Chapter 6:


By: Dyna Dee

Disclaimer: I don't own any part of Gundam Wing nor it's characters. My stories are written for my own pleasure and not for any legal tender, darn it!

Warnings: A.U., yaoi, shounen-ai, some language, some violence but not too bad. Maybe some OOC, but I tried to stay with the personalities of the original characters as much as possible.




At lights out, Heero had not returned. Everyone had been in bed for twenty minutes when Quatre was startled by a tentative touch on his arm. In the dim light, he could see it was Duo who was leaning over him.

"Where is he?" the braided boy whispered worriedly.

"I don't know, Duo. Just go back to bed. I'm sure he's alright."

He could see Duo was nervously rubbing his hands together as if he wanted to say something more but couldn't. Quatre sat up and reached out, putting a comforting hand over Duo's. "It's okay Duo. I'll check on him in the morning if he hasn't returned." A small strangled sound came from the braided boy, yet he turned away and silently walked to the end of the room and climbed back into his bed.

Quatre sighed and settled back down into his bed, knowing sleep would be difficult to find for the rest of the night for both he and Duo.

The night was half spent when Wufei woke suddenly with a jerk. At first it seemed that nothing in particular had happened that would disturb his sleep, except for a peculiar feeling he had. He sensed something different within his personal space. Opening his eyes, he worked on focusing his sleep bleary eyes on the darkness surrounding him and gasped when he suddenly realized he was looking at a dark shadow looming above him, directly to the side of his bed. After the shadow failed to move, Wufei took a moment to calm his racing heart and let his eyes focus and adjust to the darkness. He then easily determine that the dark shadow was only Duo.

"Duo! What are you doing out of bed?" he hissed, agitated at being awakened and startled by the other boy standing next to his bed.

His only answer from the braided boy was the soft sound of a sniffle. With disbelief Wufei realized that Duo was crying. The Chinese teen knew that Duo would be upset when Heero hadn't returned at lights out, but he'd never seen the braided boy become emotional before, other than the first night that Heero had gone to Yellows. Then again, he hadn't really seen Duo cry, but rather heard Duo's near silent upset down the length of the room that separated their bunks. Wufei frowned as he looked at the unmoving shadow above him that seemed to be...waiting. In his mind it seemed to go against the spunky boy's nature to give into tears just because of Heero's absence, no matter how close they were. He shook his head, once again not understanding the complex relationship between the two.

"What Duo?" he asked, feeling exasperated.

Another sniff.

Wufei was at a loss at what to do. He then recalled that same night when he'd seen Heero move in the darkness to Duo's bed to comfort him. Making a quick decision and desperately hoping not to wake anyone in the room, he turned to his side and pushed back, placing his back close to the wall and giving a silent invitation to the silent, distressed boy standing mute next to his bed.

Duo moved quickly, pulling back the covers and climbing in. He then turned and pushed his own back up against the Chinese boy's chest.

Wufei could feel the boy's smaller body trembling against his. Not knowing what else to do in this awkward and never-before-experienced situation, he lay stiff, his almond shaped eyes wide open with apprehension.

He then felt Duo's right hand move back and pat behind him, searching and then finally landing on Wufei's right arm. Without hesitating, he pulled the bronze arm over his shoulder and pulled it firmly against his chest. Wufei got the message that Duo wanted to be held, so he timidly complied.

He lay there stiffly, his mind racing as Duo sniffed quietly in the shelter of his arms, obviously only slightly comforted by his physical contact. Foremost in Wufei's mind was the fact that he was breaking a barrack's rule, that trainees sleep in no bed other than their own. Second, he was sure that if Heero found out about this, he and Duo would both pay, dearly. He'd received enough glares and warnings from Heero over the last year to know the Japanese trainee didn't like sharing his only and closest friend. And that he could carry out his threats was no longer a question. After new of Heero thoroughly defeating Walker in the shower room, everyone in Yellow gave Heero a wide birth, some out of fear and all out of respect. And from Yellow, rumors had spread to Red and Green. Heero had established a reputation of being able to take care of himself and anyone worth half a brain knew not to accost him. Wufei remembered well his first meeting with Heero's strength and had no real desire to experience it again.

