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

Notes:  Duo torture in this part.  Lots of it.



Valentine’s Blues



Part Three


Duo groggily awakened, unsure of what was going on.  He reached out, searching the other side of the bed for his lover.  Upon
finding only the empty, cold sheets, Duo fearfully snapped his eyes open.  Heero wasn’t there.  He gasped, sitting up quickly as
he found that he was alone in bed.  Where was Heero?  Had he left him?  Duo shook his head, not wanting to believe that.  No,
Heero wouldn’t leave him like that.

He pulled his knees to his chest, choking back his fear-filled sobs as he rocked himself back and forth, wondering why Heero
would abandon him.  He closed his eyes against the tears, not wanting to cry.  Then he shuddered, burying his head against his
knees as he finally let the tears fall.

Duo thought that he heard the door opening and closing, but brushed it off, knowing for certain that it was just his
imagination.  A moment later, Duo gasped, feeling a pair of warm arms encircle his body.  He lashed out, frantically grabbing
onto whoever was holding him, not even bothering to look up to see who it was.

“I’m sorry, Duo.  I didn’t know you would wake up so soon.”  Heero’s familiar voice whispered, as a soothing hand stroked
along Duo’s back.

Duo just clutched tighter to the Japanese youth, hoping that he wouldn’t leave again.  After a moment, he pulled himself back
together again, although he never loosened his hold around Heero’s body.  “I’m sorry.”  Duo whispered, his voice muffled by
Heero’s chest.

“No, you have nothing to be sorry about.” Heero hushed.  “I should have known better than to leave you alone . . . especially
after that nightmare last night.  I just wanted to get you some breakfast.”

Duo let a small smirk quirk his lips as he pulled himself away from Heero’s body, his tears still dripping down his face.  
“Breakfast?”  He asked, listening for a moment as his stomach growled loudly.

Heero smiled, brushing his fingers across Duo’s cheeks to swipe the tears away.  “Do you want me to get it for you?”  Heero
asked, nodding toward the end of the bed and the tray that was sitting on it.

Duo nodded.  “Yeah . . . I’m starved.”  He replied, smiling.

Heero slowly removed his arms from around Duo.  He stood and retrieved the tray, removing what looked like a pad of paper
and a pencil case from off of it before he picked it up.  Heero must want to draw something, Duo thought.   

Heero set the tray across Duo’s legs.  He took a seat beside Duo, offering a hopeful smile.  “I know I’m not a great cook, but I
hope you like it.”

Duo pulled the lid off of the plate, a wide grin spreading across his face.  “My favorite!”  Duo announced, looking down at the
stack of pancakes that were topped with whipped cream.  Eggs were on the side of the plate, a huge glass of milk on the tray
next to the plate.  Duo smiled, happily eating his food.  His earlier worries over Heero abandoning him were pushed to the back
of his mind, not forgotten, just set aside.

“Thanks, Heero, that was delicious.”  Duo smiled, once he had finished his breakfast.

Heero smiled, then stood and took the tray off of Duo’s lap.  He set it on the floor beside the bed, moving himself closer to
Duo.  “I’m glad you enjoyed it.”  Heero said, pressing a kiss to the top of Duo’s head.  

Duo wrapped an arm around Heero, laying his head down on the Japanese youth’s chest.  He sighed, closing his eyes.  He
knew that he had to go to work, but he didn’t feel like getting up just yet, not when Heero was holding him.

“Duo . . . would you do something for me?”  Heero asked, running a hand up and down Duo’s bare arm.

Duo pulled away, quirking his eyebrow.  “And just what did you have in mind?”  He asked, smirking at his lover.

Heero blushed an adorable pink shade, and shook his head.  He grabbed the pad of paper and the pencil case and thrust them
toward Duo.  “Here.  I-I want you to draw something.”

Duo flipped the pad open, past the sketch that he had made of Sister Helen before, to a blank page.  “What do you want me to
draw?”  Duo asked, pulling out a pencil from the case.  “Anything in particular?”

“Your nightmare.”  Heero answered, his voice quiet.

Duo paled, dropping both the pad and pencil.  He looked to Heero, wondering why his lover would ask him to do something
like that.  “W-What?  Why, Heero?”  He asked, struggling for the words.

Heero smiled slightly, running his fingers through Duo’s loose hair.  “It might help you . . . to be able to see your fears.  It
helped me a lot.  Whenever I had a nightmare, I would draw it the next morning, get rid of the tension that way.”  Heero said.  
“I thought that maybe it would help you too.”

Duo nodded in understanding.  “I’ll try . . . but I don’t know if I can.”  

