Warning: YAOI alert.
Commander Reid watched as, over the next year, the two unique boys adjusted time after time to new situations. It was noted in his logs that there had only been one incident of backlash for Heero's well-known abuse to Duo. Several of the Yellow cadets thought to give him a little of his own medicine, thinking there was safely in numbers, they cornered the Japanese boy in the bathroom while he used the urinal. Heero did sustain minor injuries, however, they were just a fraction of the pain and suffering he'd inflicted on the four who had accosted him. After watching the ill angled video, shot from the hidden, stationary security camera, the commander put in his report that he was more than pleased with Mr. Yuy's reaction and performance in defending himself once again.
By the time the cast had been removed from Duo's arm, he was back in Unit Ten's barracks with Heero. Captain Zechs was given the task of observing the dynamics between the two teens and to report any aggressive behavior on Mr. Yuy's behalf towards his near inseparable friend. Zechs had nothing to cite other than the two seemed to disappear together and were unaccountably absent for short periods of time. The commander stretched the truth when he assured the Yellow leader, ignorant of the boys need to connect, that he needn't be concerned; the two just needed to seek some solitude for Yuy to meditate and that the cautious and private boy felt more safe in doing so in private with Mr. Maxwell watching his back. The tall blond captain grudgingly accepted the explanation.
Within the year they spent in Unit Ten together, the two boys surprised everyone by advancing through Yellow's ranks at an unbelievable rate and were rapidly progressing toward Green. They voluntarily bypassed the opportunity to spend a year being junior officers since neither boy expressed a desire for developing leadership skills. Instead they chose to concentrate on perfecting their individual talents and focusing on melding their strengths and weaknesses together to work as a unit, performing almost perfectly when given a task in which they worked as a team.
Anticipation was felt by both boys at the prospect of entering Green, which meant they would finally move out of a barracks and into a room that only the two of them would share together. This would allow more time for them to reconnect their ever growing bond with each other. Duo reported to the doctor that, once again, their bodies had changed and it was becoming harder for them to be away from each other for more than a few hours. The pain each of them experienced with any long separation was strong enough to became a distraction that was becoming harder to the both of them to deal with. At age fourteen, the two teens had grown in height since their arrival at the training facility, though they were both smaller than the average teenager, their sleekly muscled bodies were compact, agile and perfect for the martial arts both boys excelled in and well suited for reconnaissance and piloting. Also noticeable in their physical appearance was the change in their faces, they had lost some of their childish looks and their voices began to lower as they moved through puberty.
Duo did well in his studies where Heero excelled at the top of his class. Both boys exhibited excitement at the opportunity to practice in a real mobile suit that was part of Green's course of study. They entered the Green building for the first time filled with high expectations for each other and themselves. Simultaneously, Captain Zechs was finally released from his duty to Unit Ten and returned to his third level of training in Green, happy to be out of his over extended duty caused by the two unusual trainees.
The first level of Green began the boys' training for the armed mobile suits by practicing in a classroom setting, sitting in simulated cockpits that constituted their desks which consisted of a visual screen with three panels containing switches and buttons that corresponded with the actual fighting machines and responded in the faux battles to the trainee's touch.
The screens before them presented each prospective pilot with a series of computer generated battles and each boy fought through a series of changing battle scenarios, choosing his own strategy in solving the unique problems that arose with each simulated program, preparing the prospective pilot for the future battlefield. From that classroom, they moved to more advanced, simulated cockpits. Once a trainee completed that course successfully, he would advance to the actual armed mobile suits.
While in Green level, trainees were also introduced to hand weapons, explosives, infiltration techniques, and knowledge of devices used on various missions and intense hand-to-hand combat skills.
No longer a surprise to anyone, Heero proved to be the top of the class in all areas of combat. Duo stood beside him, excelling in the fields of explosives, infiltration techniques and intense hand-to-hand combat skills. He displayed a natural talent for things mechanical and possessed an instinctive understanding of their workings. Even in the simulators, he could make the mobile suits do amazing stunts that had the engineers scratching their heads. It became glaringly obvious that the two boys made a perfect team. When they were set together or singly against any other team or person, they were found to be unbeatable
Also as part of the Green's training, the students were given the opportunity for furthering their leadership skills by becoming junior officers once again, but this time to the Yellows. The commander counseled with the two exceptional trainees and by-passed that part of their education, which had been done in Yellow. Heero was a natural leader, but only to Duo. Though his military career would benefit from his having experience commanding subordinates, the commander found the stoic teen too much of a perfectionist to be able to deal with those of lesser skills than his own; his own history with Duo had proved that point.