He turned his thoughts back to the boy resting against him, finding it somewhat pleasant to have the warmth of another body in his arms. He was inwardly pleased that the gregarious boy had felt comfortable enough with their growing friendship to come to him when he needed some comfort. That thought caused him to pause. Why did it feel so good to have Duo need and trust him? He took several moments to ponder that question. Duo certainly had a lot of friends he could have chosen to go to, and Wufei pondered, not for the first time what it was about the boy that drew people to him. He felt an unusual feeling of pride and contentment within him that Duo had picked him over any of his other friends to hold him in his hour of need. And with that thought and a lingering smile on his face he finally drifted back to sleep.

Unfortunately, the night did not end as well as he had hoped. The next four hours seemed almost endless as his sleep was regularly interrupted by the unfamiliar feeling of a body so close to his own and the growing heat their closeness generated. And periodically, in response to Duo's trembling or sniffles, Wufei work and tried to console the long hair teen by patting the other boy's shoulder and whispering into his ear that things would be better in the morning. When the body he held finally went limp and heavy with sleep, Wufei checked his watch, lighting up the digital numbers. There was only one more hour left until the lights went on and a new day began. With a deep, weary sigh, he decided to let Duo sleep for a half hour before he had to go to his own bed and the struggle to stay awake and keep his eyes open began. There was no way he could chance falling asleep now and be found with Duo sleeping not only in his bed, but in his arms as well.

When the allotted time had passed, Wufei squeezed himself out from behind the boy dominating most of the bed with his small, wiry body, and crawled over him to stand up at the side of his bed. Making a quick decision, he gently picked up the sleeping figure and with a bit of a struggle carried him to his own bed, awkwardly maneuvering Duo's legs and tucking them in under his partially thrown back covers. He considered his task finished when Duo was completely tucked in and then quickly returned to his own bed and relaxed enough to allow himself a half hour of sleep before the lights went on.

As the boys in Red Five grumbled and mildly complained at Trowa's call to get up, Wufei slowly rolled himself out of his bed just in time to see that Quatre was up, dressed and heading for the door, no doubt going to find out what happened to Heero.

Taking a clean jumpsuit and undergarments from out of his locker, he began his first morning duty of rousting the younger boys from out of their beds but performed the task mechanically and in a decidedly more sluggish manner than usual, and along with Trowa, they led the sleepy-eyed Fives to the showers. Groggy from lack of sleep, Wufei absent mindedly went through the motions of the morning routine of showering. It wasn't until he was toweling off the excess beads of moisture from his skin that Trenton approached him, towel snugly wrapped around his hips.

"Where's Heero and Duo?" the pale, red headed boy asked.

Wufei's head shot up and he became suddenly alert as he scanned the heads of the boys in the room. "I'll find out," he answered. Quickly slipping his jumpsuit on his still damp body, he moved to Trowa to tell him of his intentions and then ran from the shower room back to their barracks.

The door bearing the large number five on it opened at the wave of his hand and the Chinese lieutenant sprinted down the aisle to the end of the barracks. A wave of relief surged through him when he saw Duo curled up on his side, sleeping soundly. Moving to his bedside, Wufei took a moment to look down at the long haired boy and enjoy the peaceful silence and serene expression on the Duo's face, a state of being that was rarely associated with the lively trainee. He leaned over and called out to the boy, and when Duo didn't respond, he reached out and shook his upturned shoulder.

Immediately, Duo's eyes flew open and he bolted up into a sitting position, his eyes immediately going to Heero's bed. "Where's Heero?" he blurted out, his voice anxious and his eyes frantically searching the empty room.

"I don't know, " Wufei replied calmly. "Quatre left before showers to find out." He then watched with growing alarm as Duo's face screwed up with a look of unbearable pain. He simultaneously pulled his legs up against his chest and brought up both of his hands to his head. His fingers grabbed hold of the hair on the sides of his head and pulled roughly at it as he began to rock his body back and forth.

