Disclaimer: I still don't own Gundam Wing. Dammit.
I listened carefully to every move Heero made as he readied himself for work. As I was, I couldn't do any work even if I wanted
to. And Heero had made me swear not to go on any missions during this month.
Usually Heero came in to help me get up so I could eat breakfast with him. He also used to stay and make sure I managed to
bathe myself on my own. He would wait outside the bathroom and call to me if even the slightest sound emerged that seemed
off. That had been humiliating, but at least I'd stayed in the hospital until I'd managed to bathe myself. Having a nurse
do it had been embarrassing enough.
My mind switched back and forth on me, pointing out Heero's words yesterday, then switched immediately to the box in the trash.
A warning, obviously to see my reaction. To scare me into leaving, or to scare me into action? Maybe they just liked toying
I could smell breakfast cooking. It was only a matter of time before Heero entered. We hadn't talked about anything else serious
yesterday, but it had caught me by surprise – my desire to hear the end of... the little mini-conversation. He'd avoided
it the same way I'd tried to avoid his question.
Heero sighed. “Sometimes... I wonder. Your eyes sometimes tell me things they don't mean to. Like whenever Wufei
comes over... you seem sadder.”
Oh shit oh shit oh shit.
I shrugged. “Well... you guys are...” I waved my hand at him, hoping whatever sadness entered my eyes wasn't too...
big. “I feel like I'm in the way...” Oh god.
Heero's eyes flashed a lot of things. Embarrassment was the one I saw first. “That was...” Heero? Flustered? Shit.
“Hey, hey,” I waved my arms wildly, then winced. Loudly. Uh-oh.
Heero's eyes zeroed in on my pain. “Duo.” He rushed over, gently checking my arm. “Don't overdo it, Duo,”
he warned. “You're still recuperating.”
“Why thank you, doctor,” I teased. “It's not that bad. I just forget sometimes.”
Heero frowned. “Duo...”
“Yeah, yeah. Look, anyway, it's not that big a deal. You two have a thing. Okay, so? You think I'm gonna freak out or
Heero shook his head, then looked away. “It's... not...” But his face was beet red. And very, very close to mine.
“Um, don't move that arm.” He got up and hurried back to the mixer. “Duo?”
“You didn't answer the question.”
Sneaky bastard. Why the hell was Heero so flustered? Thinking about it more, Heero seemed really uncomfortable talking about
his relationship with Wufei. But the two of them were completely natural around each other. What was it about talking to me
about their relationship that disturbed them? They said it wasn't a secret... did they just not like talking about it? But
“Duo?” Heero knocked.
It was a courtesy I didn't understand; this was his freaking house. “Yeah?” As if I didn't know what he wanted.
“May I come in?”
I rolled my eyes. “Of course.”
Heero opened the door then, shining the light from the hall directly into my eyes. I squinted and smiled at him. He looked
good in that ridiculous uniform. I'd always thought that camo green looked hideous on everyone, but Heero once again proved
me wrong. “'Morning.”
Heero's face held a smile again. “Good morning.”
I grumbled about the word good. I hated mornings. Didn't Heero, too?
Heero chuckled. “I don't know, I think I had a good rest last night.”
Funny, I hadn't.
I cocked an eyebrow. “Really.”
“Yes. That's the first time you and I managed to have a full-fledged conversation.” Heero seemed extremely pleased
I had to admit, it had been... good... to get a couple of things off my chest. And at least now I had a better appreciation
of Heero's irritation. It was a pain to not know why his relationship with Wufei was such a sensitive subject.
“So, what's for breakfast?” I asked, sitting up. If I were alone, I would stand up and move to my wheelchair.
With Heero, such an action would not be appreciated.
Heero quickly held me up and deposited me in my waiting wheelchair. I glared at the thing as Heero moved me to the kitchen.
I had suffered this too many times to be blushing again today. “Pancakes. Wufei will be coming by today to take you
to your appointment.”
I scowled at he thought of dealing with Mr. Zencroft again, then smirked. Wufei, huh? Great. Maybe I could interrogate him
about their relationship. Subtly, of course. “Pancakes? Cool.”