“Just do your best.”  Heero soothed, wrapping an arm around Duo’s waist.

Duo picked up the pad and pencil again.  For a moment he just looked at the blank white sheet, unsure of where to start.  There
was so much.  How could he relate the events in just one picture?  He drew a line, not knowing exactly where it would lead, as
he tried to figure out just what he could possibly draw.

Duo let his mind drift, recalling the events in his mind.  He wasn’t even aware that he was still drawing, tears escaping his eyes
as he remembered.  The explosions . . . his mother . . . the fear . . . his mother . . . the anarchy of everyone running for cover
. . . and once again his mother.  She seemed to be in his thoughts the most, invading almost every aspect of the dream in some
detail or another.  Whether the scent of the perfume she used to wear, or the color of her hair, she was always present
somehow.

“Duo?”  Heero asked, his voice breaking through the haze that Duo’s mind had become.  

“Huh?  What?”  Duo asked, looking over to his handsome lover.

Heero smiled and gestured down at the pad of paper.  Duo looked down and gasped, seeing a sketch of a woman.  The hair
was long and flowing about her shoulders, her clothes framing a lovely body.  However, her face was missing . . . her features
just not there.

“I . . . I did this?”  Duo asked, shocked.

“Yeah.  But she isn’t finished.”  Heero replied, his hand comforting on Duo’s shoulder.

“It’s my mother.”  Duo whispered.  He narrowed his gaze, trying to focus on the face, wanting to finish the drawing.  
However, no matter how hard he tried, he just couldn’t remember.  His breath hitched, tears beginning to drip from his eyes.  
Why couldn’t he remember?

His hand started to shake and he could feel Heero’s presence beside him, trying to comfort him with soothing words and gentle
caresses.  Duo couldn’t take it, not knowing her face, wanting so much to be able to see his mother.  He grabbed the pad and
threw it against the wall.  Then he pushed Heero away from him, knocking the Japanese youth off of the bed.  

Duo jumped out of bed and ran out of the room as fast as he could.  He didn’t hear Heero behind him, telling him to come
back, didn’t feel any urge to stop or even slow his pace.  Duo just left the house, hastily running out into the chill February
morning, his only clothes being the pajama bottoms he had gone to sleep in, his hair loose and whipping around him in the icy
breeze.


*****


Heero was dazed as he landed on the floor, his head hitting a nearby dresser.  He vaguely felt a trickle of blood seep through his
hair, moving just along the edge of his hairline.  Slowly he got to his feet and stumbled after Duo, shouting for him to come
back, even as his vision began to fade.  He hadn’t even gotten out of the bedroom before he slumped to the floor, quickly
losing consciousness.

When Heero woke up, he had a throbbing headache.  He groaned as he pushed himself to his knees.  He pressed his hand to the
source of the ache, a still bleeding head wound.  It didn’t feel too bad, and judging by the flow of the blood he hadn’t been
unconscious for very long, maybe not even five minutes.  There was a chance of a concussion, but at the moment he didn’t
care about that.

He got up, moving slowly as a wave of dizziness passed throughout him.  He walked to his dresser, grabbing clothes and
pulling them on hastily, not looking to see what he was throwing on himself.  Lastly, he pulled his shoes on, tying them without
notice.  Then he left the room, grabbing his and Duo’s coats as he left the house.

Heero didn’t care that blood was still trailing down the side of his face, wasn’t aware of anything but his worries for Duo.  The
American wasn’t well yet.  And to just go out like he had without getting dressed or wearing a coat, would only make his
health worse.

He looked around, wondering which way Duo had run off in.  Then he saw several distinct footprints to the newly fallen
snow.  It had to be Duo . . . no one else was insane enough to walk around in snow with bare feet.  Heero followed the tracks,
a distinct feeling of deja vu washing over him as he walked.  This was just how he had found Duo that night . . . the night that
Duo had slit his wrists.

Heero gasped after a few steps, dropping to his knees in the cold snow.  There was blood staining the pristine whiteness, dark
crimson droplets tainting the purity of the newly fallen snow.  There was a broken bottle nearby, and Heero couldn’t shake the
fact that Duo had used it to attempt suicide again.  Then as he thought, he knew it was absurd . . . no, Duo wouldn’t do that
again, he had promised not to slit his wrists again . . . freezing himself in the snow was another matter altogether.

Heero jumped to his feet, following the trail of blood at a more brisk pace.  He had to get to Duo, had to find out if the lovely
American was okay.  It was apparent that he had hurt himself in some way.  Heero just hoped it wasn’t a serious injury.