"Duo, Duo stop that!" Wufei scolded in an demanding tone, not understanding what was going on. With dismay he watched the distressed boy continue his confusing behavior and a low keening moan came from his throat. "Duo!" Wufei growled as he tried to pry the boy's fingers open but failed to uncurl the fists filled with large clumps of chestnut colored hair. He stood back a moment to re-evaluate the situation, feeling slightly panicked as he realized the moaning boy was completely unresponsive to his words and actions.

Uncertain as to what he should do next, Wufei turned to look back down the long room at the sound of the doors to the barracks opening. Trowa was fully dressed, though wet haired as he led in the freshly showered Fives, and a feeling of relief flooded him at seeing help had arrived. "Trowa, we need a medic. Inform Quatre," Wufei shouted down the length of the room.

The room became silent and the Fives seemed to freeze in place as Trowa went immediately to the intercom system and keyed in the emergency numbers. Once that was accomplished, he then turned around and ordered the towel clad boys to dress quickly, then put Chad, one of the older trainees, in charge of seeing that the curious and concerned Fives followed his instructions. Once they were dressed, he further instructed the temporary leader that he was to lead them to the mess hall for breakfast. With those orders issued, Trowa was free to turn his attention to the two at the back of the room and he rushed down to the end of the barracks to see what he could do to help.

The rest of room's occupants quietly and quickly dressed as ordered, their eyes shifting constantly to the back of the room where the two lieutenants hovered over and tried to work with their ailing friend. With no small feeling of reluctance, they followed their designated leader and moved out of the room and followed Chad to the mess hall.

A scant moment later, the doctor for the training facility rushed into the room and took charge of the unresponsive but obviously pained boy.

Quatre stood beside the much taller Yellow captain as both of them faced the base commander. Zechs wore a smug look on his finely chiseled, aristocratic looking face while Quatre looked decidedly unhappy.

"Pardon me sir," Quatre continued with his argument, "but I formally protest Heero Yuy being put in the brig for three days. The punishment does not justify his misstep of a rule that he might not have fully understood. After all, his circumstances are different from any other boy here."

The commander looked at the smaller captain with waning patience. "He broke the rules and was AWOL from his team and classes," the man began in a tone of forbearance. "For every action there is an equal or opposite reaction, Captain Winner, and Mr. Yuy needs to learn the importance of the rules if he's to succeed. A punishment is called for."

"Yes sir, I understand that," Quatre agreed. "But there are extenuating circumstances here. This will prove to be detrimental instead of a learning tool."

"What are these extenuating circumstances?" the Commander leaned forward, his curiosity always piqued when it came to the two boys who had aroused his suspicious nature that was definitely telling him that something unusual was going on with them that was just beyond his grasp to understand. That something was shrouded by mystery and secrets that piqued his curiosity even more. His own discreet search for answers, despite orders from General Noventa not to inquire further for information regarding the two, had come up with virtually nothing on them and it was now more than apparent that Captain Winner knew much more than he had written in reports about what was going on with them.

"I'm not at liberty to discuss it, sir." Quatre replied. "I was told in the strictest confidence."

"I see," Commander Reid replied, trying to mask his disappointment.

Quatre decided to venture further to plead Heero's cause. "Evidently Zechs talked to Heero yesterday about another promotion, this time to Green. From the last major advancement we learned that Heero will not continue much further without Duo. He stayed behind last evening only to help tutor Duo in his most difficult classes."

"Very admirable," Zechs cut in snidely, using the attitude of disdain to cover up the face that he had no idea what the smaller blond was referring to. "But that doesn't dismiss the fact that he did not have permission. He decided on his own to stay in Red to tutor his "friend", he said the word snidely, "and that is not how the training center nor the military is run,"

"You don't understand," Quatre shook his head, feeling exasperated at the constraints his vow of silence brought. "Heero's the best, the most promising of all the trainees who have entered the training facility. But just like all those considered the best, he has his Achilles' heel, and Heero's happens to be Duo. He needs to be in close proximity to Duo in order to do his best."

Zechs snorted derisively, showing his disbelief of the smaller blond's explanation.

"We can't keep bending over backwards to accommodate this promising kid," the commander began, but stopped as the beep of a wrist communicator sounded. Both Zechs and Quatre lifted their wrists to see who got the message.

