Disclaimers:  We do not own Gundam Wing or any of its characters.

Notes:  Quatre worries about Heero.



Flawed



Part Three


Sally growled low in her throat as she finished stitching the wounds on Heero before going to Quatre and checking his arm.  
"So all that near-invincibility during the war was all because of some override chip implanted in his brain?  Why the hell didn't I
catch it when I had him in the hospital Maxwell busted him out of?  I did a thorough check."

Quatre's bleeding had stopped already, due to Quatre using his basic first aid knowledge.  He sighed sadly as Sally patched him
up.  "I don't know.  You'd have to examine the chip itself ... SHIT!" he exclaimed, jumping to his feet.

Sally blinked at Quatre, startled to hear such profanity from the normally polite young man.  "What?" she asked.  Quatre was
speaking rapidly in Arabic, and Sally was certain that it was mostly language that would shock a sailor.  She listened with a
slightly amused smile for a few moments before gently stopping him.  "Quatre, what is the matter?"

Quatre stopped in mid-rant and sighed.  "That chip!  I was so worried about getting Heero out of that horrible place that I just
left it there.  Anyone could pick it up and use it on someone else!  What if J had an assistant?"

Taking a deep breath, Sally let that information sink in.  The possibility of another madman doing what had been done to Heero
to another child was sickening.  She motioned for Quatre to sit again so that she could finish taking care of his wound.  "All
right.  I'll go right away and get it.  Where did you leave it?"

The blonde shook his head.  "J put it down on a table.  I hope no one was helping him.  That would just make a bad situation
worse."

Sally nodded.  "I understand."  She quickly and efficiently tended to Quatre, her mind going over several unpleasant scenarios.  
When she was done, she quickly packed her bag and asked Quatre for the address to J's lab.  "I'll go now, if only to make sure
the chip hasn't fallen into the wrong hands."

A grateful expression blossomed on Quatre's weary face.  "Thank you.  I called HQ on the way here, so Une has been made
aware of the situation."

Sally smiled, laying a comforting hand on Quatre's shoulder.  "Good move.  Information is the best weapon we have right now.  
Take care of yourself, Quatre.  And take care of Heero.  If what you said about this chip and what J said is true, he's going to
need a great deal of support soon."  She sighed as her smile fell.  "There's no way for us to know what the side-effects of the
chip's removal will be.  Considering its location, and that J had no care with its removal ..." She shook her head, squeezing
Quatre's shoulder lightly.  "He could be a vegetable, or he could be normal ... or psychotic."  She truly felt regret for having to
say this awful truth.  Odds were stacked heavily against Heero being able to do anything on his own.  If he ever regained
consciousness, he'd probably be no more able to care for himself than a newborn baby.  Of course, the human brain was a
remarkable thing that constantly shocked doctors.  She hoped that would be the case with Heero.  He didn't deserve this.  After
everything the five of them had done, they'd earned their happiness.  For J to have done this to Heero, it was just cruel.

Letting her hand slip from Quatre's shoulder, she began packing up her supplies.  There wasn't anything more she could do
here.  "I've left a couple prescriptions on the table by the bed.  Painkillers, antibiotics, just follow the instructions on the labels.  
If something happens, or you need anything at all, don't hesitate to call me."

"Of course," Quatre whispered, his eyes never leaving Heero's pale body.

"Take care of him," she breathed.  She picked up be bag and left, only able to hope that things would turn out well.  Honestly, it
didn't look good for Heero.  She could only pray he'd retained some amount of brain function.


*****


Quatre sighed as Sally left.  He suspected that Sally wasn't as hopeful as she had let on, and he couldn't blame her in the least.  
Still, he knew that he had to hang onto to as much of his own hope as possible.  Heero needed his help, and Heero wouldn't get
as much if Quatre believed there was no hope left.

He knew what had to be done.  One of his smaller estates had to be made ready.  He had one here on L-1, but no one had lived
in it for a very long time.  He didn't even think there was any staff there to keep the place maintained.  He'd need help, and he
also suspected that the presence of their friends would help a great deal with Heero.

Quatre slumped in his seat and pulled out his cell phone.  He decided to call them in what Une had once referred to as numerical
order.  He snorted at that.  It wasn't their fault that each of their names could be translated into a number.  With that thought
running through his mind, he pressed the speed dial for Duo's number and sat back.  Duo had been drinking quite a bit last
night, from what Quatre recalled.  It was afternoon, but Quatre still expected Duo to be somewhat out of it.