Duo, so often Heero's opposite, seemed to draw people to him, and led then with ease. His charm and good looks seemed to make friends for him without any effort on his part. People of all ages seemed drawn to him, though the boy seemed unaware of this natural ability. He took their attention and gestures of friendship in stride, for all he really seemed to need was Heero as a constant in his daily life, always in eyesight or nearby. The few people that knew of their background could see the bond between the two growing stronger as they grew older. It was his dependence on Heero that made Duo an impractical leader, needing to be by Heero and usually deferring to his decisions.
Quatre, Wufei and Trowa had been advanced to Green the previous year, when the four Reds advanced to Yellow, and they quickly befriended the two as they entered the ranks of Green with the entire training school watching with curiosity and wonder as the two wonder boys progressed as rapidly through the ranks of Green as they had in Red and Yellow. The five former friends became a tight knit group, relaxing, working together as they honed their skills while enjoying each others' company. Before long they became the group to be envied and held in awe as their skills became perfected.
As Heero and Duo's first year in Green passed, all five of the friends neared the completion of their studies and training in Green and Heero and Duo began to approach the age of sixteen.
Having stayed after class to argue a point with his instructor, Heero walked through the mostly deserted halls towards the Green's mess hall. The moment his arm was grabbed, he knew by the touch and the surging warmth that flowed into him that it was Duo. He allowed the long-haired boy to pull him into the utility closet where he was promptly taken possession of. Turning to take hold of the slender boy, he pulled him tightly into his arms and deepened the kiss Duo immediately initiated. The connection between them opened, allowing the passage of strength, energy and emotions to pass between them. Both teens luxuriated in the feelings that coursed through their bodies as a result of their connection. They had found over time that when they were touching each other in a more intimate manner such as a kiss, they experienced a rush of "connection", which felt like a stimulating buzz of energy between them as well as the newest sensation of sensing each other's emotions.
"Ummm," Duo hummed his pleasure as their lips parted. "We're getting so damn good at this," he murmured as he moved his face to take hold of Heero's earlobe with his lips, his teeth teasingly tugging on it.
Heero closed his eyes as he let himself enjoy his partner's teasing. Moving his hands down the slender back, he cupped the curve of Duo's trim bottom and pressed him forward, bringing their pelvises firmly together. Duo gasped at the yearning sensations Heero evoked in him and dropped his head back, offering the slender column of his neck to the other boy. "How much longer do we have to wait?" he moaned quietly, ever mindful of the need for secrecy as Heero's lips took advantage of the exposed neck.
"A little over four months," Heero replied with his lips brushing the fair skin with a hint of regret in his slightly breathless voice.
Duo groaned with frustration but was quickly distracted as Heero's lips moved upward to find their way to his ear. After a few moments of enjoying the other boy's talented mouth, Duo reciprocated, shifting slightly and turning Heero's head with his hands until he found Heero's right ear. As his tongue dipped seductively to trace the creases of the lobe, and the boy they dubbed as the Perfect Trainee felt his knees starting to weaken under the welcomed assault.
Then abruptly, Duo pulled back to look entreatingly into Heero's face. "Why?" he asked. "Why the hell do we have to wait, Heero? We both want to go to the next step. A couple of months won't make a bit difference to anyone but us. We've been discreet; no one will even know that we've become lovers but the two of us."
"I just think we should wait," Heero replied, ever the tone of reason. "We told the commander we would."
Not willing to give up, the braided boy, still standing in the circle of Heero's arms, let his hand slide from Heero's shoulder to the front opening of the green jumpsuit. He deftly opened the top part and slipped his hand inside, running his finger teasingly over the firm chest and stopping only to tweak one of his nipples through his t-shirt. "Don't you want to make me yours?" he asked, looking up through the long strands of hair that fell across his forehead, his voice sounding innocent and sultry at the same time.
Heero's eyes narrowed and he smirked at the playful boy. "Never doubt for a moment that you are mine, Duo," he answered.
Duo wiggled his pelvis into Heero's, enjoying the shuddering pleasure that coursed through him as a result of it. Through the connection they shared, he knew that Heero enjoyed it, too.
"Please, Heero, I don't want to wait any longer," Duo said, appealing earnestly with eyes that reflected his passion and desire for the dark haired teen.
With a moan of surrender Heero pulled Duo forward and gave him a crushingly heated kiss, keeping their bodies close enough for the both of them to feel the evidence of their passion for each other.
Heero had been fighting off Duo's growing sexual assertiveness that had begun the moment they shared their first kiss, which at the moment seemed like an endless amount of time filled with torturous temptation and frustration. He thought it rather amusing that the boy who had once thought that the act of two males having sexual relations was 'gross' now worked diligently to bring that same event to a completion. It was as if that first kiss they shared in sick bay had turned on some type of a hormonal switch inside the braided boy, who had always been more tactile and demonstrative with his affections, but suddenly turned into a sexual being akin to a sultry siren. Suddenly Duo couldn't get enough contact. His hands were always searching to touch the bronzed skin, his lips always looking for a reason to press against Heero's lips and to renew the warm, buzzing and stimulating connection they both enjoyed at the simple but intimate touch of a kiss.
