Disclaimers: I do not own Gundam Wing or any of its characters.
Notes: Duo and Wufei have a sparring match. Duo receives startling news.
Wufei walked through the corridors. He had heard from Une that Duo had made his report and had gone to the gym to cool
off. Wufei wondered what that braided fool was up to. Here everyone was worried about him and Duo had just skipped off to
the gym for exercise without informing any of his friends whether he was okay or not. He hadn’t even taken the time to go see
Sally, despite the fact that he had an injury to his arm.
He reached out to the doors of the gym, pausing a moment when he heard strange sounds coming from within the room.
Wufei quietly slipped inside, moving into the shadows without making a sound.
Wufei watched from the shadows as Duo finished a particularly difficult set of forms. He frowned as Duo started doing a Tai-
Chi set that very few had mastered. Duo was going through the motions with a fluid grace that would put the greatest masters
Wufei knew to shame. It was more than he thought the loudmouthed ex-pilot capable of. He had to wonder where Duo had
learned the form . . . so he waited.
“I know you’re there, ‘Fei. Stop skulking . . . That’s Heero’s department.” During a turn, Duo grinned at Wufei’s hiding
place, and continued the motions as if nothing had broken his concentration.
Wufei stepped out of the shadows and continued to watch. “How did you know it was me?” He asked, crossing his arms over
Without pausing, Duo went into a move that required balance and concentration . . . two things that the Chinese pilot never
thought that Duo had any of. “Simple . . . your cologne. You're the only one I know who wears ‘Dragon Fang’ Musk.”
Wufei shook his head. “That form . . . how? Where did you learn it? How can you do that so well?”
“My teacher . . . she showed me.” Duo said, looking heartbrokenly sad for only an instant before he covered it with a false
Wufei was intrigued. “I’d like to meet this teacher.” He watched as Duo smiled sadly. “Did I say something?” Wufei
“No . . . it’s just that I don’t think I’ll be seeing her any more.” Then his smile turned to one of wry amusement. “I don’t think
you would have been able to meet her anyway. I only know her from my dreams.”
Wufei frowned. “Your DREAMS? She taught you in your dreams? So you never had nightmares like Yuy thought you were?”
Duo sighed as he finished the set and faced Wufei. “I HAD them . . . but she was always teaching me through them. When I
blamed myself for the deaths of people I cared for, I would relive the events through my dreams, and she would always be
there . . . waiting for me to grasp something. When I realized that it WASN’T my fault for any of it . . . she smiled at me and
nodded before hugging me and disappearing.” Duo shrugged. “Without ever saying a word . . . she taught me the most
valuable lessons I will ever learn.”
Wufei smiled. “How about you show me some of what she taught you? We can have a sparring match . . . right here and
now.” Wufei watched as Duo quirked an eyebrow before nodding. “Very well . . . begin!”
Heero frowned as he headed for the gym. Une had mentioned something about Duo going there, then said something about
Wufei having gone in search of Duo. As he approached the gym, Heero heard the sounds of a match.
“Give it up, Chang!” One voice called out, undeniably Duo.
“Not on your life, Maxwell!” Wufei responded, just as loudly.
“Sounds like Wufei and Duo are sparring.” Quatre commented, stepping over to walk beside Heero.
Heero nodded. “Baka . . . what did he do THIS time?” He blinked as he felt a hand grip his arm roughly, turning him to stare at
Quatre, who had a glare on his face that could rival one of Heero’s. “What?” He asked, wondering what he had done wrong.
“Do NOT underestimate Duo!” The blonde seethed. “You think that just because he puts on the joker’s mask that’s all he is?
You’re WRONG! He is SO much more!” He let go of Heero’s arm, walking away . . . agitation in his every stride.
Heero frowned at Quatre. “I knew that.” He whispered, knowing that Quatre was too far away to hear. He then shook his
head, simply walking to the gym to watch.
The sight that met him, made him frown. Wufei was breathing heavily, but Duo looked pale . . . as if standing were a strain to
him. He saw Quatre standing by Trowa, when the tall youth had arrived, Heero was unsure. But he was here now, so it really
Heero stepped over to Quatre, leaning closer to whisper to the blonde. “Quatre . . . is it me or is there something wrong with
Quatre shook his head, sighing. “Something is wrong.”
Wufei stopped and gazed at Duo with what looked like admiration. “Your teacher did very well by you. Even though she was
in your dreams. I wish I could have had a teacher such as the one you speak of.” With that, Wufei bowed to Duo, lowering
his eyes as a sign of respect.
Duo grinned for a split second, then winced as he doubled over, clutching his side.
Heero frowned and ran to Duo’s side, the others quickly doing the same. “You okay?” Heero asked, unable to keep the
concern out of his voice. Duo looked so pale . . . and in such pain. “Come on . . . let’s go see Sally.”
Duo smiled . . . though it was obviously faked. “No sweat . . . just . . . overdid it . . . a little. I’ll be all right.”
Heero nodded, helping Duo to his feet. “Still . . . let’s get Sally to look at you.”
Quatre looked and sounded concerned. “You want me to go too, Duo?”
Duo grinned, even though it looked more like a grimace, pulling himself away from Heero’s arms as he walked out of the gym.
“Nah. It’s bad enough Heero’s gotta go for nothin’. It’s okay, Quatre.”
Heero followed and let Duo walk along the hallway, occasionally looking back. After a while, he nodded. “We’re out of sight
now. You can stop pretending.”
“Good.” Duo commented, then closed his eyes. Heero had to scramble as Duo collapsed with a soft whimper of pain. Heero
had just barely managed to keep Duo from falling onto the cold, hard floor. He frowned as he lifted Duo. Duo’s body was
WAY too light.