"This had better be good!"

Quatre blinked in surprise.  "Trowa?  What?  Did I dial your phone by mistake?"  He frowned as he pulled his phone away to
see the number he had dialed.  No, he had, in fact, called Duo's phone.  He set the phone against his ear again.  "What are you
doing with Duo's phone?"

Trowa groaned a little on the other end.  "I must have grabbed the wrong one.  Sorry.  What's wrong, Quatre?  Did you need
something from Duo?  I'll get him if you want me to."

Quatre shook his head.  "No, no.  I was going to call you next anyway."  He took a deep breath, steeling himself for what he
had to say.  "Something has happened to Heero.  He's hurt, badly.  I need you and the others to meet me at one of my estates so
we can help him."

Trowa's voice was tinged with concern.  "What happened?"

Quatre could think of only one thing, and it was the only thing he needed to say.  "J happened."

"How bad?"

Quatre couldn't stop his voice was shaking as he replied.  "That bastard cut him open, Trowa.  H-He hacked into Heero's brain
and removed an implant he put in when Heero was little."  His eyes stung as he held back his tears.  "S-Sally doesn't have much
hope, Trowa.  She said ... she said he could be a vegetable."

Trowa's voice was comforting.  "Calm down, Quatre.  Heero's come through a lot worse.  Even with a chip, he shouldn't have
been able to survive that self-destruct unless he was really tough on his own.  And look at what happened to me.  I survived,
and I know I don't have any chip."  There was a pause.  "So, what do you need Duo and I to do?  You know I'll help in any
way possible."

"I need help getting one of my homes ready.  No one's lived in it for so long, I'm sure it's rundown.  But it's the closest to my
current location.  It's here on L-1.  Can you come?"

"I'll be on the first available shuttle," Trowa assured.  "I'm sure Duo will agree to do the same."  There was a short pause.  "I'll
contact Wufei and the Maguanac and inform them of the situation.  You just focus on taking care of Heero.  We'll be there as
soon as we can."

"Thank you, Trowa," Quatre whispered into the phone.  He felt so relieved.  Still, he was worried about Heero, but at least now
he had help.  He gave Trowa the address of the house, and then informed him of his present location before thanking him again.

"I'll call you when we get there," Trowa stated.  "Just stay calm and take care of him.  We'll be there before you know it."

"Thank you," Quatre said yet again.  Taking the phone away from his ear, he disconnected the call, feeling much better than he
had only moments ago.  He'd have help soon.  He knew he could depend on his friends.  They'd do just as Trowa said they
would and soon Heero would be safe in Quatre's home with more than one person to watch over his health and wellbeing.

He let his eyes linger on Heero's face, almost missing it when Heero shifted slightly.  He immediately jumped from his seat and
moved to Heero's side, setting his hands on either side of the Japanese youth's face with care.  "Heero?  Can you hear me?" he
asked, stroking the soft skin with his thumbs.

Eyelids fluttered, a soft moan escaping chapped lips.  Quatre watched with bated breath as those eyes opened.  Merely a slit, but
the blonde could see that beautiful blue color beneath the delicate lashes.

"Heero?"

The dark-haired man parted his lips, as if wanting to say something, but no sound issued forth.  He raised a trembling hand a
few inches from the bed, only to drop it seconds later.  Quatre scooped up that hand into his own, holding it close to his chest
as he held his other hand to Heero's face, his heart throbbing with happiness to see Heero awake.

"Don't worry, Heero.  You're safe.  I'll take care of you."

The sound of Heero's irregular breaths were all the answer he received.  Within an instant, Heero's eyes slipped shut again and
he fell back into unconsciousness.  His breathing slowed and evened out, his body relaxing completely.  It was as if he had
never awoken in the first place.

With a soft breath, Quatre leaned forward and pressed his lips to Heero's forehead.  "I'll take care of you," he repeated, speaking
the words softly against Heero's warm skin.  Overcome with a sense of weariness, Quatre lay down beside Heero, casually
laying his arm over Heero's waist.  He lay there watching Heero for a while, idly tracing designs on Heero's bare stomach with
one hand while his other still clasped one of Heero's hands.  Slowly, he drifted off into a jagged slumber, listening for anything
out of the ordinary.  If Heero needed him, he'd be there for him.  No matter what he needed or for how long he needed the
help.  Quatre would be there for him.  He couldn't find it in his heart to do anything less.



To Be Continued ...