Heero understood Duo's desire to connect often, to get that feeling of being warm and whole, for he had that same need too. But he had always been the more disciplined of the two and knew their time to be more intimate hadn't come yet. And so for a little over a year it had been up to him to be the strong one, the voice of reason and sanity that Duo didn't want to hear, but reluctantly obeyed.
From the moment they were both fully advanced into Green and had entered their assigned room in that building, Duo latched himself onto him as soon as the door was closed, and though he was tempted to take the opportunity the private room gave them to become more intimate, Heero remained steadfast to his goal of waiting until they were sixteen. Yet that firm resolve had been slowly eroding, being chipped away each day by his near irresistible lifemate who purposely tempted him at every turn.
As Duo gripped Heero's shoulders to keep standing upright against the onslaught of feelings their touch produced, Heero pulled back slightly to look down into the flushed face before him to focus on Duo's tempting lips that were a bit more rosy and swollen than normal from their kissing. Heero suddenly wanted this boy above all else, and Duo's argument seemed to sway him from his former reasons for remaining celibate for the short amount of time they had left. He brought his hand up to tenderly stroke Duo's fair cheek. "Alright, but not here and not now." Those words were rewarded with a brilliant smile from the boy in his arms. "I don't want our first time together to be in a utility closet. Plus they'll be missing us in the cafeteria; we've stayed here too long."
Duo's eyes studied the other boy with a mischievous glint in his own. "Tonight?" he asked in a hopeful whisper.
Heero nodded as he pulled him in for a quick, passionate kiss, then cautiously led Duo out of the closet and into the empty hallway.
The room was filled with flickering candlelight from candles stolen from emergency supplies in a storage room and fixed onto discarded jar lids that Duo had gathered from the mess hall trash can and placed all around the small room.
The moment lights out began, Duo came into his arms and they kissed hungrily as clever hands began to pull their underclothes off of the both of them.
The two managed to make it to Heero's bed that had the covers pulled down to the foot of it and towels laid out to protect the sheets from the activity they were about to engage in.
Falling onto the mattress, they held each other close; their lips and hands moving against the other's body, each touch carrying them towards the physical joining that, for the moment, was more important than the air filling their lungs. Both boys felt the "pull" that always brought them together increase to a greater degree than they had previously experienced. It was as if the mysterious connection drew them to the next step of their relationship as their desire for each other turned into a desperate, consuming need.
With room temperature oil, filched from the kitchen cupboards, the two boys had all they needed to consummate their relationship. They lay on their sides facing each other as their mouths continued to make love and their hands explored the other's naked flesh. Their passion rose quickly, both eagerly anticipating their joining as Heero rolled Duo underneath him and eased the other boy's willing legs open. He then reached his fingers out to the bowl of oil on his bed table, coating them completely before he turned back to his mate and followed the instructions he'd read from a site on the Internet on how to prepare his partner so he would not experience pain at their joining.
Duo arched and moaned as Heero hit something inside of him that sent a shot of erotic pleasure through his body and, unable to take much more of the feelings that surged through him, he lifted his knees up, offering an open invitation for Heero to claim him. A gift Heero readily accepted.
Collapsing, sated and panting from his exertions onto the sticky stomach and chest of the boy beneath him, Heero took a deep breath as he recovered from their first real experience of making love with his life partner.
Putting his arms around his slender lover, Heero rolled off of Duo and over onto his bed pulling the other boy's slack body up against his own, leaving his lover ensconced in his arms with Duo's head and part of his upper body resting on his chest. His long, loose hair blanketed the both of them as their rapidly beating hearts began to slow to a more normal heart rate and coherent thought began to come back to them.
A smile grew on the long haired boy's face as his thoughts became more clear. /Man, that was... great,/ Duo thought to himself, then frowned as he shifted slightly, feeling a bit uncomfortable. /Kinda sore, but damn, if that wasn't worth it./ He sighed, then yawned sleepily as his feeling for the boy holding him came to mind. /It kind of scares the crap outta me, but I love you, Heero. I've never loved or been loved before I met you. Hum, I wonder when we can do that again?/
"In a little while," Heero murmured as his hand slowly stroked Duo's back, covered with his long, loose hair.
"Duo?" The two questioned each other simultaneously and with no little amount of shock.
Lifting his head from off of Heero's moist skin, Duo looked up to Heero's startled face, to his lips in particular to make sure they weren't moving. /Can you hear me?/ he thought, placing his fingers over his own mouth to make sure his lips didn't move.
/Very clearly,/ Heero replied with his lips pressed together.
"Cool," Duo whispered with his feeling of awe in his voice and sparkling in his eyes.
The eyes of both of the boys widened and then their smiles grew with understanding that they were speaking into each other's mind.
