Disclaimers:  I own nothing.

Notes:  This isn’t a very pleasant part.  I torment one of the guys.  More of Alex and Mueller being nasty bullies.



Choices of the Heart



Part Four


Duo yawned as the last bell rang.  Finally, he thought, school is finally over for the day.  He quickly shoved his books into his
bag and rose to leave.

“Mr. Maxwell . . . May I have a word with you?”  The teacher asked.

Duo gulped, wondering what he could possibly want to talk about.  He hoped he wasn’t in trouble.  “Sure, Mr. Treize.”  Duo
answered, plastering a fake smile on his face as he approached the front of the classroom.

Mr. Treize placed some papers in his briefcase before turning his attention to Duo.  “Duo, I know that you find history to be a
boring subject . . . something that you have told me on several occasions . . . but if you fall asleep in my class again, I will have
to send you to the nurse’s office.”

“Sorry, sir.”  Duo said, lowering his head.

“Duo . . . the only reason that I’m talking to you, is because you haven’t been looking well for the past few weeks.  I honestly
don’t mind that you sleep in my class, because you do the assignments.  And you obviously study when you can, because you
are a bit above average.”  He placed a hand on Duo’s shoulder.  “I worry about you, Duo.  I know about Trowa’s health, and
that you’ve taken on a night job to help him out.  I know you feel you can handle it, but I think you’re taking on way too much.  
I look at you know and I see a ghost of the hyper boy that came into my classroom at the start of the school year.  Please . . .
take it easier.  Don’t worry so much about everything.”

Duo nodded, just wanting to run as fast as hell out of there.  How could he take it easy, when Trowa was sick?  Mr. Treize just
didn’t understand that he had to help Trowa out, had to save his friend from dying.  “Yes, sir.”  He mumbled as he forced the
smile back onto his face.  “If you’ll excuse me, Mr. Treize . . . I gotta get to work.”

Mr. Treize sighed.  “Fine, Duo.  I’ll see you in class tomorrow, and I expect you to try and stay awake.”  

“Yes, sir.”  Duo smiled, giving Mr. Treize a mock salute.  Then he turned on his heel and quickly left the classroom.

He sighed once he was out of the room, leaning back against the lockers next to the door.  He’d have to take more pills before
Mr. Treize’s class tomorrow.  That was the only way to ensure that he’d be able to stay awake.

Duo composed himself, taking a few deep breaths to calm himself.  He couldn’t take it easy yet, not until he made enough
money to pay for Trowa’s much needed operation.  He just had to help his friend.  There was no way he could just sit back and
watch Trowa die.  He could rest later, but not yet.  Right now he had too many other things to worry about other than himself.

He slung his bag over one shoulder, and stepped away from the lockers.  Duo strolled through the hallway, going to meet Trowa
outside.  Time to escort his buddy home, then he’d be off to work.  Duo sighed, hoping that Howard came up with the rest of
that money for him soon.  He knew his boss couldn’t afford to pay him much, just what extra cash he could scrounge up since
Duo wasn’t legally employed for him, but Trowa did need that operation.


*****


Quatre shoved open the door and stepped out into the sunshine.  He took in a long, deep breath, grateful that the school day was
finally over.  He had purposely gone out the nearest door to his last class of the day, just so that he would be out of that place as
soon as possible.  It was a side door, and not too far away he could see the main doors.

He squinted, thinking that perhaps he saw a familiar face.  Yes, that was Trowa sitting on the steps in front of the doors.  Maybe
he was waiting for Duo.  Only seconds after that thought coursed though his brain, Quatre saw Duo step outside, gently
slapping Trowa on the back as the taller boy stood.

Quatre raised his hand, intending to call out to Duo and Trowa, if only to say goodbye before they left.  Before a sound could
leave his mouth, someone roughly grabbed his arm and yanked on it hard.  He spun around, and was shoved until he hit a wall
with his back, his backpack falling off his shoulder and to the ground.

Quatre grunted, trying to take in a large gulp of air since the force of him striking the wall had knocked the air from his lungs.  
He looked up, wondering who had grabbed him, only to see Alex and Mueller standing in front of him.  Quatre blinked,
wondering what they wanted with him, and where he was at the moment.

As he looked around, he realized where he was.  This was where all the kids went to smoke and not be caught by teachers.  It
was a small niche in the side of the school building, only visible from the outside if you were right next to it.  And at the
moment, Alex and Mueller were blocking the only possible escape route.  Seeing that, Quatre’s heart started pounding in his
chest.