Heero chuckled. “Thank you, by the way.”
“Huh?” For what? Not whining about going to my appointment? But I never did...
“For talking to me yesterday. I know it was hard for you.”
I almost swallowed my tongue. “Uh, well...” I shrugged, then cowered under Heero's mother-hen glare. “Oops.
Heero shook his head. “I'm glad we've begun to talk.”
I didn't want to think about Heero's evasion, but I couldn't help it. But Heero had started opening up before I had, so...
“Yeah, well...” I continued stupidly.
Heero swung us into the kitchen and situated me by the table. The chair that had once sat there had been moved to make room
for me. I was a little short for the table, but I never said anything. Heero moved to the stove – the man's abilities
over there were freaking scary – and dished up two pancakes. He brought the plate over and returned to make a new batch.
“Thanks,” I murmured quietly, feeling bad. Heero had to practically spoon-feed me everything. I was slowing him
I couldn't help but think about what that might mean if my mystery stalker decided to attack. Quatre and I were practically
out of commission. If the man were to only target me and leave everyone else alone, I wouldn't have too much of a problem.
But what if Heero or Wufei decided to protect me?
I stared glumly at my food.
“Duo? Don't you like it?”
I jumped guiltily. “Of course I do,” I scoffed with a smile. To prove it, I grabbed the butter and syrup on the
table and added them both liberally, then dug in.
Heero shook his head. “Too much syrup,” he muttered, but he was smiling. “Remember your appointment,”
he reminded me.
“Yes, Mama-Yuy,” I joked, mouth full. I swallowed and cast a grin behind me to the stove. The room was oddly homey,
I thought, not for the first time. Heero had made his house a home. The kitchen's wall was a light, light yellow, something
I had not expected when first entering. It had cooking utensils, just like a chef's home. And had a framed quote. I had no
idea what it could be called, whether it was a painting or what, but it was a decorated quote in a frame. I'd memorized it
long ago. 'The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.' Said by some guy
named Arthur C. Clark. (1)
There was a plant hanging by the back door, well-watered and cared for. A few of its vines hung down, draping themselves in
the air. It was... comfortable. Heero had made a nice place.
Heero grumbled something probably related to my teasing comment. “I'll get those writing pads for you before returning.
I felt an instant slam of guilt. “You don't have to,” I murmured.
“It isn't because I have to that I'm doing it,” Heero admonished. I heard the sound of batter sizzling and knew
Heero had flipped the pancakes.
“Well...” I blushed. “Thank you.” I snatched up a huge bite and stuffed it all in my mouth. Hopefully
Heero wouldn't let me talk with my mouth full again. Or at least now I had an excuse to not speak.
Heero seemed to sense my discomfort. “Do you know what you'll be doing today for Mr. Zencroft?”
I held up a finger, relieved, and proceeded to chew. I gulped it down and answered. “Actually...”
Just for practice, I told myself. I couldn't afford to be helpless right now. I had to be able to do something, or
else I was just a sitting duck. I couldn't let that happen.
My legs were the least screwed-up part of me, though moving them aggravated my stomach to the point of agony. Using my arms
was out, though; I could hardly move them, let alone use them to lift me up. I carefully positioned myself as best as I could.
Then I tried to stand up.
I screamed in pain almost immediately and fell back into my chair, having hardly made it an inch. My god but that hurt. I
took a deep breath, then winced again. No wonder Heero had argued with me when I'd wanted to try to stand. I wasn't ready.
Not even close. Gods. Not good.
One more time. One more time, and this time I would have to ignore the piercing pain in my abdomen and arms and...
I didn't let myself think about it but just used my legs to push me, my arms only to balance. My stomach burned. I cried out
again, but used my scream to push me, make me get up. Sweat broke out across my skin. I didn't breathe. My heartbeat was painful
I took a small step forward, then another and another until I was leaning against the wall. A plain color of paint, a light
intensity of a dark blue hue. A sofa table sat beside me. I turned to it and stared at the Chinese dragon figurine on top
of it. It stood front and center, its mouth wide, its dark blue scales shining. It was most likely a gift from Wufei. I hated
how lovely it was.