"Telepathy," Heero said in way of explanation. "Thought transference. They designed us to read each other's minds after we connected sexually."
"What a weird bunch of perverts those scientists were," Duo chuckled. "Do you think they spent long nights being hard up and horny after dreaming up things like this; making their little experiments crave to have sex with each other and then reward them with the ability to talk into each other's mind?"
"I don't care what they did at this point," Heero answered, his hand brushing some of the stray hair away from Duo's expressive eyes. "I can forgive them almost anything because they gave me you."
Duo's eyes softened, love radiating from them as the moved up to tenderly kiss the boy he was bound to for the rest of his life.
The two spent the remainder of the night exploring their new talent that was, apparently, a result of their love making. Heero thought that maybe this latest change in their bond, their new telepathic ability, was triggered by the physical joining their bodies as well as their emotions. It didn't make sense, but then what about them did? He reasoned with Duo that, evidently, the scientists who had manipulated their bodies and cell structure did so with the intent that the two specimens of study would come to receive the changes that were made to them at a gradual pace. That would explain their ever changing need for each other and skills, and now this.
They communicated for hours within their minds even as their hands moved slowly over each other's body, enjoying the sensation of touch and their body and mind's reaction to that sensation as they rediscovered each other again before succumbing to an exhausted sleep in the early hours of the morning.
The next day, however, brought the realization to the two lovers that being in each other's thoughts was not all that they had anticipated when they were lying in bed together after making love the night before. What at first seemed to be a wonderful tool to add to their list of skills, soon overwhelmed the both of them. In their morning classes, Heero found it hard to concentrate as Duo's mind shifted from the lecture to comments about their friends and surroundings, then to his thoughts concerning his boredom with the subject being taught. Heero picked up Duo's observations on the day outside the classroom's windows and followed up that train of thought with his ideas about what he wanted to do that night in the privacy of their room. Both boys were reprimanded by their instructor several times for their inattention.
As they were dismissed from their second class of the day and the trainees moved towards their next class, Duo put his hands over his ears as Heero went on a tirade in his mind about paying attention and forcefully shared his feelings of frustration at the situation. The large, blue-violet eyes squeezed shut as Duo tried to escape the scathing rebuke that came from Heero.
"Stop it!" he yelled out loud, drawing everyone's attention to him as he abruptly stopped in the middle of the crowded hallway while they exchanged classes. Those watching the upset boy standing with his hands over his ears and eyes squeezed shut wondered what was wrong with Duo and why Heero was standing a few feet behind him with an expression of anger on his face, his narrowed dark eyes boring into the back of Duo's head while his arms were straight and stiff at his side with his hands balled up into fists.
"What are you doing to him?" Wufei demanded as he came to stand behind the Japanese boy and seeing his friend in some sort of agony.
"Stay out of it, Wufei," Heero growled without glancing briefly away from his lover. "This is between Duo and I."
Wufei ignored the taciturn and angry looking boy as he reached out and grabbed a hold of Duo's arm. "Come on Duo. I think you two need a break from each other."
Despite the piercing glare directed to him by Heero, the Chinese boy led the braided one, hands still over his ears, away from Heero. Not twenty-five feet away, Duo abruptly halted again and turned to glare at his partner and stomped his foot. He then put his clenched hands defiantly on his hips. With a lift of his chin he seemed to be taking a silent but quite visible stubborn stance. Looking down the hallway to where Duo's glare was directed, Heero also stood in a similar pose.
"Come on," Wufei growled and took hold of his friend's arm again and led Duo to his next class. He was grateful that the two were in separate classes that period, but Duo's performance that hour proved to be just as poor as in his earlier classes.
By lunch time, Wufei noticed his braided friend was too agitated to stand still. He'd stayed back with his friend and watched helplessly as Duo paced back and forth in the now empty classroom. Every few minutes he would grab his head with both hands and shake it as if saying no, then he would mumble something unintelligible under his breath.
"Duo, talk to me. Tell me what's wrong," Wufei pleaded, not understanding or liking what was going on. He was becoming increasingly worried for his friend as the memory of Duo's first visit to the infirmary while in Red came back to him. He finally grabbed a hold of the pacing boy to make him stand still. "Duo, did Heero hurt you?" he demanded.
The braided boy looked up and Wufei noted that his large, expressive eyes were even more stunning now then when he had arrived at the school several years ago. But today they were watery and filled with unspoken pain. Duo reached out to him with a tentative hand.
"Wufei...help...I..." But his hand stopped. He closed his eyes and shook his head. "No Heero. No. He's just my friend," Duo cried out softly.
