotions.

Date: 2015-12-26 07:00 pm (UTC)
merula31: by Sami (gw Clap! Go on)
From: [personal profile] merula31
That was adorable, and very perfect for the two of them! I hope you had a restful and merry Christmas and that you get to enjoy the rest of the holidays! *hugs*

Date: 2015-12-27 02:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hey! I've missed your awesome icon! ^o^ Glad you were able to come along for the ride.
Hope you guys had a stress-free day and that the rest of your holiday season is going well.

Date: 2015-12-27 03:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
First off, congratulations on not starting a day early this year!

Secondly, HA I say to all those who laughed last year at my veggies somehow being expressions of love and affection. HA.

Date: 2016-03-05 09:03 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I am so happy I found this! I was recently rereading all of your stuff... you are seriously one of my favorite authors in the fandom. Nothing pleases me more than to see that you are still posting content.

Thank you! I look forward to any updates you make!


Date: 2016-03-06 12:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm afraid there isn't a lot anymore, but I'm not dead quite yet! :D
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