"If you'll excuse me Sir," Quatre looked up. "There's an emergency at my barracks. I need to see to my trainees."

"Very well," the older man replied. "But report back to me." With a quick salute, Quatre turned and ran from the room.

When he arrived at the barracks, the door opened to reveal only one boy present in the room. Trowa greeted him at the entry, looking solemn. "It's Duo," he reported. "Wufei said he woke up looking for Heero and when he didn't find him, he began to hurt himself. The doctor took him to the infirmary to run some tests. He was very upset and unresponsive."

"Where's Wufei now?" Quatre asked as he turned back towards the door to leave once again.

"He went with Duo."

Quatre nodded and turned to go back out through the door. "You're in charge until I get back," he called over his shoulder. He saw Trowa nod in acceptance then re-opened the barrack's door and broke into a run, heading towards the infirmary.

Captain Winner entered the sick bay and immediately followed the voices to the far end of the room to a curtained-off section where he found Duo being examined. His blue eyes widened as they came to rest the boy on the bed. Duo was strapped down, his hands pinned hear his sides by restraints and his straightened legs secured by straps around his ankles. His eyes were closed, scrunched tightly as he weakly pulled against the fabric bands constraining him. Wufei, standing at the foot of the bed, looked away from the Duo's restrained body to meet Quatre's questioning look with an expression of worry on his face.

"He's been sedated and was given some pain medication but he still seems to be in pain," the Chinese boy reported as Quatre came to stand by him. The blond teen put his hand on Wufei's shoulder, giving it a comforting squeeze because he sensed his lieutenant needed it. Quatre then moved to the opposite side of the bed, staying clear of the doctor standing next to Duo and quickly writing on a clipboard. He shifted his gaze back to Duo, who was obviously suffering, then back to the doctor, wanting some answers but hesitant to interrupt.

After a few moments, the middle-aged man looked up and sighed deeply. "You're his Captain?" he asked.

Quatre nodded, "Yes Sir. What's wrong with him?"

The doctor's thick brown eyebrows pinched together in thought. "I'm not sure at the moment, but Lieutenant Chang reported that he woke up from a restless night's sleep, asked for his friend then tried to rip his hair out of his scalp."

"He moaned like he was in pain other than what he was doing to himself," Wufei added.

The doctor resumed the conversation from there. "I've done a quick exam and initially I don't find anything wrong. His heart rate is slightly accelerated, but all other vitals seem to be within a normal range. As Mr. Chang reported, I've given him a sedative," The doctor paused a moment as his eyes strayed back to his patient on the bed with a growing frown of concern on his face. "But as you can see, he seems to have an unusually high tolerance to the medication and he still seems to be in some sort of pain. Though he appeared to be conscious when we brought him in, he was highly agitated and unresponsive to touch or sound.

"What can we do to help him?" Quatre asked, growing more alarmed with each word the doctor spoke about the boy under his command.

"If this continues for another twenty minutes, I'll do a brain scan to determine if there is any growth in the brain that might trigger this type of reaction."

Quatre's eyebrows rose and then he spoke in a quiet voice, hesitant to venture into any information that might compromise his promise of silence to Heero and Duo. "I think I know what's wrong," he stated calmly, looking reluctant.

"Really?" The doctor looked at him skeptically and Wufei looked at him as if he'd lost his mind. "And what would that be?"

"Heero. He needs Heero. But don't ask me why because I can't say any more about it."

The looks of bafflement and disbelief were clear on faces of both the doctor and Wufei. "And Heero is?" the doctor inquired with one arched eyebrow.

"Another boy who was conscripted with Duo," Quatre replied. "They came with special orders from General Noventa to stay together. They were separated from each other last night for the first time since they met, and I think that's what might be happening here. They need each other."

"Is Heero's last name Yuy?" The doctor asked, going over in his mind the names the general had brought up to him almost a year ago.

"Yes sir."

"And what exactly do you mean by saying they need each other?" he frowned, not comprehending the blond's meaning.

"Just get Heero in here." The blond demanded impatiently. "He's in the brig and, if my guess is right, he's also in pain."

"I can't remove a trainee from the brig unless he's ill," the doctor replied. "If that's your intention, you should speak to Commander Reid."