Wufei looked around the room, trying to figure out if Heero was somewhere in the room and ready to attack him for being alone with Duo. Heaven knew he'd threatened enough over the years. The Japanese boy had remained overly possessive of Duo and Wufei had to tread carefully as their friendship grew. In the three years he had known them, Heero and especially Duo had grown more attractive. And during that time, he had watched and studied the both of them, and observed an increase in Heero's possessive manner in regards to his braided friend. Wufei managed to maintain his friendship with Duo, which Heero grudgingly accepted, though he had been reminded repeatedly by the Japanese boy that Duo was his friend. That statement had gotten old fast, and for the most part, Wufei ignored it. He still didn't understand them, but knew that something unusual and extraordinary was going on between the two unusually close teens and today it was obvious that something new was happening.
Not knowing what else to do to help his friend, Wufei pulled the agitated boy into his arms and held him close to his chest, as he had done occasionally in order to offer comfort to Duo when Heero was upset or cross with him or separated for a long period of time. Over the past year, he'd done everything but beg Duo to tell him what was going on between the two of them, why Heero had so much power over him, but the smaller boy refused to answer, saying it was a government secret, and he always joked that if he told him, he'd have to kill him. So after several years from the time the two came to the training facility, Wufei was still in the dark.
Standing at the back of the deserted classroom, the Chinese teen felt Duo's body trembling against his own as he held him tightly in his arms. He moved his hands over his friend's back and murmured reassurances into his ear and he tried to sooth the distraught boy.
They both jumped, being startled when the classroom door was forcefully flung open and slammed against the wall as a tense looking Heero entered the room. Wufei's eyes narrowed as he scrutinized the other boy, suddenly realizing that Heero's eyes seemed to be unfocused and he appeared to be moving in a daze as his eyes scanned the room then stopped on the two of them standing near the back wall. With a hand going to his head, Heero staggered forward as he moved in their direction.
Directly behind Heero came Trowa and Quatre who were obviously following Heero with twin looks of concern. They had obviously seen his agitated state and followed him to the classroom.
"What's going on Heero?" Wufei asked, a little relieved that it appeared he wasn't going to be attacked by him. "What's wrong with Duo?"
Heero reached his hand out to Duo though he stopped several feet away from him. The braided boy turned out of Wufei's embrace and as soon as his eyes focused on Heero and flung himself into that boy's open arms.
"I'm sorry, Heero. I c..c.. can't help it. Oh God, make it stop," Duo pleaded. "I don't like this. It's too much," he cried out almost incoherently against Heero's shoulder while his hands grabbed desperately at the other boy's strong shoulders.
"I know. I... I... know," Heero mumbled again and began trying to sooth Duo with his halting words and trembling hands rubbing the slender boy's back. To the others observing the drama before them, Heero seemed to be having as hard a time as Duo in focusing or saying any other words in communicating what was going on.
Wufei exchanged a curious glance at his other two friends. He focused on Quatre's face, finding it a study of concentration then watched as the blond stepped forward and around the two to face Heero.
"What's happened, Heero?" he asked. "Are you in pain?" Quatre waited for an answer and watched Heero's unfocused eyes slowly lift and try to focus on his face.
The Japanese boy's mouth seemed to move, but at first no words came out. He closed his eyes and shook his head. "Duo," he whispered to the boy in his arms. "Think of the sky on a clear, sunny day. Let that vision calm you."
Duo's breath hitched slightly, but he nodded and seemed to relax slightly, his head resting on Heero's shoulder. After a moment, Heero opened his eyes again, now appearing more alert. "Our connection has changed, Quatre," he whispered quietly in trying to keep the information from the other two standing behind the blond. "We're in each other's head now and we can't concentrate. It's a constant distraction."
A strangled noise came from Duo as he clung to Heero. "The sky, Duo. Imagine the blue sky. Put some clouds and some seagulls in it," Heero gently suggested, knowing he needed to keep Duo's mind calm and un-communicating in order to get them some help.
Quatre looked behind him at his friends to see them looking at the two clinging together with twin, stunned looks on their faces. Heero and Duo's confusion came off in waves toward him and he knew he needed to get them out of that room and to the doctor in the infirmary. Turning away, he ignored Trowa and Wufei and focused instead on the two that needed him. "Can you make it to the infirmary?" he asked Heero, who answered by simply giving him a slight nod of his head.
"Come on Duo." Quatre put his hands on the braided boy's shoulder and turned him away from Heero's steadying embrace.
He paused for a moment to study Duo's eyes, they were definitely unfocused and he looked traumatized. Heero reached out almost blindly and took hold of Duo's arm, but the braided boy had other ideas and slipped it out of Heero's grasp and quickly placed both of his hands on Heero's upper arm, tightly gripping the sleeve of his jumpsuit, obviously needing to be guided and reassured.
"Lead us," Heero managed to say, holding his free hand out as if he were blind. Quatre took it and motioned for Wufei to go to the other side of Duo and help him along.
"Wufei is going to help support Duo, alright Heero?"