*****


Duo stood, staring out at a vast open field that was covered in a fresh layer of snow.  He was oblivious to all around him, as he
stared, not even acknowledging the dull ache in his mostly numb feet.  He was shivering, his lips already tainted a faint blue, the
sweat that glistened on his body beginning to freeze against his skin.

He knew where he was, somehow he had found his way here.  This was where the Federation used to dump the bodies that
couldn’t be identified or were not cared about.  Somewhere under the dirt, his mother lay, her grave unmarked.  

Duo had run through the city, had run past the ruined buildings, and unknowingly had happened upon this place.  It was fenced
in, the Government having restricted access while they started digging the bodies up.  There had been some kind of an uproar
over the forgotten victims of the wars and various rebellions, and now the Government was in the process of trying to identify
the deceased.  Perhaps his mother was amongst them, and maybe she would be able to rest in peace, given the right of a name
on her tombstone even if Duo never discovered who she was.

Duo stepped forward, moving across the empty field, stopping under a familiar tree.  He had come here once before, to watch
the men that buried his friend Solo.  He had watched as they had dug a hole in the dirt then began tossing bodies in, as if they
weren’t human beings . . . as if they were nothing more than garbage.  They had purposely put the plague victims under the
tree, as their way of marking the mass grave.

Duo walked over to the tree and fell to his knees.  He reached up, his hands and entire body shivering as he pressed his numb
fingers to the bark of the tree, using his fingers to trail the simple words that he had carved into the bark when he had been a
child.  “My pal, Solo.”  Duo said, reading the words aloud, a tear dripping down his cheek in a trail that disappeared almost
immediately because of the icy cold that dried it.

He lowered his head, letting his tears fall, not caring about anything.  All he felt was pain, a deep heartache that was gnawing
through his soul.  His mother . . . Solo . . . so many others that he had loved were all dead, most of them buried in this field.  
He shivered, just sitting there, his head bowed, his forehead resting against the trunk of the tree as he sobbed for the loss of the
people that had once been so close to him.

“Well, what do we have here?”  A gruff voice said, a hand brushing through Duo’s loose hair, “A pretty little thing.”  

Duo said nothing, did nothing.  He didn’t care anymore, didn’t feel anything but the intense hurt in his soul.  He just stared
straight ahead, doing nothing even as he felt himself being spun around, a hand roughly stroking along his cheek.


*****


Heero clutched Duo’s coat to his chest, fearing what he would find at the end of this bloody trail that he was following.  The
blood spots were getting smaller as he went, the blood flow apparently ceasing.  But still, Heero worried.

He frowned as he approached a fenced area, noticing that the tracks led inside.  What would Duo be doing here?  According to
the sign, this was a restricted area, and if Heero remembered correctly from the news, it was a massive grave site from years
ago.  Insight dawned on him, causing him to wonder if perhaps this was the place where Duo’s mother was, or some other
person that had been close to him.

He quickened his pace again, hastily squeezing his body through a portion of the fence that was broken.  Only a few steps in,
he froze, his mouth dropping open at the horrifying sight before him.

There was Duo, his pale and shivering body pressed back against a tree.  There were three men around him, two of them
holding him up by his arms.  The third man was kneeling in front of Duo, between the American’s spread legs, his hands
snaking across Duo’s prone body, stroking him . . . caressing his shivering flesh.

Heero couldn’t move, his body ignoring every instinct that was coursing through his mind.  He wanted to save him.  But what
if he only caused him to get hurt?  Heero was unsure . . . for a rare moment, he didn’t know what to do.  There was a chance
that if he ran over there and tackled one or more of the men, that whoever was left standing could hurt Duo.  He wasn’t sure if
he could take the chance of Duo getting hurt.

Heero watched as the man pushed Duo’s head back against the tree, his own mouth starting to work on Duo’s throat.  That
minute shift in the angle, left Duo’s eyes locked with Heero’s.  Heero shivered at the blank stare of his beloved, seeing no sign
of recognition within those lovely orbs.

It was then that Heero decided, he had to stop them somehow, even if Duo ended up hurt in the process.  It was just a chance
that Heero had to take, if only to spare his lover some of the emotional damage that he was apparently going to suffer because
of this.  So Heero silently moved around, staying out of sight of those men, deciding that stealth would be better in this
circumstance.  However, he never let himself lose site of those men . . . making sure that he could see them while they could
not see him.

His blood boiled in rage as he watched the man in front of Duo.  He was moving his hands where they most definitely did not
belong, moving across Duo’s crotch, fondling him as he continued to lick and suck on Duo’s neck.  Then the man reached
down sliding Duo’s pajama bottoms down, just enough to reveal Duo’s genitals.

