Disclaimers:  I don’t own anything.  Not Gundam Wing or any of its characters.

Notes:  This is a 2x4 AU, although in the beginning it’s more like 2+4, since they don’t just hop in the sack right after meeting.  
Other pairings are 1+3, 5+Meiran, and others that I might make up along the way.  But these are the important ones.  All the
guys are normal kids going to the same school.  So far not all of them know each other, but that will change as the story goes
along.

Warnings:  Drug use, violence, foul language, rape (eventually).



Choices of the Heart



Part One


Quatre felt himself being drawn to consciousness and fought it with every fiber of his being.  He just wasn’t ready to get up just
yet.  The bed was too warm . . . too comfortable.  He didn’t want to get up.  He rolled over, an attempt to keep awareness
away, and was rewarded by a harsh ray of sunlight in his face.  He winced and turned away from the offensive light, burying
his face in the pillow as he pulled the covers over his head to make it even darker.

“Quatre . . . come on!  We have to leave in twenty minutes!”  A voice called out, seemingly from miles away.  However, for all
Quatre knew, the person was standing right next to his bed.

Quatre made some unintelligible answer, something between a grunt and a murmur in the hopes that the voice would go away
and let him sleep just a little longer.

“Quatre . . .”  The voice persisted. “You won’t have time for breakfast.”

He tried to answer, wanting to tell the intruder to go away.  He just wanted to sleep a bit longer.  Ten minutes . . . five minutes .
. . anything.  Quatre sighed happily, snuggling deeper into the warmth of his blankets, as the voice went away . . . at the sound
of footsteps leaving his room.

However, that happiness was short lived and he heard the footsteps return only moments later.  “I didn’t want to have to do this
to you, little bro, but . . .”

Quatre flinched as the blankets were yanked from his body, keeping his eyes shut and hoping he wouldn’t be forced out of bed.  
He just wanted a little more sleep.  Was that so wrong?  Suddenly, he was torn from sleep, when ice cold water drenched his
body.

He bolted straight up in bed, icy cold water dripping from his hair, soaking his body and the sheets underneath him.  
“GYAAAAAAHHHH!!!!!  HEERO!”  He yelled at his stepbrother, who was now holding an empty pitcher in his hands.

Heero smirked slightly, an expression that probably wouldn’t be noticed by anyone other than Quatre.  “Hn!  Good thing I’m not
my dad . . . he wouldn’t have warned you.  Get dressed.  We leave in ten minutes.”  He said, then promptly left the room.

Quatre shivered, wondering for the hundredth time why his father had married Heero’s mother.  Surely it wasn’t because she
was pleasant company.  She had been just as bad, if not worse than Heero.  He guessed that being a female soldier made a
person tough, but man, she had been so strict.  No wonder Heero had turned out the way he had.

Of course, she had been an attractive woman, and at times her kindness toward others showed through her gruff exterior.  
Quatre had several memories of when he was still mourning his own mother’s loss and she had comforted him.  She had been a
friend to Quatre’s mother, although Quatre still didn’t know how the two women had become friends.  It wasn’t until years
after his mother’s death, and his father’s marriage to Heero’s mother before Quatre learned to like Setzu Yuy.  And they truly
hadn’t gotten along very well, until she too became ill.  

Quatre shook off the thoughts of his stepbrother, and stepmother, not wanting to dwell in the bad memories.  He hastily walked
into the bathroom.  Then he grabbed a towel and quickly dried himself off before returning to his room.  Since they had to leave
so quickly, there wasn’t time for a shower.  Who knew what Heero would do to him if they were late for school.


*****


Duo groaned as he buried his face deeper into his pillow.  It was way too early to wake up, at least in his honest opinion.  
However, as much as he wanted to go back to sleep, he knew he couldn’t.  Even if that alarm clock of his wasn’t blaring, he
had to get up, if only to make sure his roommate, and best friend, got out of bed.

He reached out blindly, and slammed his hand down on the snooze button of his alarm clock, ceasing that annoying sound.  
Slowly he rolled over, deciding that it was time to face another day.  He forced his eyes open, wincing at the brightness of the
sun as it hit his face.