Heero nodded and the odd group of five made its way through the halls to the centrally located room that housed the well known infirmary. The eyes and whispers of the other students followed the strange procession as the five Greens passed by them on their way to the sick bay, walking at a snail's pace and oddly linked together.
Several times their progress halted as either Heero or Duo had to stop to re-center themselves. Quatre took a cue from Heero's earlier suggestions and began to give them both a calm subject to envision. It soon became clear that such a visual suggestion helped them recover more quickly, especially if they both pictured the same object. The affected teens visibly calmed and they once again began to make some progress towards obtaining help.
Trowa ran ahead to the Green infirmary and called for the base's doctor who immediately contacted Commander Reid. By the time they arrived, the doctor and his nurse were there to greet the two dazed boys and led into the examining room, each sharing a look of deep concern at the stunned appearance on the faces of the training facility's brightest trainees.
Quatre quickly relayed to the doctor what Heero related to him. The two boys were questioned, but their answers, if they answered at all, were brief, halting and confused.
Commander Reid burst through the infirmary's door, having rushed from his office when he had been informed that something was happening with two of his top trainees. He was quickly informed of the sketchy information they had gleaned about what was going on, then he turned to the doctor with a new order. "Sedate Mr. Maxwell," he said sternly.
The doctor nodded and within a minute the braided boy's jumpsuit had been unfastened and stripped to his waist and the needle pricked the newly exposed upper arm of the unprotesting boy. Duo was quickly led to a bed by the doctor and Wufei and, after removing the rest of his jumpsuit and shoes, he was settled on it and covered up for a long sleep. His unfocused eyelids drooped immediately and he fell into a deep sleep, blessedly unaware of the conversation that was about to take place.
Heero blinked several times, his eyes becoming more focused. He looked up into the expectant faces of those around him, then his eyes searched out and found Duo's sleeping body.
"Sedated," Wufei supplied the answer to the unasked question.
"Now, Mr. Yuy, tell us what's going on," the commander ordered.
During the confusion and worry, it was easily forgotten that there were two in the room who were not fully informed about the condition regarding the two boys who were now the focus of everyone's concern. Neither Wufei nor Trowa volunteered to leave the room, but listened carefully to the conversation that was going on around them, hoping for further enlightenment.
Without Duo's voice and thoughts in his mind distracting him, Heero could think clearly once again. "Duo and I can read each other's thoughts," he abruptly informed them. "We share a form of telepathy with each other, but we can't turn it off. Our thoughts are mingling and crashing against each others and it keeps us from concentrating or thinking clearly. We couldn't have even walked here on our own, we had to have help." He had the appearance of being lost and worried as he looked to the doctor for help. "I think those who created us designed this particular talent to be used in combat or in infiltration, but Duo and I don't have any training in this. I can't imagine that we're supposed to hear each others thoughts all the time. It's distracting to the point of being disruptive and it makes me ineffective in my studies and training." Clearly upset, Heero's voice rose along with his ire. "How could the scientists have ever thought we would be productive as a specialized team with this ability if it's uncontrolled like this?"
"How did this happen Heero?" the doctor asked in a soothing tone of voice, hoping to calm the agitated boy. "When did this start? Did anything happen that might have initiated this new change?"
The five watching the dark haired boy intently noticed immediately that Heero began to blush with embarrassment and averted his eyes. The three boys exchanged surprised and curious glances while the doctor and commander kept their eyes on the boy.
"Last night," Heero answered quietly.
"Did something cause it or did it just come on spontaneously?"
Heero looked like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming car.
"Did you and Duo do something last night to bring this on?" The doctor persisted.
Heero nodded, his eyes focused on a spot of gravy on the doctor's tie. It was obvious that any further information was going to have to be pried out of him.
"When do you turn sixteen Heero?" the commander asked, his eyes steadfast on the boy, his voice crisp and cool.
Heero lifted his head to lock eyes with the man who held the power to nurture or destroy his and Duo's future.
"Officially, in four months, thirteen days," he replied. "Unofficially, last night."
Commander Reid's face remained placid with the exception of one raised eyebrow. "I see," he replied coolly. "And do you think that is what caused your thoughts to merge?"
Heero nodded, still unable to bring himself to look in anyone's eyes. "Almost instantly."
Wufei watched the facial expressions around him. He knew his own face probably reflected Trowa's look of confusion at the cryptic conversation between the commander and Heero. However, Quatre and the doctor's faces showed the mirrored expression of surprised enlightenment.
"Oh!" Quatre said involuntarily as he came to an understanding and blushed brightly.
The sound of his quiet exclamation turned the commander's attention to the blond, studying him closely for a moment.
The doctor began to analyze the situation out loud. "So what we have here are two boys who read each other's minds but have no way of shutting it on or off. But because they more than likely have been genetically designed that way, there must be a way of dealing with it to make it workable so they can function not only as a unit, but as an individual not driven to distraction. From several articles I've read in medical journals about mental telepathy, the solution used before has been to find a way to put up mental barriers that can be raised and lowered at will, blocking out the distractions in order to concentrate."