I took my time, allowing myself shallow breaths. It hurt, but at least I was up. I wouldn't be able to fight like this, though.
I couldn't even hold myself up! This was bad. I had too much more recovery to do. I was spinning from worried to panicked
quick when I heard the doorbell ring.
I turned my head to the door. The UPS driver again? Or was it...?
I grimaced. At least I was alone right now. And Wufei wasn't supposed to show up for at least a little longer... if I made
this quick, maybe no one else would get hurt.
I scowled. I didn't like suicide.
I struggled to the door, panting like a dog. My hand clutched the wall, then carefully pushed off it, allowing me into the
small lobby in front of the door. I fell on the door for a moment. Heavy. I was so fucking heavy for some reason. I wanted
to clutch my stomach, but my arms were too tired to try. The burning sensation was worse. Even if I had a gun in my hand,
I wouldn't be able to use it. I was completely vulnerable.
I didn't want to go down without a fight. But I didn't think I'd be able to help it.
With a wince, I leaned off the door and opened it.
Wufei stared at me in horror.
I winced as a pounding centered mercilessly in my head. “Um, hi?” I whispered, but it hurt to speak. I felt my
stomach spike with pain and gasped.
I didn't even notice I was falling.
Wufei's voice pierced the dizziness consuming me, a sound of panic. Shit.
I felt hands around me, then warmth that could only come from a human's body. Wufei? I tried to speak, but nothing came out.
I saw his fuzzy shape looking at me. Those eyes... they were dark with fear. It was so plain why Heero would fall for him...
I smiled. “He's yours,” I whispered, my voice too weak for even me to hear.
“Duo, hold on! I'm calling the hospital now!”
I shook my head. “No, no...” I had to be here, just in case the person came, whoever it was. “No.”
I tried to grab Wufei, but the pain in my arm prevented me. “Please...”
“Hello? Yes, my friend has collapsed...”
“No.” I started to struggle in Wufei's hold. I couldn't let him take me away from here! What if the man came?
What if Heero was targeted because I had run away? No, no, no! The whole point of this was be ready, not be useless! I couldn't
let Wufei take me away from here!
“Duo, hold still...”
“No.” I ignored the pain this time, grabbed Wufei's arm. Desperate, I glared through the blur. “No.”
I shook my head, sending stars into my vision. “Please,” I whispered.
I couldn't see clearly, but I could hear well enough. “I'm sorry for this. It seems my friend is waking up... yes, he
seems fine... he says he tripped. Yes, I'm very sorry. Thank you.” And the sound of a cell phone snapping closed could
be heard. Thank God. “Duo, what the hell is going on?”
“Can't go,” I murmured.
Wufei lifted me up then, carefully moving to the sofa. I closed my eyes, the shifting scenery hurting my eyes and head. I
winced. “Can't,” I whispered.
“Duo, tell me what's wrong.” The panic was back in his voice.
I felt my pillow beneath my head. It felt nice. My stomach hurt so badly... it was too hot. My arm, too. They were too hot...
“Hot...” I murmured.
“What?” Wufei cursed. “I'm calling Heero.”
Oh. That would be bad. “No,” I whispered.
“You won the first one. I get to win this one,” Wufei said firmly.
I quirked a quick, tired smile. “'Kay,” I allowed.
Wufei seemed even more afraid with my easy acquiescence. “Yuy? Yuy, Maxwell's collapsed. No, he was standing when he
opened the door... I don't know... no, he's on the sofa now... no, he's almost unconscious. Of course I'll stay here, Yuy,”
Wufei said exasperatedly. “Yes, but Duo kept saying 'no'... all he said was 'can't.' No, I don't know why...”
Wufei turned more fully toward me. I could hear it in the sudden increase in volume. “Yes, that would be best.”
The cell phone snapped closed once more. “Yuy's on his way.”