Duo pushed the blankets from his body, muttering about how bright it was, as he struggled to sit up.  He swung his legs over
the edge of the bed and quickly stood, getting a head rush when he moved too fast.  But he didn’t let a little dizziness stop him,
and he walked into the bathroom, grabbing his little travel bag with him as he moved.

He locked the bathroom door behind him.  It was just something he had to do.  Lord knew that he couldn’t get caught doing
what he usually did in the bathroom.  It would only get him in trouble, maybe even thrown out of the house if his friends found
out.

Carefully, he set his bag down on the edge of the sink and opened it.  Without looking inside, he pulled out a white, pill bottle.  
As he popped the cap off, Duo glanced up, his eyes catching a glimpse of his own reflection.  Man, did he look awful.  His hair
was a mess, most of it hanging knotted and unraveled from the braid it was usually in.  His skin was a grayish pallor, his eyes
were puffy and surrounded by dark bruise-colored circles.  He looked so tired, and he felt even more exhausted than he looked,
feeling as if any minute he could collapse.

Duo shook his head and poured a couple pills out of the bottle and into his hand.  Quickly, not letting himself think about it, he
popped the pills into his mouth.  Grabbing a small plastic cup from the cup holder by the sink, he filled it with cool water, then
lifted the cup to his lips, swallowing the water and the pills.  He didn’t need the water to take the pills . . . it just made it easier
first thing in the morning, if he had something to wash them down with.

He was addicted to the little white pills, the uppers.  But then again, he needed them, so he couldn’t quit taking them.  He had a
job, plus school to deal with, and no time for more than a couple hours sleep each night if he was lucky.  However, that was the
way it had to be.  He had to pay his own way in school, had to help out his roommate and the guy’s sister.  Poor guy was sick,
and Duo wouldn’t sit by and watch his friend suffer.  He just had to help.  After all, they were nice enough to take him in off the
streets.

A poor orphan like Duo . . . no one else even gave him the time of day.  It had ben rare for any of the people passing on the
streets to even drop a couple cents his way.  Not that he would take it anyway.  Duo never accepted charity, it just wasn’t
something he did.  He had gotten enough of charity from those snobs that had shut down the orphanage, forcing him into a
foster home he had never wanted to go to in the first place.  

He would have been much happier with Sister Helen and Father Maxwell, than in the hell-hole he had been sent to.  Weren't there
agencies that checked prospective foster parents out to make sure they weren’t abusive bastards?  Obviously whoever it was
had taken the day off when it came to Duo’s turn to be placed in a home.

Duo shook his head again, knocking the unpleasant thoughts away.  He had gotten out of that place.  They couldn't hurt him
now.  He sniffled, remembering the one pleasant face in that place, the only one that wasn’t there anymore.  “Solo . . .”  He
whispered, an errant tear escaping his eye as he remembered his friend.

Someone knocked on the bathroom door, startling Duo and causing him to jump slightly.  He almost spilled all the pills out of his
bottle.  “Duo, you okay in there?”  A pleasant voice called out.  It was his roommate’s sister.

“Yeah . . . I’m fine.  I’ll be out in a minute.”  Duo replied, hastily putting the cap back onto the bottle and shoving it back into
the bag.

“That’s okay, don’t rush on my account.  Breakfast is ready and waiting for you.  Make sure you wake my brother up so he
can take his meds.  I have to get ready for work.”  

“No prob.”  Duo answered, placing his fake grin on his face even though no one was there to see it.

Duo once again reached into his bag, this time pulling out his hairbrush.  He unraveled what was left of his braid, and brushed it
as quickly as he could.  Then he re-braided it and looked at his reflection once again.  Well, at least his hair looked better.

He went about with the rest of his bathroom routine, although he did skip the shower because he didn’t want to be late for
school.  As quickly as he could, he returned to his room and got dressed, then tossed his books into his backpack.  At least he
had gotten all his homework done before he had fallen asleep, that was a good thing.

“Hey, Trowa . . . wake up!”  Duo said cheerfully, as he strolled into his roommate’s room.  Those pills had finally kicked in, and
he felt more awake, hopefully looked a little better too.

