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

Notes: Duo does something risky.  Heero worries.



Raider's Legacy



Part Six



Heero ran forward in the hope of catching Duo before he hit the floor.  He was terrified that he'd be too late.  Then Duo
stopped mere inches from the marble floor and glided back up to the second floor as if he'd sprouted wings.  That's when
Heero saw the harness apparatus attached to Duo and remembered how to breathe.  Stretchy cording attached the harness to
the ceiling, enabling Duo to perform acrobatic stunts in midair.

"Duo-"  Heero growled, following the bouncing of his friend.

Duo grinned in an apologetic way.  "I always wanted to do that.  I remembered it from my dreams.  She always teased me
with it, saying I'd get to someday."  He shook his head, his smile fading.  "Guess she wasn't lying."

Heero narrowed his eyes.  "You should have WARNED me ... I mean ... you should have warned US!"

The long-haired youth sighed and hopped nimbly off the railing, bouncing to the railing on the other side of the room with an
almost practiced ease.  "I didn't mean to scare you."

Quatre sounded a bit annoyed himself.  "You really shouldn't be doing that in your condition anyway.  You could hurt yourself!  
What if you get dizzy?  If you slip or don't land right?"

Much to Heero's relief, Duo disconnected the harness he was in and walked down the stairs.  He looked suitably apologetic as
he approached his friends.  "I ... I really didn't mean to scare you guys."

Heero pulled Duo into a quick friendly hug.  He was so happy that Duo wasn't hurt that he didn't bother to think about the
possible consequences to such an action.  "When you're feeling better, you can jump from great heights as much as you want
to.  Right now, you need to be resting."  He pressed his hand to Duo's head, frowning at the warmth.  "It feels like you still
have a fever, and you need to get your strength back."

A blush dusted Duo's cheeks and he ducked his head.  "Aww, man, Heero.  I didn't know you cared that much."

Heero felt a spasm of guilt clench his stomach.  Had he been that bad of a friend?  After all, Duo had never told him of the
problems he was having.  And he hadn't noticed how thin Duo was getting.  Maybe it was his fault that Duo's condition had
worsened to such an extreme.  If he had been more observant, or perhaps if he had spent a little more time with his friend, Duo
wouldn't be ill.  He couldn't say any of this though.  He didn't want to burden Duo.  It wouldn't be right to overwhelm Duo
when he was already feeling pressured.  Having too much thrown on his shoulders would only cause a breakdown.  Heero
didn't want Duo to suffer any longer.

Quatre approached then and wrapped an arm around Duo's shoulders, easing him away from Heero.  "Let's get you into bed.  
After a good night's sleep, you should be feeling much more like yourself.  You've had a long day and have been given a lot of
information.  That, in and of itself, is enough to exhaust anyone."

Heero was grateful of Quatre's tactful handling of the situation.  Duo was ill and needed all of the rest he could get, but Heero
knew his friend hated being babied as if he couldn't take care of himself.  It wasn't that he didn't appreciate the help being
offered whenever he was under the weather or injured, it just annoyed him when people went too far with that help.  Ironically,
Duo was the opposite with others, offering aide no matter his own situation.  He was a good and generous soul and Heero was
envious of him for that.

In almost no time at all, the group was back in the lounge.  Heero assisted Duo down to settle on the plush sofa and covered
him up again with the cast away blanket.  "If you feel up to it, Annalise has some chicken soup made."

Duo frowned in thought.  “Yeah, I could eat some soup.  Thanks, guys.  Sorry to be so much trouble."

Rather than brush the apology aside, Heero snorted.  "You're not being too much trouble.  But you should eat on a regular
basis.  It's not good for you to starve yourself."

"Can we not talk about this right now?"  Duo looked away.

Heero didn't know what to do.  He'd upset Duo.  He hadn't meant to.  Had he said something wrong?  Maybe he shouldn't have
chastised his friend.  Did he need to apologize?  Unsure, he did the only thing that came to mind.  "Sorry," he muttered, then
quietly moved over to a chair to take a seat.  He was quite disturbed by the fact that no one seemed to take notice of his
departure.

"I'll get his soup," Wufei offered gruffly, then left the room.

Quatre took up a seat on Duo's side, idly brushing his fingers through Duo's bangs.  He was chattering away a mile a minute,
keeping Duo awake by talking with him.  Duo was immersed in his chat, all smiles and laughter.

When Trowa spoke to him, Heero blinked.  "You shouldn't pressure him.  He's under a great deal of stress."  Trowa dropped to
sit in the chair beside Heero's.  He lounged there casually, though it was apparent that he could swiftly move into action should
a situation arrive.  "I know how you feel about him."

Heero frowned, his brows drawing together.  "I don't know what you're talking about."  He crossed his arms over his chest
and resolved to stare straight ahead.

Trowa laughed.  Only once, but it was unmistakable.  "Either you're in denial, or you're stupid.  And I don't think you're
stupid."  He let a brief smile twist his lips.  "You care about Duo as more than just a friend.  It's as plain as day.  You want a
romantic relationship and not just this friendship you're stuck in."  He turned to face the Japanese youth.  "I could be more
blunt."

The reticent man was glad that they weren't within earshot of Duo and Quatre.  "No, I do not need to hear crude terminology."  
He sighed, closing his eyes momentarily.  "I didn't think my behavior was so apparent."

"It was.  And I doubt I was the only one to notice."  Trowa leaned back a bit more.  His posture indicated weariness.  It was
understandable.  All of them had had a long day.  "When he's feeling better, you should express your feelings to him."

"I don't know how."

"You have time.  Figure it out.  But don't waste time.  Wait until he's healthier, but don't let him pass out of your life."  He
closed his eyes, his arms folded over his chest.  "You'll regret it for the rest of your life if you don't tell him."

Heero looked at him, confused.  "How do you know?"

There was no answer.  Whether Trowa was asleep, or simply ignoring him, Heero couldn't tell for certain.  Either way he
knew that he wasn't about to get an answer.

He returned his attention to Duo, his heart feeling strange as he looked on the ill youth.  It felt like it had swelled all of a
sudden.  The sensation was strangely pleasant.  A brief flicker of a smile touched his lips, then disappeared.  He hoped he'd
have the opportunity to follow Trowa's advice.



To Be Continued ...