I groaned. Fabulous. Now Heero was leaving his job to mother-hen me to an early grave. He would most likely demand more days
off to care for me. Fucking fantastic.
“Duo, what do you need?”
I need to be able to fight. I struggled to put Wufei into better focus. “I'm okay,” I managed.
“Bullshit,” Wufei snapped. He stood with a flourish. “Try again.”
Fine then. I sat up as quickly as possible, not giving myself the chance to think about it. The pain tripled. I cried out.
I couldn't help it.
“Duo!” Wufei forgot his exasperation and snatched me up, holding me up when my body collapsed once again. “Duo,
stop this. Don't try to stand anymore.”
“Have to,” I whispered. If only I could put more power into my voice. Maybe Wufei wouldn't place me back down
on the sofa as if I were a baby.
“Why?” Wufei asked again.
“I can't...” The stars popped in front of me again, and the world tilted funnily. I had to grab Wufei for support,
and my arm tore into shards of agony. “Aah!”
“Duo.” Wufei tenderly moved my arm back to my side, settling the pillow more comfortably behind my head. “Just
I couldn't afford to! What if...?
“Danger,” I whispered, trying to impart to him the importance of not dropping his guard. I reached up again, stupidly.
“All right. I'll keep watch. I won't let anything happen.”
Wufei held my hand as it trembled in its effort. “I'll watch out for him.”
I couldn't even nod, my head was spinning so much. I let my eyes close and slipped into unconsciousness, trusting Wufei to
take care of everything.
“Since shortly after I called you.”
“He said 'danger.'”
I felt waves of energy coming from someone nearby. It was almost painful.
“He's hiding things. Even now...”
“We'd begun talking last night...”
“What? What is it?”
“The box,” that voice hissed. The energy – frustration, anger – grew. “He lied about it.”
“Dammit, Duo! What do you want from me?”
“Yuy, I don't think that's-”
“What do you know? Every day he seems to fight with himself – to be happy or sad, to talk or be silent, to joke
or be serious. He's acting, Wufei!”
There was a pause. I started slipping back into sleep. The frustration seemed to be diminishing, leaving me feeling safe enough
to rest again.
“Yuy, he's afraid. I understand your pain, but-”
“He thinks we're still lovers.”
Wufei hissed. “Dammit. I feared his reaction. He was... far too flippant.”
“I just...” Heero sighed. I heard something in it, something that hurt me, but I was just too tired. “It
shouldn't have happened.”
“We agreed that it was in the past and something we couldn't change. We won't let it affect our future.”
Heero nodded. “We... we need to explain it...”
“Why? You obviously have no intention of telling him.”
Heero made an uncomfortable noise. It was followed by Wufei's chuckle. “You're worried about Duo's own love interest.”
“Yes. When we spoke, he refused to answer that one question. He said only that question was off-limits.”
There was a silence again, and I slipped further into the darkness. The pain in my arm and stomach were muted. I sensed something
in me, distantly. A drug? I remembered that Heero had been given pain-killers...
In that short moment, I blessed that evil doctor. It was heaven to have solace from the pain.
“Don't worry, Heero. We'll get everything figured out, and then you can suck it up and tell him how you feel.”
“Aren't you the one who lectured Trowa and me about emotions and following them? You will tell him, Heero. Steal
him from the person who hurt him. He needs someone like you, Heero. You can save him.”
“How? He keeps turning away from me...”
“How did he get past The Perfect Soldier into your heart?”
There was a small laugh. “Dogged persistence.”
“Well, then you know what to do. Just keep at it, Heero. The fact that he spoke to you means you're getting to him.”
A sigh. “You're right. I know you're right...”
I started to slip away from the conversation. It was a strange dream, a strange thing to imagine oneself hearing. An interesting
one... too bad I could never remember my dreams... only my nightmares...
“You have to tell me! What all did he tell you?”
Another chuckle. The warmth of it got rid of the last vestiges of my discomfort and slid me into peaceful oblivion.
(1)Yeah... I actually went onto eBay to find that... no joke.
I swear, I didn't see any of this coming. o_O;
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