'Can you help us with that Mr. Winner?" the commander pointedly asked the blond teen.
Once again the room fell silent. Wufei and Trowa exchanged a bewildered glance at each other. 'What could Quatre possibly know or do that would help this situation?' they each asked themselves.
"I ...I don't know. Maybe I can. But I think a specialist should be called in."
Heero looked questioningly at the blond, but then answered his suggestion with his own concern. "Then more people would know about us and it could possibly become more dangerous for Duo and I to stay here," he said with a dark frown on his face.
"I'm talking about an ESP specialist," Quatre told his friend. "A trained professional that could help you understand what you're experiencing and help you build mental blocks. Believe me, it really helps, Heero."
"I don't want any one in my mind. You know what I hide, Quatre. I'd probably have to kill someone outside this group if they should learn about us and what we are. I won't have Duo or myself put in jeopardy." The serious look on Heero's face showed his willingness to carry out his dark threat in order to protect his and Duo's lives.
"I don't think we need to go to that extreme, Mr. Yuy," The commander corrected his top trainee.
"I'll do what I have to in order to keep us safe," Heero replied firmly.
"I understand that," Commander Reid responded in a tone and manner as serious as Heero's. "But let's see what Mr. Winner can do to help before we try to find any outside help, alright?"
Heero's eyes turned to the blond teen. "What qualifies you to help us, Quatre?" he asked, as if interviewing a job applicant.
The blue-green eyes met his before Quatre answered quietly. "I have empathic abilities, Heero," the blond confessed for the first time to his friends. "I came into them as I got older and they developed slowly, even without me being aware of it. At first I could just tell when people were lying, then I began to sense everyone's emotions. I can only describe it as being very overwhelming. I was bombarded by everyone's anger, resentment, happiness, sorrow, and you can only imagine how hard that must have been living in a house full of sisters. When my father found me locked in the closet of my bedroom and refusing to come out, he dragged out of me the reason for my behavior and immediately sent for the family doctor. Even though he was skeptical, thinking I was making it all up for attention, our family physician recommended a psychiatrist. From there I went from one type of specialist to another until one of them decided I wasn't delusional or had split personalities and he sent me to an ESP specialist." An expression of pain crossed the blond teen's face as he remembered a very difficult time in his life. "You can't believe how many doctors and psychiatrists I saw or the tests they put me through until that one doctor was finally brave enough to suggest to my father what he believed was wrong with me.
My father was skeptical, but didn't hesitate to make the appointment with the referred ESP specialist. He was this cool, middle aged guy, and being an empath himself, he knew how to build mental blocks to help me filter out many of the emotions I was picking up. These blocks help me to function normally without sensing everyone around me. Now I choose when to use my abilities and when to shut them down."
Behind Quatre, Heero saw the shocked expressions on Wufei's and Trowa's faces. It was clear they had no knowledge of Quatre's hidden gift. Heero turned his focus back on the blond.
"Tell me what Trowa and Wufei are feeling?" he asked.
Quatre's eyes widened slightly at the request, but he realized Heero was looking for some evidence of his ability and seeking the truth of his story. He nodded his head and closed his eyes. His blond eyebrows knitted together for a moment before he spoke in a quiet voice. "They are both shocked at what we've revealed here," he began. "And I sense they are both a bit hurt that they didn't know anything about my abilities because we've been friends for years and I never said anything. Both are also curious about you and Duo and are confused about what's going on from the fragments of conversation they've picked up. Trowa has figured out the connection made last night and Wufei is puzzled but hoping to learn more. Neither are happy about my uninvited intrusion into their emotions."
As the blond's eyes re-opened, Heero looked to the other two for confirmation that Quatre had been right in speaking of their feelings. "Does he speak the truth?" he asked them.
Trowa nodded immediately and Wufei hesitated, his eyes narrowed in what looked to be anger or betrayal. He gave a hesitant, curt nod of his head.
Satisfied, Heero returned his attention to the blond. "Do you think you can help us? Give us these blocks?"
"I don't know," Quatre replied with a look of worry on his pale features. "I'm willing to try if you are." His eyes then brightened with a bit of humor. "After all, it's in our best interest to spare the life of a real specialist." He grinned, making a slight joke out of Heero's earlier threat to kill anyone out of their circle. In return, the Japanese boy did what would have been more characteristic of his counterpart and he shocked everyone as he reached out his hand and playfully shoved Quatre's shoulder in return for the blond's teasing.
Duo woke up slowly and in a groggy state from his induced sleep. /Time to wake up, Duo./ He heard Heero's voice in his head and felt the nearness of his partner. With his eyes still closed he reached up, his hands immediately coming into contact with Heero's shoulders and his arms pulled the other boy down to press their lips together, immediately strengthening their connection again, reaffirming their bond to each other.