“Nice.”  The man murmured, a cruel smile on his lips as he reached down to take Duo’s length in his hand.  

It was all Heero could do to keep from running over there and strangling him now.  However, Heero knew that he had to get
closer, had to be in position before he could strike.

The man stroked Duo, rubbing his own body up against one of Duo’s thighs, his two friends deciding to have fun of their
own.  They had taken Duo’s hands, and were stroking them along their own bodies, taking pleasure with Duo’s limp and
seemingly lifeless hands.  After several strokes, that didn’t appear to have gotten a reaction of any kind from Duo’s body, the
man between his legs backhanded Duo.

“Fucking kid!”  He shouted.  Then he smirked.  “I guess I’ll just be having all the fun here.”  He leaned forward, pressing his
mouth to Duo’s in a demanding and rough kiss, apparently using his tongue on the first try.  A moment later, the man pulled
back.  “What a pretty mouth.  Bet it would be fun to fuck it.”

The man stood, grabbing Duo by the hair and pulling him up slightly.  He quickly unfastened his pants, pulling himself out.  
Grabbing Duo’s chin, he forced the young man’s mouth open and positioned himself in front of Duo, leaning his upper body
against the tree as he began to move his hard length forward.

Heero couldn’t stand by and watch anymore, wouldn’t let that man hurt Duo like that.  He already hated himself for standing
by so long without doing anything.  He ran forward, slamming him to the side, also taking out one of the man’s friends with
the same hit.  “Bastard!”  Heero shouted, grabbing the man’s head and smashing it to the ground repeatedly.  Once he was sure
that the man was unconscious, he backed off, trembling as he fell to the ground.

As much as he wanted to, Heero wouldn’t kill him.  He just couldn’t do that again.  Besides, Duo needed his help now.  Heero
looked up, wondering where the other two men had disappeared to, only to see them running away, having abandoned their
friend.

Heero ignored them, turning around to see how Duo was.  He paled, noticing that Duo was just lying on his side, staring out at
nothing.  Heero scrambled over to Duo’s side, the American’s coat still clutched in one of his hands as he laid the young man
across the snow covered ground.

“Duo?”  Heero asked, brushing his hand over the much too cold face.  “Duo, can you hear me?”  He asked, checking for a
pulse and thankfully finding one.  However, Duo made no eye contact, didn’t even seem to realize that Heero was speaking to
him.

Heero lifted Duo to a more upright position and slipped the coat onto him, worried about his precious Duo.  Then he laid Duo
down again, running his hands across his body in an attempt to see if those thugs had hurt him at all.  When he found nothing,
except for a number of cuts on Duo’s feet, he knelt beside Duo again, pulling his pajamas back up to cover him, closing the
coat over his shivering body.  He held Duo face firmly in his hands, looking down into those eyes that held no emotion or
recognition in their depths.  “Duo?  Please, answer me!”  Heero shouted.

There was no reply . . . no reaction . . . nothing.

Heero could feel the tears rising, and didn’t try to stop them.  “Please, Duo . . .”  Heero begged, stroking his fingers along Duo’
s face in a way that he had done so many times before.  “Please, come back to me.”  He was afraid, afraid that Duo would
never snap out of this . . . that the love of his life had just given up and abandoned him.  “Please, don’t hide from me . . .
Please, just come back.  Don’t leave me, Duo.”  He whispered, his voice catching as a sob escaped him.

He closed his eyes, his tears dripping from his face to land who knew where.  He didn’t care, not as long as Duo was
unresponsive.  He just wanted Duo to come back.

“You're bleeding.”  A painfully familiar voice whispered, while a gentle hand brushed across his forehead.

Heero snapped his eyes open, looking down into Duo’s gaze, a laugh escaping his lips as he saw that Duo was actually looking
at him.  He let out a laugh and pulled Duo close, afraid that if he let go that Duo would leave him.  “Duo . . .” He cried, trying
to stifle his tears.  

“You . . . you gotta take better care of yourself, Heero.”  Duo said, his voice sounding slightly stronger.

Heero pulled away a little, once again looking into Duo’s eyes.  “Baka . . . you’re one to talk.  At least I got dressed before I ran
out into the snow.”

Duo looked down, his eyes widening as he pulled aside the coat to see that all he was wearing were his pajama bottoms.  
“Sorry.”  He said, smiling a bit.  

“Why did you come out here?”  Heero asked.

Duo gestured to the tree, where Heero read the words that were carved into the bark.  “I came to visit my family.  There’s
Solo.”  Duo said, sniffling, then gestured out at the field.  “And somewhere out there is my mother.”