He picked up speed, rushing to the infirmary, carrying the now unconscious youth in his arm, feeling nothing but worry for
him. He didn’t understand why, but still he felt it.
“What happened?” Sally exclaimed, rushing over to walk alongside Heero as he stepped into the room and set Duo down on
one of the beds.
“He was sparring with Wufei and he doubled over. Then while we were on our way here, he passed out.” Heero said, stepping
back to let Sally do her job.
Sally quickly checked him over, giving Duo a fast examination. “Good lord, Heero. He looks like he’s starving.” Sally
commented. She slowly pulled off his shirt, Heero helping her by keep Duo sitting somewhat upright while she undressed him.
Heero grimaced at the sight of Duo’s body, worry lancing through him as he saw Duo’s ribs showing through his pale skin. He
was so thin. When was the last time he had eaten, Heero wondered. Heero continued to help Sally strip the pale young man,
feeling nothing but worry as more of his emaciated form was revealed.
Sally left for a moment, then returned, pulling an IV drip along with her. She stuck the IV into the back of Duo’s hand, taping it
down so that it wouldn’t become dislodged.
“Will he be okay?” Heero asked, brushing back the damp bangs from Duo’s face.
“I’m not sure, Heero.” Sally sighed, removing the bandage from around Duo’s arm and checking the injury. “He seems
exhausted. And he is just too thin.” She wrapped a fresh bandage around the cut. “When he wakes up, I'll do some more tests
. . . and there are a few questions I need to ask him.” With that, she draped a blanket over Duo's bare body.
“Can . . . can I stay here?” Heero asked, berating himself for how foolish and weak he had just sounded.
Sally looked up at him, a smile on her face. “Of course you can stay. I’m sure the presence of a friend will be comforting to
Heero nodded. He turned, grabbing a nearby stool and pulling it over beside the bed that Duo was lay on. He sat, gently laying
his hand on Duo’s arm, feeling unsure of himself.
“I’m sure he’ll appreciate you being here, Heero.” Sally said, standing up. “If you need me, just come and get me. I’ll be in
“Okay.” Heero replied, watching for a brief moment as Sally walked through an open door across the room. Then he turned
his attention back to Duo, one hand on Duo’s thin arm, his other hand lightly stroking along Duo’s face.
Duo fought his way up through unconsciousness. He felt something gently brushing across his cheek, a strange warmth
against his arm . . . He wanted to find out what was touching him, to find out where he was. Slowly, he opened his eyes, a
headache pounding through his skull. Whatever was touching his cheek moved away. He blinked, not really believing his eyes
as he saw Heero sitting beside him, his hand on Duo’s arm.
“Heero?” Duo asked, confused. His confusion turned to slight dread when Heero started glaring at him. He was saved by the
appearance of Sally.
“Ah! You’re awake! Now . . . I have a few questions for you.” Sally announced as she stepped over to stand beside where
Duo was laying. Must be in the infirmary, he thought.
Duo’s relief vanished at the serious expression on Sally’s face. “Um . . . okay.”
Sally pulled out a clipboard. “Question number one. When was the last time you had what we doctors refer to as a decent
Duo shrugged. “I can’t lie and tell you I can remember when it was.” He said, feeling a bit nervous about admitting this. “I
had an apple sometime yesterday.”
Sally frowned and jotted down something. “Okay . . . and you haven’t been decreasing your activity, have you? It’s amazing
you could stand at all. Question number two. Sorry to be nosy, but why are you living in a condemned building?”
Duo ducked his head when Heero gasped, feeling as his face flushed. He hadn’t wanted anyone to know that the rat-hole he
had called home was condemned and scheduled to be demolished next week. “Yeah . . . well . . .” Duo said, struggling to
figure out what he could possibly say.
Sally interrupted him. “Quatre already had your things moved to a small apartment not too far from HQ. You have to finish
with the paperwork later.” Then she sighed. “Duo . . . why are you doing this to yourself?”
Duo shrugged. “I see people who don’t have anything and I just give before I can stop myself.” He felt a rush of grief flow
through him. What would his teacher think of him if she were still visiting him? He guessed that hurt worst of all. She hadn’t
appeared in his dreams while he had been unconscious this time. The lack of her in his mind left him feeling empty inside, as if
a vital part of himself had been ripped away.
Sally’s hand settled on his arm and Duo looked up. “I understand, but you can’t continue to hurt yourself this way.” She
smiled kindly. “Now, I’m going to go down to the cafeteria and get you something suitable to eat. While I’m gone, I want you
“I’ll make sure he does.” Heero said, speaking for the first time since Duo had awakened.
Duo felt some dread as he looked into Heero’s eyes, seeing disappointment within those lovely eyes. He had really screwed up,
Duo knew that. He had made Heero angry. “I will.” Duo said quietly, lowering his gaze to the sheets.
“I’ll be back soon.” Sally said, then turned to leave.
As soon as Sally was gone, Heero laid a hand against Duo’s face, gently turning him so that he would be facing him. Duo’s
eyes remained lowered, not wanting to see those cold eyes burning into him. “I’m sorry.” Duo whimpered, fearing what Heero
would say or do to him.
“I was worried about you.” Heero said quietly.
Duo quickly raised his gaze, only to see that Heero wasn’t looking at him. In fact, Heero was staring down at the floor, a faint
rosy tint to his cheeks. “W-What?” Duo asked, his breath hitching. Maybe he had heard wrong. Maybe Heero had said
something completely different to what Duo had thought.
Heero looked up, this time staring directly into Duo’s. “I-I was worried about you, Duo.” Heero said.
Duo blinked, still not sure if he could believe this. “Me? You were worried about me?” Duo asked.
Heero opened his mouth, but before he could say anything, Quatre burst into the room. “Duo! I have great news! We found
To Be Continued . . .