"Can I use your com unit?" Quatre asked.

The doctor nodded. "In my office."

Moments later, Quatre was talking to the commander explaining the situation as the doctor had told him, leaving out what he personally knew about the situation. The commander agreed to meet the young captain at the brig to question Heero himself as to what was going on.

Quatre arrived first and was escorted to Heero's holding cell. The Japanese boy was sitting on the edge of his bed dressed only in his boxers and t-shirt. His elbows were resting on his knees and his raised palms were cupping his forehead while his fingers were tightly laced through his unruly shock of dark hair.

"Heero." Quatre called out the boy's name, then repeated it several times before the boy on the bed slowly raised his head, revealing his pain-filled eyes.

"Duo," he whispered, locking eyes with the blond, pleading silently for understanding and help.

"Hold on Heero," Quatre said quickly. "I'm trying to help."

Five minutes passed before the commander arrived. He looked Heero over and tried to get the unresponsive boy to communicate to him as to what was wrong.

"Sir, please," Quatre spoke up, feeling extremely anxious about the situation. "We need to take him to sick bay."

"And I need to know what is going on!" the older man growled out his frustration regarding the two boys in question. He wondered to himself, and not for the first time, as to what the hell was going on?

"If we can just get Heero to the infirmary, I'll try to get permission from him to tell you what I know. But first I need their consent. Duo can't and won't give it without Heero and I can't tell you what was told to me in confidence without it."

The commander thought for a moment before nodding his head. "Major!" he barked out in a commanding voice to the man in charge of the brig who happened to standing just inside the side of the door leading to the two barred cells. "I need this boy taken to sick bay immediately."

"Yes sir," the blue uniformed soldier answered appropriately. He then walked forward and slipped a digital key into the cell door and opened it.

The Major ended up carrying the detained trainee to the medical unit as he was unable to dress himself much less walk.

The doctor and attending nurse greeted them all at the door.

"Put him next to Duo," Quatre suggested as the small group made their way to the section where Duo had been placed.

The suggestion was followed only when the doctor nodded his approval, and the man carrying Heero set him down in the bed adjacent to the one containing with the boy who was strapped down under the blanket that had been placed over him.

The doctor gave Heero the same quick exam he'd given Duo on his arrival, checking his vitals and coming up with the similar condition he'd observed with his other patient. Like Duo, Heero was clearly in pain and seemed unable to voice his symptoms as the doctor questioned him.

After an hour had passed, the others in the room noticed that both boys had calmed marginally but were still unresponsive. Duo's wrists and ankles were released from the restraints and he immediately curled up in a ball and began to shake.

"So much for your theory," the commander said in a disapproving manner towards the blond captain.

"I don't understand things fully," Quatre replied, looking perplexed. "But I do know they need to be near each other.

"Closer." Wufei spoke out suddenly while looking down on Duo, observing a sheen of perspiration on his skin from his internal battle with the unknown pain.

"What?" Quatre asked, curious to know what Wufei meant.

"They need to be closer. Put Heero in the same bed."

Four sets of eyes widened at the suggestion

"I've seen Heero hold Duo before when he was upset or agitated. It seemed to calm him down." He withheld the part of Heero climbing into Duo's bed to hold him as such an action was against the rules and would get the both of them in trouble. How could he report or condemn them when just last night he had done the exact same thing? "I think physical touch seems to help them center themselves as they always have some sort of body contact with each other, even if it's just touching shoulders," he added.

The doctor gave the commander a look and a slight shrug that said, 'Why not?' "It won't hurt to try," he said out loud.

The Commander frowned, then directed his unhappy glare on the blond captain. "I would like to learn more about what the hell is happening here," he stated firmly.

"Yes, sir. As soon as I have their permission," Quatre replied, his eyes straying from the Commander to the doctor who was moving to Heero's side. Pulling the covers off of Heero's taut and stiff body, the doctor bent to lift the fourteen year old boy, and when some awkwardness became evident in carrying out his appointed task, Wufei and Quatre moved forward to aid him. Quatre quickly pulled back the covers that were on top of Duo allowing the doctor and Wufei to set the Japanese teen down next to his friend, still curled into a tight ball. Pulling the covers back over the both of them, the four stood back, cautiously watching the two and impatiently waited for any kind of a reaction.

