Disclaimers:  I still don’t own anything.

Notes:  Yes, Duo attempted suicide.  Let’s see what happens when Heero gets him back to the house.



Christmas Memories
Part 10



Heero hastily opened the door and rushed inside, carrying the limp form of Duo in his arms.  He ran inside, not bothering to
close the door behind himself.  He just carried Duo into the house.  

“You found him!  What’s his condition?”  Wufei asked, as Heero entered the house.  

“I honestly wish I knew.  He’s sick  . . . I think he’s been sick since before he got here, but he’s good at hiding it.”  Heero
replied.

“Bring him into the living room.”  Trowa said, motioning for Heero to follow him.  “I set up the sofa bed.  The first-aid kit is in
there, as well as some warm sugar water.”

“How’s Quatre?”  Heero asked as he followed Trowa.  He was concerned about the blonde as well, although Duo’s health was
far more important.

“Fine now that I know who to block.”  Quatre replied from a chair near the sofa bed.  He still looked pale, although he did
seem to have more energy than just a few minutes ago.  “Oh  . . . Allah!”  Quatre gasped.  “He’s so pale!  Hurry!”

Heero carefully laid Duo down, frowning as the American began to shiver.  He started to remove the damp, cold garments.  
“Quatre  . . . could you get a pair of your pajamas brought in here?”  Heero asked, seeing the way Duo’s ribs were showing
through his skin.

“Wouldn’t they be too small on him?”  Quatre asked.

Heero sighed.  “They would be  . . . if he’d been eating properly.  No wonder he was freezing yesterday.  Look at him!”  He
pushed the shirt off Duo’s shoulders, grimacing at the sight of Duo’s emaciated body.  “He has nothing to keep his blood
warm.”  

“I’ll get a set right away.”  Quatre said, walking out of the room.

Heero turned to Trowa.  “Hand me that warm water . . . lets see if he can keep it down.”  Gently, he shook Duo’s bare
shoulder, as he took the mug from Trowa with his other hand.  “Duo?  Duo . . . wake up.”

Duo blinked his eyes open slightly, his body still shivering.  “Huh?”

“Here  . . . drink this.  It’ll warm you up a little.”  Heero said, holding the mug to Duo’s lips.  He smiled a little when Duo took
a few sips.  “That’s it, Duo.  Hang in there.”  He mumbled, watching as Duo finished the water.

Wufei walked over and set a basin of water down on a table near the bed.  “Here  . . . To clean him up a little.”  Wufei said,
handing Heero the washcloth.

Heero nodded his thanks, and turned back to Duo.  He soaked the washcloth in the warm water, then wrung it out.  He noticed
that Trowa was on Duo’s other side, the first-aid kit by his leg, as he tended to the slashes in Duo’s wrists.

“Baka!”  Heero chided, while gently wiping the makeup from Duo’s face.  He frowned at the paleness that was revealed, at the
deep bruise colored circles that surrounded his weary eyes.  “What did you think you were doing?”

“Hn!”  Duo said weakly.  “As if YOU really care.  I know none of ya do.”  He sniffled, a single tear dripping from one of his
half-closed eyes.  “Would it have killed any of ya to say, ‘Hey, Duo old pal  . . . how’ve ya been?’ once in a while?  Huh?”  

“Duo . . .”  Heero began, but then Duo’s eyes fluttered shut as his body just gave out on him.  Heero sighed, seeing the
American asleep.  Hopefully he would get better.  

The sound of the phone ringing, nearly made Heero jump, startled.  But he kept his face expressionless, staring down at the
unconscious American he was so worried about.  He turned his attention away from Duo for only a moment, as Wufei walked
over to the phone and answered it.  A moment later, Quatre reentered the room, handing a pair of pajamas over to Heero.

With Trowa’s help, Heero was able to get Duo dressed in the clean royal blue pajamas.  Wufei stepped back over.  “I have to
leave.  I just got an urgent request from Preventers Headquarters.  I’m needed immediately.”  

Heero looked over at him, not saying a word.  Quatre, however, did reply.  “You have to leave now?”

“I am afraid that I do.  I make no promises, but I will try my best to get back by Christmas Eve.”  Wufei said.

Heero noticed that Wufei hesitated a moment before leaving, giving Duo a worried glance.  Then he just grabbed his jacket and
left, not returning to his room to pack.  Obviously, time was something he didn’t have at the moment.

Heero turned his attention back to Duo.  He grabbed a blanket from off the bed, tucking it around Duo’s pale, unconscious
body.  He sat back and watched Duo, all the time worrying for his health, hoping for him to get better.


*****


Quatre sat on the edge of the sofa bed, just staring down at Duo.  Trowa was sitting in a chair nearby, a book in his hands,
although his eyes constantly drifted over to the unconscious American.  And Heero was sitting on the floor, typing on his
laptop.  

All night they had been there, waiting for any sign to tell them that Duo was getting better.  But he hadn’t awakened again,
hadn’t made a single movement other than a few tosses and turns, once in a while whimpering in his sleep.

