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

Notes: Duo and his family wait for news.



Valentine Blues



Part Twenty-One



Solo didn't like hospitals.  They smelled funny and people died here.  Sure, people also got better here, but it didn't stop him
from feeling like this was a place for the sick and dying.  It didn't help matters that his Dad was now here.  He'd just gotten a
family and already it was being torn up.  If Heero died, what would happen?  Would Duo send him and Laurel away?  He didn't
want to believe that.  Duo genuinely cared about them.  He'd probably try to keep them together, but things would get out of
control.

He stared down at his toes as he kicked his feet in the air beneath the cheap waiting room chair.  He didn't want to be here.  He
turned and looked over to his Daddy.  Duo and Quatre were huddled together.  Quatre looked like shit, in Solo's honest
opinion.  He was waxy and way paler than he'd been just a few hours ago.  He was getting sick.  Solo bit his lip.  Another
family member going to pieces.  He felt helpless not being able to do anything.

He turned the other way and saw Laurel sitting on his other side.  She was sniffling with large tears dripping down her cheeks.  
He might not be able to help anybody else, but at least he could help her.  He forced a smile on his face and wrapped an arm
around her shoulders, pulling her into a hug.  He had to be strong if only for her sake.  He had to be a good big brother, for as
long as they were still a family at least.



*****



Duo chewed on his thumbnail nervously.  Everything was a mess.  Heero was hurt, his kids were scared and Quatre was sick.  
Frustrated, he shoved himself to his feet and stalked over to the nearest payphone.

"Duo?"  Quatre's voice questioned.  "What are you doing?"

He didn't respond right off.  He was already dialing.  Briefly, he wondered if this was a good idea or not, but one look at
Quatre's face had him convinced.  He wasn't going to stand around and watch Quatre waste away, not when there was
something he could do about it this time.

"This is for your own good, buddy," Duo muttered, taking a breath and steeling himself.

Trowa answered the phone quickly.  "Hello?"

"Hey, Tro.  Look, there's been … ah, well an accident and I was wondering if you wouldn't mind babysitting?"  He asked it all
in a rush, not giving his friend a chance to interrupt.  "I'd really appreciate it.  I mean, the kids must be bored waiting around
the hospital."  He laughed and even to himself it sounded a bit hysterical.

"Duo, what happened?"

"Heero was … there was a car accident.  I don't know anything else.  The doctors haven't come out yet.  My kids don't need
to be here, Tro.  I can't worry about everyone."

“What hospital are you at?  I'll be right there."

"Khushrenada Memorial.  Thanks, man."

"Is Quatre okay?"

Duo took a swift glance back at the blonde who was watching him in confusion.  He grinned, trying not to allow his empathic
friend in on this part of the conversation.  His kids weren't the only ones who needed babysitting.  Quatre needed a good nap
and a decent meal and he wasn't going to get either here.  Trowa would take care of him.

"You should get here as fast as you can."

A sigh on the other end of the line.  "That bad, huh?"

"Yup.  Naps are needed and breakfast.  We left home way early."

"All right.  I'll be there soon.  Thanks for calling me, Duo."  With that, he disconnected the call.

Duo sighed as he shook his head.  "As if I'd leave you in the dark when a friend is in trouble."  He pursed his lips and picked up
the phone again.  There was one more call he had to make.  Well, technically he couldn't call the person directly, but he could
call the man's supervisor to let her know what was going on and see if she could get in touch with him for Duo.

"Hello?"

Duo smiled a little at the familiar voice.  "Une!  How're things with you?"

The woman let out a chuckle.  "Maxwell.  I'm fine.  How are you doing?  Agent Chang seemed worried a little over a month
ago."

Duo leaned against the wall.  "Physically, I'm much better.  Emotionally, I'm a wreck.  Heero was in an accident last night and
I was hoping you'd get in contact with Wufei.  I'm waiting for news on his condition.  I called you because I don't want the
rumor mill passing this story around."

"I quite understand.  I'll contact agent Chang and the Vice Foreign Minister.  Please don't hesitate to call me back when you
know how he's doing."