The silence became uncomfortable as moments passed and nothing appeared to be happening. But after several minutes had gone by, Heero, his eyes still closed, turned in an almost instinctive move and pulled Duo to his side. Heero then maneuvered the smaller boy's trembling body until Duo's back was firmly set against his chest. The four still watching observed the Japanese boy wrap his arms securely around the braided boy chest, holding Duo fast to him.

Cocooned by Heero's sheltering embrace, Duo instantly ceased trembling and his face relaxed while his body eased slowly from the tight curl he had been positioned in. A slight whimper escaped his lips as he brought his arms up and put his hands over the tope of Heero's, resting on his chest, as if to ensure his friend wasn't going anywhere.

A look of astonishment registered on all the faces of those watching the scene before them.

"Well I'll be," the doctor said softly in amazed disbelief.

"I want a report Captain Winner as soon as they wake up. I want to know exactly what's going on." The commander scowled as he barked out his order, clearly uncomfortable and fed up with being left in the dark about the mystery surrounding the two sleeping boys.

"Yes Sir," Quatre replied quickly.

"Carry on." Commander Reid then turned and marched himself out of the sick bay to return to his office to contemplate what he'd just seen and to try and work it out in his mind and explain the puzzle presented to him.

The two sleeping boys remained in a state of calm contentedness while spooned together for the next eighteen hours. They rarely stirred from their deep slumber, and then only to shift to a more comfortable position.

Wufei and Trowa were assigned by Quatre to take turns sitting with their charges. There were each instructed by the blond captain that, when the two awoke, he was to be informed immediately as it was urgent for him to speak with them as soon as possible.

It was in the early morning hours just before sunrise the next morning that Wufei woke to the sound of Duo's voice, filled with a great deal of emotion as he spoke in a hushed voice to Heero. Not wanting to intrude but curious, Wufei kept his eyes closed and remained still, his ears acutely tuned to pick up every uttered word exchanged between the two on the bed.

"It's getting stronger, Heero." Duo spoke softly to his companion. " hurt like hell this time." The boy's voice sounded scared and emotional.

"I know," Heero replied with a despondent sigh. "I don't know what to do about it."

"This is too hard, Heero," Duo whispered, his voice hitching. "I don't wanna be here any more. Let's go back home. No one will separate us there," Duo implored as he sniffed softly, indicating to Wufei's ears that he was crying.

Opening his eyes slightly, the lieutenant could see just enough to observe what was happening in the room lit only by a single night light by the sink behind the bed the two shared. He could see that Heero was lying on his back with Duo pressed closely against his side, the braided head resting on his shoulder. Duo's pale, left hand was clutching Heero's t-shirt as if to hold the other boy in place. Heero's left arm was draped around his friend's shoulders, appearing both possessive and protective at the same time.

"We don't have a home to go to Duo. Remember?"

"Well, you would've if it wasn't for me," he sniffed and managed to sound pathetically miserable. "Besides, I don't care if we live on the streets or in a cardboard box, just as long as we're together. I don't wanna go through that kind of pain again. And liv'en on the street's not that hard. It's not like I haven't done it before," Duo added petulantly and sniffed again, and Wufei noticed the change in Duo's diction, reverting to the speech patterns he had when he first arrived at the training facility. He decided it was an sure indication of how upset Duo really was.

"Well I care," Heero's voice remained quiet but the tone of it was clipped with a bit of anger. "Think rationally, Duo. You know exactly where I would be if we hadn't met. And you know damn well that I can't take care of you with all the perverts that would be chasing you. Remember the trouble you had before you landed in juvie? With the way you look and the reaction you get from people, I'd be hard pressed to keep you safe from creeps and pimps. I can't fight everyone off that looks at you the wrong way, Duo."

