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

Notes:  Heero finds out that Laurel is back in the hospital and comes to a decision, just as Duo has the same idea concerning
Solo.



Valentine Blues



Part Ten


Heero walked into the hospital and granted a few of the nurses a smile.  However, as he passed by the one snooty nurse that
had talked to him on the phone in such a rude way, he let his smile fall and glared at the woman with a look that promised dire
consequences should she say anything cross about Duo again.  Then the smile returned to Heero’s face as he spotted another
nurse who had been nothing but kind to him and concerned for Duo.

“Good morning.”  He greeted the young woman, whose name he remembered was Lilia.

The nurse beamed at Heero.  “Good morning, Heero!  How is our Duo today?”

Heero chuckled softly at that.  “His fever has broken.  He should be back soon.  I’m keeping him in the house today because I
don’t want him to have a relapse and he’s promised to take it easy.”  He looked around, gesturing vaguely to the rooms along
the hall.  “Anything new?”

Lilia’s smile wilted somewhat, her eyes turning sad.  “Laurel is back.”  She said solemnly.

Heero frowned with worry.  Something about the little girl struck a chord in him.  Maybe it was because he had come in Duo’s
place because of the promise his long-haired lover had made to her.  Maybe it was just because she was a sweet little girl who
was so full of love even though she had been hurt.  It really didn’t matter why Heero cared, he simply did.

“What happened?”  He asked, concerned for the child.

The nurse sighed.  “An older boy at the orphanage decided that he was going to act all tough and beat her up.  He’s been
transferred to another orphanage - one that deals with children that have anger management issues - but poor little Laurel has
been wailing about not wanting to go back to her own.”  A small smile tugged at the corners of her mouth.  “She’s also been
asking when you or Duo would get here.  She’s been looking for you all day.  I think she’s quite taken with you.”

Heero shook his head.  “She’s taken with Duo.  I’m only accepted because Duo and I love each other.”

Heero loved the way it sounded when he declared his love for Duo.  It was not too long ago that he didn’t feel he would ever
be able to do such a thing.  All the dirty looks and snide remarks meant nothing when compared to the look of joy in Duo’s
eyes whenever Heero made a public display of affection.

He held up his sketch pad.  He’d started bringing it every day after one of the children had begged for him to draw a picture.  
Although his works sold for a great deal, he actually got more fulfillment when doing these little gifts.  “Maybe if I draw her a
picture of Duo it’ll cheer her up.”  With that, he started his rounds, visiting with children and talking to their parents.

One couple almost made him laugh.  They knew about art and followed his works, but they had never been able to afford
anything of his.  When he visited the son of the couple, he was pleased to see that the simple five-minute sketch he had done
the day before was now beautifully framed.  He also posed with the family so that they could prove that they had an original
Yuy work.  They had thanked him by giving him a small tin of homemade oatmeal and raisin cookies.  The mother had blushed
and stammered as if her gift would seem insufficient.  Heero looked at the cookies and reassured her that, since they were his
beloved’s favorites, that they were more than enough as a repayment.

After stowing the cookies in his bag, he continued his rounds.  He smiled a little when he saw Laurel and tried to think of what
Duo would say.  “Hey, Laurel.  We have to stop meeting like this.”  He said, trying to inflect a jesting tone to his words.

Laurel’s face lit up despite the black eye.  “Heero!  I waited for you all day an’ I was scared you wouldn’t come an’ see me!”  
She looked around, her smile slipping a little.  “How’s Duo?  He still sick?”

Heero sat in the chair next to Laurel’s bed.  “Not as much.  I made him stay home today because he’s almost better, but I don’
t want him getting sick again.”  He held up his sketch pad.  “I was going to draw you a picture of him.  Would you like that?”

Laurel nodded slowly, absently scratching at her forehead beneath a bandage that worried Heero.  It looked like she had
received a head wound, which would explain the need for her to stay overnight for observation.  “Yeah!  But only if you’re in
the picture too.  Okay?”  She smiled.

Heero chuckled and nodded.  “Deal.”  With that, he went into himself and quickly drew Duo from his heart.  He knew every
angle of Duo’s body and drew him with all the love he held for his life-partner.  He lost a little track of time and frowned when
he finally looked at the finished sketch.  Not only were he and Duo in the drawing, but for some reason he had put Solo and
Laurel in there as well.  The sketch made him pause.  ‘Almost like a family portrait.’  Then he smiled and looked to Laurel
before handing the pad over to her.

Laurel’s eyes widened and filled with tears.  She smiled brightly at Heero, her features seeming to light up with the expression
as she leaned over to hug him with her good arm.  “It’s perfect, Heero.  Thank you!”

Heero hugged her in return and decided then and there that he would look into adopting Laurel, and Solo, too.  That drawing
gave him a feeling of rightness, and he knew that Duo already loved the two kids.  ‘I’ll do everything in my power to make that
drawing a reality.’