Duo nodded even though he knew Une couldn't see him.  "I will as soon as I can.  Thanks, Une."  He hung up as Quatre
walked over.

"What was all that about?"  Quatre frowned as he stared at the phone.  "I'm pretty sure you called Trowa, but who else did you
call?"

Duo shrugged.  "Just thought I'd get in contact with Wufei.  Since I don't know if he's out on a mission, I called Une.  Heero
would kill me if I called anyone else."

Quatre nodded.  "Oh.  That was good thinking."  He looked thoughtful.  "I should have thought of that so you could sit with
your kids."  He looked dazed and dead tired.

Duo smiled and put a hand on Quatre's shoulder.  "Thanks, man, but you know me.  If I don't stay busy, I'll go nuts."  He took
a deep breath and let it out.  "Trowa should be here soon."  He walked back over to his kids as a doctor approached.  “How's
Heero?”

The man looked at them and smiled a bit at Duo.  "Mr. Yuy should be just fine.  He needed a few stitches, and one of his legs is
broken, but he's in relatively good condition otherwise.  A sprained wrist and some bumps and bruises.  I suggest that he
remain here for observation, but he should be able to go home tomorrow."

"Can I see him?"

"Of course.  I should warn you though, we have sedated him, so he may be disoriented."

Duo almost grinned at that.  He followed the doctor, leaving Quatre behind with the kids.  He wanted to see Heero first, to be
sure he could even take the kids in.  If Heero looked bad, he didn't want Solo or Laurel to see him like that.

When he stepped into the room, he was hardly surprised to find Heero wide awake.  The cuts and bruises didn't seem too bad,
nothing like the horrible images he had been conjuring up in his mind.  His left leg was propped up in a cast and his right wrist
was wrapped in an ace bandage.  There were more bandages around his head and just above his right elbow, a couple of
uncovered cuts here and there where the hospital gown didn't cover him.

Before he could say anything at all, Heero looked down and away.  "I'm sorry."

Some of Duo's anger fled as he sat down in a chair next to Heero's bed.  "I should hope you are."  He took Heero's uninjured
hand and sighed.  "What were you thinking, driving when you are so sleep deprived?"

Heero shook his head, then groaned as it obviously caused him pain.  "No, not that.  I was on my way home and some drunk
idiot ran a red light.  I swerved to avoid him, but my reaction time was off and I crashed into a streetlight."  He gripped Duo's
hand a little tighter.  "The paintings.  I'm sorry about the paintings.  I shouldn't have hidden them.  I should have talked to you."

Duo smiled reassuringly.  "We can talk later.  Right now, there's some people waiting to see you."

"All right."  He tried to sit up straighter and winced as he settled back into his original reclined position.  Instead of trying again,
he smoothed out the wrinkles in his blankets.

Duo gave him a pat on the shoulder before going to get Quatre and the kids.  The three of them all looked miserable.  Two
from worry and one from stress and illness.  Solo jumped to his feet as Duo approached.

"Is Dad okay?  He's not going to die, is he?"

Dropping down on one knee, Duo hugged his son.  "No, he's not dying.  There's nothing that serious, just some bruises and a
broken leg."  He pulled back, grinning at the relief evident in the boy's eyes.  "You two want to come see him?"

Laurel nodded emphatically and Solo stood up.

He looked up at the sound of heels clicking across the floor and smiled at Trowa, who was approaching with company.  "Hey,
Tro."

He blinked at the sight of the red-haired person keeping stride beside Trowa.  That was one hot redhead, Duo had to admit.  It
took a double-take for Duo to realize he was looking at a man.  The redhead was slim, and slight of build and wearing a tasteful
black skirt and an ice blue blouse.  He pushed a stroller along in front of him, while a toddler scrambled to keep up beside him.  

"Who are your friends, buddy?"

Trowa turned to the stranger and smiled.  "This is Julian, my roommate.  And these are two of his children, Juliet and
Christopher.  Jules, this is Duo and his children Solo and Laurel."