Heero had been speaking in a terse tone of voice to his friend, but when he continued after a moment's pause, Wufei clearly detected a softening of Heero's voice and attitude. "At least this place is much safer than the streets and we're getting a good education that promises us a better future, Duo. Here we have clothing, shelter, a warm bed to sleep in and as much food as you can eat. Don't you remember how miserable it was living on the streets? I remember you telling me how cold you used to get, how hard it was to find a safe place to sleep. Remember how hungry you got and how difficult it was to get food? You don't want to go back to having perverts leering at you and pimps trying to catch you to make you work for them, do you?"

A pitiful "I remember" came from Duo, followed by a weak, "but I don't care." He then buried his head in the crook of Heero's neck as if the movement would take away all the bad memories that Heero's words brought back to him. Those frightening days, now behind him, continued to be a source of frequent nightmares, even now that he had Heero and was safe.

"I need you to care, Duo," Heero appealed to the boy in his arms. His hand came up and began to pet the long brown braid that trailed over Duo's shoulder and onto Heero's chest. "I'm really good at this. I was born to do this as were you, and they need pilots. You'll be good too if you can just advance out of Red. I can't go forward without you, and you know that."

"I know, Heero." Duo's voice came out small. "I'll try harder, because ya want me to."

Several moments of silence passed, giving the Chinese lieutenant time to think about what he'd overheard. He couldn't quite piece together the bits of their conversation to make much sense of what they were had said to each other. Questions hammered at his brain. What was getting stronger and why did they experience such pain? Why did they need to be together, enough for Duo to want to leave the training facility and return to the streets? Not able to come up with any believable answers and feeling a bit stiff from his awkward position, Wufei shifted in his chair to give the appearance of coming to a state of wakefulness and waited another moment to allow the two boys to shift apart a bit before he fully opened his eyes and greeted them with a grunt of "Good morning".

Wufei had to wait until sunrise to inform Quatre that the two were awake; he was then sent back to the barracks to help Trowa get the boys in Unit 5 ready for the day ahead. He was anything but happy that he would miss the conversation the young captain was going to have with the two in sick bay. He guessed that Quatre knew something about Heero and Duo, but he had been surprised to learn the day before that Quatre knew more of what was going on between them than the Commander. He had hinted that he knew more to his two lieutenants, but hadn't said a word to him of what he'd learned. After questioning Trowa, Wufei found the other boy was also in the dark regarding Heero and Duo. But it was really came as no surprise that Quatre knew something else was going on, something more than anyone else because he always had an uncanny ability to "know" things that other's didn't. And foremost, they both knew the blond teen was honorable to a fault. If he gave his word not to share a confidence, not even a superior officer would be able to drag it out of him.

Commander Reid stood next to the bed where the two boys in question sat next to each other, as usual, shoulder to shoulder. He noted that they looked better than they had the day before though a bit pale after their experience. He turned his eyes towards their captain and gave him a knowing look; he wanted answers and he wanted them now.

Quatre stood next to the bed by Duo's side, and the doctor positioned himself opposite him, next to Heero. In the older man's hand was his clipboard and pen, ready to take notes of their meeting.

Crossing his arms over his chest, the Commander addressed the blond. "Are you prepared to tell me what is going on here?" he asked.

Quatre nodded. "Heero and Duo have given me permission to tell you what I know, but with two stipulations."

The commander raised a dubious eyebrow. "What concessions do we need to make now?" he asked with no little amount of resentment.

The blond captain frowned. This was not how he wanted this meeting to start. "Well, sir," he began. "Because of the sensitive nature of Heero and Duo's ..ah..history, they would like yours and the doctor's word as an officer and a gentleman that this information will go no further than this room, and that what you learn here will not be used against either of them. They have reluctantly come to understand the importance of you, sir, and the doctor to know about their background and circumstances as it progresses."

Both the Commander and the doctor looked at the two on the bed who sat mutely listening to their captain speaking on their behalf. Both men frowned, trying to figure out what the young captain meant by their "circumstances progressing".

"Very well, I agree," the commander said abruptly. "And the doctor is bound by his own set of rules of patient confidentiality. Agreed doctor?"

The middle aged man nodded thoughtfully. "Agreed," he replied.

And with their vocal agreement given, the blond captain prepared to tell them something that he still had trouble believing was true.




On to Chapter seven

Back to Chapter five



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