Heero offered what he hoped was a comforting smile and slowly ran his fingers along Duo’s face again.  He grew concerned,
watching as Duo glanced over his shoulder at the man lying sprawled and unconscious on the ground.   He gently turned Duo
to face him.  “What’s the last thing you remember, Duo?”  Heero asked, making sure that Duo met his gaze.

Duo thought for a moment, his brow furrowing slightly.  “Um . . . I was looking at Solo’s tree and I ran my fingers over the
letters.”  He said.  “I . . . I really don’t remember anything after that.”  He said.  Then he looked into Heero’s eyes, his gaze
questioning.  “W-what happened, Heero?”

Heero bowed his head, ashamed.  “You were being assaulted, Duo.  Three men . . . two of them got away.”  He whispered.  “I
didn’t let them hurt you . . . I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself if you had been hurt.”

Duo nodded, a pair of tears escaping from each of his eyes.  He shivered again, curling his arms around his body.  He smiled
up at Heero.  “I’m too cold right now to care about what might have happened.”  He whispered, shivering again.  “But thanks
for being honest.”

Heero smiled in return as he stood, quickly sweeping Duo into his arms.  “Come on, let’s get you home and back into bed.”

Duo sighed, resting his head against Heero’s chest.  “Okay.  Sounds good.”  He murmured, snuggling closer to Heero’s warm
body.

Heero frowned, feeling the shivers in Duo’s body.  He noticed the blood on Duo’s feet again, and wondered if the cuts needed
more care than he could provide.  “Maybe I should take you to a hospital . . . your feet are bleeding.”  Heero said.

“No!”  Duo replied, tightening his embrace around Heero’s body.  “Please, no.  I just want to go home.  Please?”  He looked
up, fear in his eyes.

Heero nodded, not wanting to deny Duo anything.  “Okay . . . we’ll go home.”  Heero smiled, turning and beginning the long
walk home.


*****


Duo sighed against Heero’s warm body, wishing they would get home soon.  He was cold . . . tired.  He just wanted to curl up
in bed and go to sleep again.  But he was too afraid to go to sleep now, not knowing if he would be able to wake up again if he
did lose consciousness.  What if he had hypothermia, his mind kept telling him.  What if he had lost too much blood from those
cuts on his feet?  Even if it was a longshot, he wasn’t ready to take that chance.

As they passed by an alleyway, Duo heard some rustling sounds and looked in as Heero carried him by.  He saw someone,
possibly familiar, rummaging through some trash cans.  

“Heero, stop.”  Duo said, his voice quiet.  

“What is it Duo?”  Heero asked, looking down in concern at Duo.

Duo smiled up at him.  “Go back . . . to the alley.  I thought I saw something.”  Duo said.

Heero nodded, then turned and walked back to the alley.  

Duo peered into the alley, his eyes feeling heavy and his vision a little blurred.  He smiled as he saw a familiar face.  “I thought
it was you.”  Duo said, looking at the child he had met just the previous day.

The boy jumped out of shock and turned to face Duo and Heero.  “What you want?”  The boy asked, glaring at Duo although
his body trembled slightly.

“What are you doing?”  Duo asked, although it was all too obvious what the boy had been doing.

“Lookin’ for food.”  The boy answered.  “Gotta eat ya know.”

Duo shuddered, memories of his own childhood slipping into his mind.  Duo turned to look up at Heero, his eyes pleading.  “Do
you have any spare change?”  Duo asked.

Heero nodded, a small smile curling his lips.  He set Duo down on the ground, then searched through his pockets, pulling some
cash out of his coat.  Duo took it all from him, ignoring the look that Heero sent his way.

Duo held the money out to the kid.  “Here.”  He said.  “Take it . . . get a decent meal for a change.”

The boy shook his head defiantly.  “No.  I don’t need no charity!”  

Duo sighed as Heero picked him up again.  “Yeah, but you do need to eat.”  He dropped the money to the ground.  “Take it . . .
leave it . . . I don’t care, but I’m not taking it back.”  He looked up at Heero again.  “Come on, let’s go.”

Heero nodded, then turned and walked away.  “Do you think he’ll take it?”  Heero asked, once they were a few steps away.

Duo sighed and leaned his head against Heero’s chest again.  “I hope so.”  Duo answered, hoping that the boy would get rid of
that pride of his and take the money.  He was thin enough . . . probably starving as it was.  Slowly he fell asleep, although he
fought against it, praying to Sister Helen that she would watch over the poor kid.



To Be Continued . . .