“Why would Duo try and kill himself?”  Quatre asked, not truly speaking to anyone, just needing to hear something other than
the incessant typing of Heero’s fingers on that laptop.  He had been asking that same question ever since Wufei had left last
night.  “It makes no sense!  He has . . .”

“He has nothing, Quatre.”  Heero interrupted.  “And we’re partially to blame for this.”  

“What do you mean?”  Quatre asked.

Heero stood up only to sit on the edge of the sofa bed across from Quatre.  He took one of Duo’s pale, limp hands into his
own, and took in a deep breath before meeting Quatre’s eyes.  “From what I’ve been able to find out, his business has gone
belly-up, Hilde left him and got married  . . . didn’t invite him to the wedding - I checked.  He’s just been evicted from his
home, he has absolutely no money in the bank, the only things he has left are what he brought in that bag of his.  The worst of
it all . . . is that none of us has spoken with him in months.”

“Why didn’t he call us?”  Quatre asked.

“From the records I dug up, he tried for a while  . . . but with you in business meetings, Trowa never in the same place for
more than a month, Wufei constantly on missions, and myself not being able to dig up the courage to call him back . . . he
must have felt like he wasn’t wanted.”  He frowned.

Quatre unconsciously began rubbing his hand over his chest, feeling a slight ache.  He sensed such strange emotions from
Heero . . . fear, worry, a pinch of guilt and sadness.  But along with those emotions, Quatre also felt a strong undercurrent of
love, a tiny spark of hope buried deep within Heero’s heart.

“Who invited him?”  Heero asked, frowning.

Trowa placed his book down.  “I only called Wufei.  I think Rasid called you and Duo.”

Heero sighed, a twinge of sadness in that barely audible sound.  “Bad move.  Rasid seemed to be in a bad mood when he called
me.  Since I was the last one invited, I wouldn’t be surprised if he made Duo feel as if he weren’t really wanted here.”  Heero
reached out and brushed his hand against Duo’s cheek.  “Duo had to stow away on a shuttle to get here.  He wasn’t listed on
any of the flights here.  He risked his health riding in an uninsulated area because he heard that Quatre was ill.”  He closed his
eyes, and took a deep breath.  “Even when he felt like he wasn’t really wanted, he came . . . and hid how sick and tired and
lonely he was because he didn’t want us to worry about him.”  He shook his head.

Quatre looked over at Trowa, hearing him sigh.  “He was only concerned about Quatre, when he thought we felt nothing for
him.”  Trowa said.

“Baka!  Dear, sweet, unselfish baka.”  Heero said, his voice so quiet that even Quatre who sat only inches away from him had
barely overheard.  Heero removed his hand from Duo’s pale cheek.  “And I’m more of a baka than he ever was or will be.  I
should have seen this . . . I once prided myself on being the perfect soldier who would observe everything.  I used to know
when something was off if his breathing wasn’t in the right rhythm.  And I missed this because of a little face powder.”

“Heero,”  Quatre said, laying a hand on his shoulder.  “You can’t blame yourself.  You had no idea how miserable Duo felt.  If
it’s anyone’s fault, it’s mine.  If only I had opened up before tonight, if I had let the emotions fill me, then I would've known it
was Duo.  I could have helped him.”

Quatre stood and walked away, not letting the others stop him.  Tears fell from his tired eyes, but he just brushed them away.  
Every word he had spoken was true.  If he had taken the risk and let the emotions in, he would have known it was Duo so
much sooner.  He could have helped, if only he had done something more.

Quatre stopped in the doorway, just standing there wiping away the tears that continued to fall from his eyes.  After a few
moments, he looked up, only to see Trowa holding a box out to him.

“What’s this?”  Quatre asked, sniffling.

“A present.  I know it’s not Christmas yet, but I thought maybe it would cheer you up to get it now.”  Trowa replied.

“When did you have time to buy a present?”  Quatre asked as he took the present and opened it.

“I didn’t.  I called Catherine and asked her to send it over when I called to get some changes of clothes sent here.”  Trowa
said.  Quatre pulled the stuffed lion from the box.  “It’ll give you something to hold when you sleep . . . in case you have any
more nightmares.”

“I’d rather hold you.”  Quatre mumbled under his breath.

“Huh?  Did you say something?”

“Yes . . .”  Quatre started to say, but as soon as he looked up at that beautiful face and realized that Trowa didn’t love him, he
couldn’t go through with it.  “I just said thank you.  Thank you for the lion.”

“You’re welcome.”  Trowa smiled, then his gaze traveled upwards.  He reached up, and plucked some strange plant from off
the doorframe.

“What’s that?”  Quatre asked, looking at the tiny shrub-like plant.  The rounded leaves were deep green and the berries, all
clustered together, were tiny and white.

“It’s mistletoe.”  Trowa replied, holding it over Quatre’s head.

“What’s it for?  Another confusing Christmas ritual?”  Quatre asked, staring up at the small plant.