He could sense humor in Heero's thoughts as he heard words in his mind, /We're not alone, Duo./
Because of the detected humor, Duo disregarded any reservations and deepened the kiss.
"Alright!" Heero broke away with a chuckle as he spoke out loud and pulled himself up, still leaning over his partner. "Enough."
Duo opened his eyes to see Heero smiling just above him and he returned it warmly. When he turned his head, his eyes took in the fact that both Quatre and the doctor were standing next to him and desperately trying to look anywhere else in the room other than at them.
"Oh damn!" the braided boy said as a horrified look came over his face.
"It's alright, they know," Heero quickly reassured him.
Duo's eyes turned back to the dark blue ones above him. "Know what?" he asked, worried at what had gone on while he slept.
"Everything?" Duo's voice squeaked. "Even about last night?"
Heero nodded his head, looking sheepish.
"Dammit Heero!" Duo shook his head in unhappy disbelief. "I go to sleep for a little while and you blab our deep, dark secrets to everyone."
"It was on a need to know basis," Heero replied in a matter-of-fact, slightly defensive tone.
"Who else knows?"
"Commander Reid, Trowa and Wufei," the Japanese boy answered.
Duo grimaced with an expression of pain on his face and slapped his hands to his forehead and rubbed the skin there, hard. "Shit Heero, two more? At the rate we're going, the whole school will know everything about us by the time we graduate."
"They're sworn to secrecy," was Heero's serious reply.
The two stopped speaking out loud to each other, but Duo expressed his fears, emotions and thoughts through his mind link and clearly transmitted them to the other boy. His fears seemed to steam roll as Heero acknowledged his own fears of retribution and the loss of friendship when Trowa and Wufei put the pieces together and found out about their physical relationship. He continued to communicate his worries of their relationship being leaked out past the school, that they might become the target of rival political and military factions who might go to great lengths to obtain them for use or study or simply eliminate them as a possible threat. He worried that, if they were discovered and captured, the opposition would no doubt use them to meet their own purposes. But their joint, shared fear overrode all other worries as the two felt terrified at the possibility of becoming a curiosity to governments and research doctors if their unique circumstances and abilities were to be made known. They could be relegated to the status of being lab rats again, which was a very real fear for the both of them.
Hearing Duo's fears and seeing his dark, worrisome thoughts reflected in his eyes, Heero forced himself to push back his own rising concerns and worry to try and reassure the braided boy, but he found it impossible to fully succeed in keeping his feelings completely hidden from his worried partner.
At the touch of a hand on his shoulder, Heero turned his head to see Quatre behind him, his sympathetic gaze clearly displaying his empathy for what both of the boys sitting on the bed were feeling. "I know you're scared," the blond said with compassion. "But you've got friends. We'll protect you," he assured them.
Duo looked over to his blond friend for the first time since Heero had discussed their relationship. "You're not disgusted with us, Quatre? You don't hate us?"
The blond boy's eyes softened and his hand reached forward and gently stroked the mussed hair of the worried boy. "Of course not, Duo. Why would I hate or be disgusted by you? Because you're different?"
Duo nodded, his expressive eyes were wide, making him appear so young and unsure of himself. He reached out and searched for Heero's hand and clasped it firmly in his own.
"I also understand fear and prejudice because I'm different, too." Quatre said with a knowing look on his face.
"You're different?" Duo asked perplexed. "How?"
Quatre nodded, his eyes looking sad. "People aren't very comfortable with someone who has the ability to know what they're feeling; if they're telling the truth, being evasive, or hiding something."
Duo's eyes widened.
"He has another form of ESP Duo," Heero informed the bewildered teen. "Some form of telepathy, like us, but with emotions."
A horrified look came over Duo's face. "Have you known about us all this time?" he gasped.
"No, Duo." Quatre rushed to say. "At least not with my senses. But I did come to know over time because I put together your actions along with things that were said between you the commander and the doctor. I was there when Heero told the doctor and commander that you were to be life partners." He gave a slight smile to both, showing them he had gotten used to the idea and it didn't bother him. "As to my empathic abilities, I was taught by a specialist how to put up mental blocks in order to help me not feel all the emotions around me. Sometimes they break through, if the emotions are really strong, but I have no desire to intrude on anyone's private feelings so I keep my blocks up most of the time."
Duo turned to give Heero a searching look.
"He's going to teach us how to put up these mental blocks so that we're only in each other's minds when we want or need to be," Heero explained.
Quatre nodded as Duo's gaze turned back to him. "I've already made some progress with Heero and after dinner, he'll sleep so I can work with you."
Duo checked his watch and frowned. "Man, no wonder I'm hungry. I slept all afternoon and skipped lunch. Let's eat!"
On to Chapter ten
Back to Chapter eight