Laurel smiled and waved at the little girl clinging to Julian's skirt.

Julian nodded and then turned his attention to Quatre.  "And I'll bet anything that the cute guy who looks about ready to pass
out is Quatre, of whom you won't shut up about."

Quatre, who had looked about to storm out of the room at the first sight of Julian, now looked confused.  "What?"

Trowa was blushing, but he simply cleared his throat.  "How's Heero?"

Duo smiled and held his kids' hands.  "He'll be fine.  I'm just taking the kids in to say hello and then I'd appreciate it if you'd
look after them for a while.  It's boring here, and there's no need for them to sit around with nothing to do while I fill out the
mountain of paperwork they'll probably have for me."

Julian smiled warmly.  "It's no problem.  I'm sure it'll be a pleasure to have them as company.  I'm sure Juliet and Laurel will be
great friends in no time."

Duo nodded.  "Thank you, Julian."

The redhead snorted and waved his hand.  "Please!  My friends call me Jules.  And it really isn't a hassle."

Duo found himself liking Trowa's roommate.  He gave off feelings of warmth and kindness, an energetic spirit.  "Jules it is,
then.  We'll just be a moment."  With that, he led his children in to see Heero.



*****



Trowa sighed and sat down next to Quatre.  He'd brought Julian here for a reason.  Quatre wouldn't yell at him in a hospital.  
This was the best chance he'd have at explaining himself and to introduce Quatre to Julian.

"I'm sorry I didn't explain things all that well before."  He motioned to Julian.  "Jules is a friend of mine from the circus.  He,
uh, fell on hard times and just recently lost his husband.  He makes a nice amount of money, but not enough to pay rent on a
decent apartment as well as raise his three kids.  I decided to do him a favor and let him stay at my place.  I wasn't planning to
use it myself."

Quatre looked a bit unhappy.  Whether he was unhappy with Trowa or with himself, Trowa had no idea.  Then the blonde
sighed.  "I suppose I didn't give you much of a chance, but do you know how it looked?"

Julian sat down in the chair on Quatre's other side and patted his hand.  "Don't worry about it.  It's nice to meet you, at any
rate.  You're just as Trowa described you."

Trowa sighed in embarrassment, but was glad that Julian didn't go into detail about some of the conversations that they had.  
He hadn't been able to stop talking once he'd started.  Then he noticed that Quatre swaying in his seat.  He and Julian shared a
look.

Trowa stood up as Duo returned with two slightly more relaxed children.  "You take care of yourself and Heero.  I'll look after
Quatre and the kids."  That said, he bent down and unceremoniously lifted Quatre over his shoulders in a fireman's carry.

"Hey!"  Quatre struggled a little, but then gave up when he realized that Trowa was much stronger than he was.  Quatre had
been neglected his health and it pained Trowa to know he was partially at fault.  If only he'd explained himself better, maybe
Quatre wouldn't be so stressed.

Duo looked relieved and, although he was obviously tired, he was strong enough to do what he needed to do.  Trowa smiled a
little at his friend.  "Don't rush things.  Call when you're ready to come for the kids."

Laurel and Juliet were giggling like old friends and playing a clapping game as best as they could with Laurel's broken arm, but
Solo looked worried.

Duo knelt in front of his son and took hold of his hands.  "Look after your little sister while I'm here getting everything together
so your dad can come home and we can all eat dinner together."

Trowa marveled at how good a father Duo already was as Solo brightened a little.

"Tonight?  We'll all have dinner together tonight?" the boy inquired, his eyes wide.

Duo chuckled and stroked Solo's bangs.  "I'll do my best to get Heero out, but if I can't, then it'll just be us with Trowa, Quatre
and Julian and his children.  That's my promise to you."  He stood up and smiled at Trowa.  "I'll see you all later."

Laurel waved cheerfully.  "See you later, Daddy!  I'll make a nice picture for you."

Trowa smiled as Solo joined him and walked out of the hospital.  His first order of business was to get Quatre tucked into bed
for some sleep.  He hoped that most of Quatre's problem was exhaustion.



To Be Continued …