He stopped short, his smile falling from his face as he saw his roommate.  His friend, as usual, was sleeping on several pillows,
the head of his bed propped up.  Trowa was tossing and turning fitfully in his sleep, obviously caught in some nightmare.  Duo
rushed to his side, knowing this was not a good thing considering Trowa’s heart condition.

“Trowa . . . Wake up, buddy!”  Duo said, shaking his friend’s sweat-soaked shoulder.

Trowa merely pushed at him weakly with his hands, not waking from sleep.  Duo held him down, not wanting to hurt his
friend.  But he was becoming increasingly worried.  Trowa was not well, and if this continued there was a risk to his life.  Duo
was not ready to lose any more friends.  

He held Trowa as gently as possible while keeping a firm grip on him.  “Please, wake up . . . please.”  He whispered, trying to
sound soothing.

A weight, causing the bed to move, caught Duo’s attention for a brief moment.  He looked over, to see that Catherine, Trowa’s
older sister, was sitting on the other side of the bed, beside her younger brother.  She laid her hand against Trowa’s cheek.  
“Come on, little bro.  Wake up.”  She said quietly, although Duo could hear the panic in her voice.

Trowa’s eyes snapped open, and he opened his mouth to take in a huge gulp of air.  For several long seconds he was unable to
breathe properly, and Duo and Catherine remained by his side, fearing the worst.  Duo grabbed the glass of water, that was
always present on Trowa’s bedside table, and held it to his friend’s lips, while Catherine held her little brother in a more upright
position.

Trowa sipped at the water, then coughed, clutching his chest with one hand.  He winced, his body beginning to shiver, even
though he was covered in sweat. “Are you okay?”  Catherine asked, once Trowa’s breathing had returned to almost normal.

He nodded silently in reply.

Catherine leaned forward, pressing a kiss to her brother’s temple.  “You scared the shit out of me, Trowa.”  She whispered,
pulling away from him and standing up.  “You get yourself ready for school if you’re up for it today, and breakfast is waiting
for you two on the table.  I have got to go to work.”

“Ok, Cathy.”  Trowa replied, breathlessly.

Catherine gave him a half-smile and turned to leave the room.  She stopped by the door, and glanced back.  “You take care of
him, Duo.”  She said, her voice laced with worry.

Duo nodded.  He knew that if she could stay she would have.  But she really did have to go to work.  It was bad enough that
she had to drop out of school after their parents had died, but now her younger brother was in desperate need of an operation
that they just couldn’t afford.  This was all wearing her down bit by bit, Duo was sure of it.  All she did was worry over Trowa,
spending all of her free time, if she had any, doting over her younger brother and fretting over his failing health.

Trowa slowly sat up, swinging his legs over the edge of the bed.  Duo stayed by his side, reaching over and grabbing his pill
dispenser, opening the appropriate section to get Trowa’s morning medication.  He handed the pills, and the glass of water over
to Trowa, watching as his friend took his pills.  Then Duo checked Trowa’s blood pressure, just like he did every morning.

“Need help getting to the bathroom today?”  Duo asked, trying to sound pleasant.  He knew that some mornings his friend just
didn’t have enough energy to do much, and often Duo had to help him along.

“Nah, I can make it on my own today.”  Trowa replied.  “Just give me a second.”

Duo looked at Trowa, watching as he closed his eyes to take in a few deep breaths. He was worried about his friend.  It was
obvious that his health was bad, and only getting worse.  Soon, even his medication wouldn’t be able to help him.  And then
what would happen?  Duo shuddered at the only answer available, not wanting Trowa to die.  

And he wasn’t going to let that happen.  Slowly and surely he was saving his money.  Even if it killed him in the process, Duo
would work as many hours as he could to pay for that operation for Trowa.  He already had quite a bit saved up, hidden
someplace safe.  Only a little more and he would be able to repay his friends for all the kindness they had shown him.



To Be Continued . . .



Notes:  Just in case you are wondering, Trowa has Aortic Stenosis, a heart valve defect in which abnormal tissue obstructs the
blood flow through the valve.  I researched the subject thoroughly, but symptoms can appear different in each individual.