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

Notes:  Wufei visits Hilde in the hospital.  Small time skip . . . After a week, Duo awakens feeling better.



Valentine Blues



Part Nine


Wufei walked through the halls with a purposeful stride.  To a complete stranger, his face would seem cold and impassive, but
those who knew him would see the worry in his eyes.  He wanted to go out on a manhunt, but was powerless to do so since
the man in question had done nothing wrong in the eyes of the law.  Wufei could do nothing so long as his sole witness refused
to testify.

He stopped outside of a door, his hand shaking as he reached for the handle.  Taking a deep, calming breath, he entered the
room.

The moment he walked in, he nearly gave into the urge to punch something.  It was horrible to see a friend of his hurt so badly.

“If you’ve come to say that you told me so, you’re wasting your time.  I’m in no mood to hear it.”  Hilde’s voice was filled
with anger and despair . . . with self-loathing.  She looked so small in that hospital bed, hooked up to an IV line and monitors to
make sure her condition remained stable.  Her face was chalky and pale . . . her eyes dulled by suffering.

If it were any other time, her words might have insulted him.  But on this occasion, it only left him aching to help her.  She
was his friend and he would never have said something so cruel.  She had lost her child . . . pain such as that was undeniably
horrible.

He approached the bed, shaking his head.

“As if I would dishonor you by saying such a heartless thing at a time like this.”  He spoke quietly, resting his hands on the
railing of the bed.  “I do not believe in kicking someone’s spirit just to prove myself right.  I did not want this to happen, Hilde,
but the choice has always been . . . and will always be . . . yours.”

He sighed again, taking a breath before broaching the next subject.

“However, I feel that I must ask you again to come with me when I leave.  I don’t like that you stay with someone who only
feels good when he’s hurting you, but I do understand that you feel you have a good reason to stay with him.”

Hilde’s eyes filled with tears, which fell across his cheeks.  She turned her head away, gazing out of the window, if only so
that she couldn’t look at Wufei anymore.  “I still love him, Wufei.”  She said, her voice hoarse and rough.  “Even after . . .
after what he’s done . . . I still love him.  I don’t know if I can leave him.”

Wufei nodded.  He understood.  “You have some time to think on the matter, Hilde.  The Doctors say that you will be staying
here a day or so . . . I won’t pressure you to accompany me.  But I will come back in the morning to see if you’ve changed
your mind, if that’s all right with you?”

“Yes, come back tomorrow.”  Hilde replied.  “I don’t think I can handle this right now.  I just want to be alone.”

Bowing his head, Wufei backed away from the bed.  “As you wish, Hilde.”  He would give Hilde the time she needed . . . he
only wanted to help her and pressuring her was not the way to do so.

The next day when he returned, he found Hilde to be gone.  After asking several nurses, he learned that her husband had come
to pick her up.  Now, Wufei didn’t know where Hilde was . . . the house was empty . . . the man had simply disappeared and
had taken Hilde with him.  If Wufei had known the day before that the bastard would arrive to take her away . . . he would
never have left Hilde’s side.


*****


Duo took in a deep breath through his nose, relishing the feeling.  He was thrilled beyond belief that he wasn’t sick anymore.  
After a week laying around in bed, he was getting quite tired of looking at the bedroom walls.  He was itching to get up and
roam around the house without his mother hen chiding him for pushing his health.

‘Speak of the devil’ Duo thought, as Heero entered the bedroom.

“How are you feeling today?”  Heero asked, moving to sit at Duo’s side.  He reached out, smiling as he set the back of his hand
against Duo’s face.  “You’re not feeling as warm as yesterday.  That’s a good sign.”

“I feel great, Heero.  You think I can get out of bed today?  Maybe go to work?”  Duo grinned, nearly bouncing as he sat there.

Heero shook his head with a smile, pushing a thermometer into Duo’s mouth.  “Work might be a little too much right now.  I
don’t want you to push your health.”  He said, but at Duo’s groan amended his words.  “However . . . if you don’t have a
fever, I don’t see any reason why you can’t get out of bed and do whatever you like in the house.  Perhaps Solo would enjoy
the company.”

Duo felt himself grinning and didn’t try to stop it.  He was happy.

When the timer on the thermometer beeped, Duo was nearly bouncing in anticipation.  He so hoped that he didn’t have a fever.

Heero looked at the readout . . . and then looked up at Duo with a smile.  “Congratulations, Duo . . . you’re a free man.”

Duo whooped with joy and scrambled out of bed . . . desperate to get some clothes on.

Heero’s voice was gentle, but firm.  “Duo . . . please don’t push yourself.  I know you hate being bedridden, but going
overboard will only cause a relapse.”

Duo paused and turned to kiss Heero on the cheek.  “I know, love.  I promise to take it easy.  Maybe . . . maybe I can do some
doodling?”

Heero’s eyes softened and he nodded.  “Of course.  You can use anything that doesn’t have something on it already.”  He
reached up and caressed Duo’s cheek before rising to his feet.  “I’ll go to the hospital in your place again.”