“Sort of.”  Trowa replied.  “I don’t know how the tradition started, but if two people find themselves standing under mistletoe,
the tradition says the two people have to kiss each other.”

Quatre flushed a little at the idea of kissing Trowa, but why go against tradition?  He tilted his face up and closed his eyes.  
When Trowa’s lips lightly met his, he sighed as a feeling of love filled him.  He had been wanting to know what a kiss from
Trowa would feel like for a long time.  

When Trowa didn’t pull away as Quatre thought he would, he wrapped his arms around the taller boy, whimpering in delight as
Trowa deepened the kiss and returned the embrace.  He shyly licked Trowa’s bottom lip and sensed a flash of surprise from
him before Trowa opened his mouth to give Quatre access.  

Quatre wasn’t aware of how long they had stood like that, when someone cleared their throat loudly from behind him.  He
reluctantly pulled away from Trowa, blushing as he looked over at the three men standing there.  

“Auda, Abdul, please take Master Quatre to his room.”  Rasid said, gruffly.

“Yes, sir.”  Auda said, as he and Abdul stepped forward.  

Quatre attempted to put up an argument, but gave it up as the two men grabbed either of his arms and slowly led him away.  
They weren’t being forceful, weren’t making him leave.  Besides, they were just following Rasid’s orders, there would be no
point in getting mad at either of them.


*****


Trowa watched as Quatre was led away.  As soon as Quatre was out of sight, Rasid stepped forward.  Trowa was dreading
what was about to happen.

“I understand why Mr. Yuy and Mr. Maxwell are still here.  Mr. Maxwell is in no condition to travel and Mr. Yuy won’t leave
without him.  But I thought I made myself clear that you were to leave after the holiday party.”  Rasid sneered.

“And I thought I had made it clear that I would leave when Quatre wanted me to, not before.”  Trowa replied.

“Insolent punk!”  Rasid shouted, as he punched Trowa hard in the face, causing Trowa to nearly fall over at the force of the
blow.  “What do you want?!”

Trowa kicked back, making the older man stumble backwards slightly.  “What the Hell are you talking about?”

“Name your price, grunt.”  Rasid said, hitting Trowa with a right hook.  “What amount do you expect to squeeze out of Master
Quatre now that you know how weak he is when it comes to you?”

“What?!”  Trowa nearly shouted, dodging Rasid’s next punch.  “You think I’m interested in his money?”

Rasid snorted.  “Of course . . . Why else would you drop everything?”  Quickly he reached out, grabbing Trowa and pinning
him to the wall.  “Name your price!”

“Why else would I be willing to drop everything, Rasid?”  Trowa said, not struggling to break free of Rasid’s strong grasp.  
“Why do you and the rest of the Maguanac follow him?  He’s little more than a boy.”  When Rasid didn’t reply, he continued.  
“What price?  I’ve already paid my own price, Rasid  . . . And I've given it freely.  Still  . . . as you’ve said  . . . I’m a nameless
nobody with no past and no future.  I have nothing to offer him, save for that which has already been given to him.  My price
was my heart.”  

He paused as Rasid’s hands dropped away from him.  “You say that he is weak when it comes to me.  I have that same
weakness.”  He looked into Rasid’s eyes, wanting to make sure the other man saw the truth.  “The reason I dropped everything
is because I love him.  He deserves better than me, I agree with you there.  Still . . . I will accept whatever grain of friendship I
can get.”  He sighed, casting his gaze downward as a tear burned its way past his defenses and dripped from his eye.

“Trowa?”  A voice gasped.  Trowa recognized it immediately as Quatre’s voice.

Rasid moved aside and Trowa saw that Quatre stood behind the large man, only a few feet away.  Trowa’s heart raced in
panic, not knowing what to do or what to say.  How could he take back the words now?  How could he fix this?  He knew
that Quatre didn’t love him, he wasn’t worthy of the beautiful blonde.

For what seemed like an eternity, the two of them just stared at each other, trapped in the deafening silence.  Rasid had
departed, not uttering a single word as he quietly walked away.  But now, Trowa and Quatre were left staring at each other,
Trowa afraid that he had ruined everything by his own words.

“Quatre, I . . .” Trowa said, wanting to say something, anything to crack the uncomfortable silence that had fallen between
them.

“Do you mean it?”  Quatre interrupted.

Trowa sighed, hoping he was doing the right thing.  “Yes . . . yes I do.  I love you, Quatre.”

The smile that graced Quatre’s face was glorious, causing Trowa to smile in return.  In only a moment, Trowa found Quatre in
his arms.  “I'm glad!”  Quatre announced, holding Trowa in a warm embrace.  “I'm glad because I love you, too.”

Trowa physically felt the weight lifting from his shoulders, the emotional strain he had put himself through for all of this time
washing away as the warmth of Quatre’s love took its place.  Gently, he pushed Quatre away, smiling.  “Now . . . where were
we before we were interrupted?”



To Be Continued . . .