*****


Relena pinched the bridge of her nose with a small grimace at the onset of the migraine.  It seemed like the only thing she saw
lately were piles upon piles of paperwork.  After a while all the type tended to blend together and give her a headache.  When
the phone rang, she buried the urge to just fling the contraption across the room.  Honestly, didn’t she get pestered enough
through the day by boring politicians and whoever else deemed it necessary to interrupt the tedium of her paperwork for even
more tedious chatter?  It was then that she realized that only a few people could get through directly to her, and not have to go
through her secretary.  She smiled then, happy to answer the phone, if only to distract her from her work for a few minutes.

“Hello?”  She spoke, pressing the appropriate button to answer the call.

Duo’s face popped up on the visual.  “Hey, Queenie!  You look and sound exhausted!  Don't tell me you haven’t installed that
incinerator in your inbox yet.”

Relena chuckled.  Duo always had a way of brightening her day.  “It’s becoming more and more tempting as the days go by,
Duo.”  Then she let her smile soften, as always concerned about Duo’s health.  She had visited him after New Years, and had
been horrified to hear of Duo’s failing health and suicide attempt.  She had made Heero promise her that he’d be well cared for,
though she didn’t think she’d really had to force him to do so.  By the expression Heero had had on his face that day, Relena
knew he loved Duo more than anything.  There was no way Heero was ever going to let anything happen to Duo again, not if
he had the power to stop it.

“How are you doing?”  She inquired, taking a careful look at Duo’s features.

Duo shrugged.  He was still thin and looked pale.  But he wasn’t nearly as bad as the day she had visited him last month, the
same day Duo had suggested putting in that incinerator.  “I’m good.  Got a bit of a cold, but I’m over it now.  Heero is just
being overprotective of me today.”  He paused then, biting his lip.  “I hate to give you more work, but . . .”

Relena held up a hand, not willing to even listen to his worries.  She knew him all too well.  “Duo, you would not call unless it
was important.  What can I help you with?”

Duo ducked his head a little.  “Well . . . it’s like this . . .”

Relena sat back and listened as Duo told her about the little boy that had charmed both Heero and himself.  When Duo was
done speaking, she nodded.  “Duo . . .”  Her phone beeped, telling her she had a call on her other line.  She frowned, wanting
to give Duo all her attention.  “Hold on a moment, Duo.  Someone else is calling.”  She quickly put Duo on hold and answered
the other line, fully intending to give whoever it was a quick excuse and hang up on them.  She blinked in surprise though,
finding that Heero was calling her.

“Heero?  Whatever is wrong?”  She asked, stunned.  “You don’t usually call me.”  Well, that wasn’t true.  In fact, he had
NEVER called her, but she wasn’t about to broach that subject now.

Heero sighed, looking far more tired than she liked.  “Relena . . . I have a favor to ask.”

Relena almost felt like laughing and crying at the same time.  Heero had also called to talk to her about adoption.  Not only of
the boy named Solo, but of a little girl by the name of Laurel as well.  She stopped Heero with a calm hand.  “Heero . . . I have
some free time this evening.  Why don’t I come by for a visit so I can speak with the both of you?  Don’t you think Duo
would like to be in on your plans of adopting?”

Heero nodded.  “I’ll expect you in time for dinner at seven.”  He said nothing more as he hung up.

She switched back to Duo and laughed when she saw that he was thumb-wrestling with a little boy.  ‘It must be Solo.’  She
marveled at his hair, noting that it was almost a mix of both Duo and Heero’s styles, save for the fact that it was blonde.

Relena cleared her throat and laughed again when Duo collapsed dramatically in defeat.  “Duo . . . I’m going to come over
tonight to discuss this with you and Heero.  You take it easy and don’t let that strong young man bully you.”

Duo grinned back at her and grabbed the little boy playfully around the waist.  “Nah, he’s here to protect me!  Right, Solo?”

The little boy smiled happily in return.  “Yup!  Now you gotta get back to the sofa and rest or Heero’ll be mad at both of us!”

Relena chuckled.  “Sounds like a very smart boy.  I’ll see you tonight around seven.  You take it easy, Duo.”

Duo quirked one of his trademark grins at her.  “You too, Relena.  Bring that inbox over and I’ll see if I can at least rig a paper
shredder on it.”

The former Queen let out a full-blown laugh.  “I’ll see what I can do.”  With that, she disconnected the call.  She had needed
that.  ‘Maybe I should hire Duo as a morale booster.’  She mused to herself, shaking her head.  She ignored her work and
flipped through her rolodex, looking for a phone number, knowing that she had some more important things to do before she
could meet with Duo and Heero tonight.



To Be Continued . . .