Duo grinned happily.  “Good idea.  Maybe they’ll know how my little friend is settling into the orphanage.”  He sighed,
worrying for Laurel.  He hated the idea of any kid having to live in an orphanage.  Kids should have homes and people that
loved them . . . or course, not all orphanages were bad places.  Duo knew that quite well.

“You take care of yourself today, Duo.”  Heero smiled, leaning forward to capture Duo’s lips in a sweet kiss.  When he pulled
away, he brushed his fingers across Duo’s cheek again.  “Make sure Solo gets a good breakfast.  He’s still sleeping . . . I didn’
t want to wake him since he stayed up a little too late for my liking last night.”

“I know, I know . . . sheesh . . . it was Saturday night, and it wasn’t like we stayed up drinking coffee and watching horror
movies.  It won’t be a habit.”

“Good.”  Heero nodded.  Giving Duo one last kiss, Heero left the bedroom.  A few moments later, Duo heard the front door
closing.

Now that Heero was gone, Duo rushed to pull on a pair of sweats.  He happily hummed as he brushed out his hair, doing it up
in a neat braid today.  It kinda felt a little greasy . . . today would be a good day to give it a washing.  But that could wait until
later.  For now, he just wanted to fix a good breakfast for Solo and have some fun.

He practically skipped to the kitchen, a smile on his face the entire way.  He opened the fridge, looking around inside just to see
what he had to work with.  Milk . . . eggs . . . bacon . . . great, Duo knew just what to make.

Nodding to himself, Duo closed the fridge and headed to Solo’s room.  As he reached out to grab the handle, he realized that
this would be the first time he’d ever seen this room . . . well, at least since Heero had fixed it up to be a bedroom for the kid.

Duo opened the door . . . and felt his breath catch in his throat.

The room was . . . amazing.  That was all that Duo could think.  A mural had been painted on the walls and ceiling.  It looked
like the outdoors . . . like earth.  There were green hills, and leafy trees . . . clouds in the blue sky that had been scrawled
across the upper walls and ceiling.  There were even a few birds drawn on the walls . . . and mobiles of birds that hung from
the ceiling and would flap their wings if you pulled the cord hanging from them.

Duo reached up and pulled the cord for one of the birds, watching with a smile on his face as the wooden toy began to bob up
and down as the wings flapped.  Heero certainly was a talented man . . . Duo sighed happily, moving across the room to Solo’s
bed.  He smiled warmly at the boy that was sleeping peacefully, bundled up in his blankets.  Then Duo took the end of his braid
and gently tickled Solo’s nose.

The boy scrunched his nose and curled deeper into the blankets, away from the offending hair.

Duo laughed softly, resting his hand on the lump that was Solo.  “C’mon, Solo . . . rise and shine!”

Solo sat up and grumbled as he rubbed his eyes.  “I’ll rise, but I dun feel like shinin’.”  Then he blinked his eyes and beamed at
Duo.  “HEY!  You’re outta bed!”

Duo nodded.  “Yup!  Make your bed and get dressed while I make breakfast.  We’re having bacon and eggs.”

“AWESOME!”  Solo scrambled out of bed and started pulling the blankets to rights.

Nodding in satisfaction, Duo headed for the kitchen.  He turned the radio on and started humming along as he pulled out a
frying pan and set it on the stove.  Gathering everything he needed, he set about making breakfast.

It worked out to be timed perfectly.  Just as Duo was turning off the heat on the stove, Solo shuffled into the kitchen, wearing
a clean pair of jeans and a T-shirt, his hair pulled back into a tidy ponytail.  Duo smiled as he dished out Solo’s breakfast, as
well as his own.  Together, they sat down to eat, the both of them having orange juice to drink.

After breakfast, as they were putting their dishes in the sink, Duo noticed that Solo had become a little quiet.  “Something
wrong, buddy?”  Duo asked, concerned for the boy.

“No . . . not really.”  Solo replied, biting his lip slightly.  “I was just thinkin’.”

“Oh?  About what?”

Solo looked down, scuffing his toe on the floor.  “Ummmm . . . I was . . . well, I was wonderin’ . . . if maybe . . .”  He
paused and bit his lip again, then looked up at Duo with wide hopeful eyes.  “I’ve been thinkin’ about this a couple days now . .
. umm . . .”

He paused again, taking a breath before he continued.  “W-Would you and Heero wanna adopt me?  I kinda like it here . . . i-it’s
nice having a warm place to live . . . and people who c-care.”

For a moment, all that Duo heard was the thrumming of his own heartbeat.  And then he remembered how to breathe.  Without
wasting a breath, he answered with, “Hell yeah, kid!”  He smiled, picking the boy up and hugging him tightly.  “If that’s what
you want.  You’re already family to me . . . it’ll be nice to have it official and legal though.”

Solo wrapped his arms around Duo, hugging him tightly.  “I wanna stay.”  He nodded, burying his face against Duo.  “I wanna
stay wif you . . . D-Daddy.”



To Be Continued . . .