“Well, look who it is . . .”  Alex sneered, tossing his cigarette butt to the ground.  “The pretty boy, rich kid.”

Mueller shoved Quatre back, making his head hit the wall hard.  “We saw you talking to Duo during lunch.  He made a fool of
us, and we don’t like being made fools of.”

“J-Just leave me alone.”  Quatre stammered.

“I don’t think so.  Might as well have fun with you.”  Mueller smiled.

Quatre cringed.  He definitely did not like the sound of that.  Only moments later, a fist collided with his face, several other
strikes quickly following.  Meanwhile, Alex and Mueller continued to taunt him.  

“Did your mommy have a girl but dress you up as a boy to give your father an heir?”  Alex asked, grabbing Quatre’s shirt and
tearing the fabric away from his chest.

Pain flowed through Quatre’s body as he tried unsuccessfully to block the strikes to his face and body.  They just kept hitting
him, even kicking his legs a few times.  Quatre struggled to stay standing, knowing that if they knocked him down, they could
hurt him seriously.

Mueller grabbed his chin, forcing Quatre to look him in the eye.  “The pretty boy ain’t so pretty now!”

Quatre’s instincts took over.  He lashed out, delivering one punch to Mueller’s face.  He looked on in horror, panic welling up
inside of him as he watched blood drip from Mueller’s nose.  He would get hurt for this, Quatre was sure of it.

Mueller glared at him, then smirked evilly.  “Oh no!  I think he broke a nail!”  His smile disappeared and he shoved Quatre back
again.

Alex grabbed Mueller’s shoulder and whispered something into his ear.  Quatre could only watch as they discussed something,
most likely him.  He knew this was probably going to be bad for him.  And as much as he wanted to, he just couldn’t escape
with those two bullies blocking his path.

Alex stepped forward, punching Quatre in the face, splitting his lip open.  Quatre could taste the blood in his mouth, but
continued to watch Alex, wondering what the other boy had in store for him.

Alex grabbed the tattered remains of his shirt, pulling him forward.  “I saw you flirting with that long-haired freak!”  Alex spat.  
“You LIKE guys, dontcha?”

Quatre took in a sharp gasp, terrified beyond belief as one of Alex’s hands snaked its way along his body, quickly moving across
the exposed skin of his chest and down past his waist.  He tried to squirm away, to get away from what Alex was doing.  
However, he didn’t get very far.  Alex let go of his shirt, then wrapped his hand around Quatre’s throat, tightening his grip until
it became difficult for Quatre to breathe.

“Please . . . stop.”  Quatre gasped.

“But then I wouldn’t have any fun.”  Alex whispered, leaning over to swipe his tongue along Quatre’s cheek.  He kept his hand
around Quatre’s throat, while he slid his lips lower, nibbling and suckling on the junction of Quatre’s neck and shoulder.  His
other hand remained busy, unbuckling Quatre’s belt and undoing the front of his pants.

Quatre raised his hands, trying one more time to fight the other boy off.  He clawed at him, tried to push him away.  But he
ceased all his struggles, as Alex tightened his grip on his throat, cutting off all air.  Quatre dropped his hands to his sides in
defeat, clenching them into tight fists.  Alex then loosened his grip slightly, never once stopping what he had been doing with his
other hand and his mouth.

“No . . . no . . . stop . . . please.”  Quatre begged, tears beginning to drip from his eyes.

“Oh stop whining . . . you know you’re enjoying this!”  Mueller sneered.

Quatre shook his head from side to side, clenching his eyes shut as he felt his pants slip down his legs, pooling around his
ankles.  Alex’s hand stroked across his stomach, over his abs, before he slid his hand around, slipping underneath the waistband
of Quatre’s boxers and caressing his ass a few times before cupping one cheek in a firm and bruising grip.

“Smooth . . . so soft.”  Alex murmured into Quatre’s ear, then lowered his mouth again, this time to toy with one of Quatre’s
exposed nipples.

Quatre gasped again, his body beginning to tremble violently out of terror as Alex’s hand slowly slipped back around to the front
of his body.  Bile rose up in Quatre’s throat, but he swallowed it back, while Alex’s hand slipped between his thighs, roughly
stroking him.

Once again, Quatre squirmed to get away from Alex’s touch, fighting his body’s natural reactions to what Alex was doing to
him.  He gasped, biting back a moan that threatened to escape him.  He wouldn’t enjoy this, not one bit.   He knew it was wrong.

Alex paused, letting his tongue slither into Quatre’s ear.  “I knew you’d enjoy this, pretty boy.  I bet you’re loving every minute
of this.”  He whispered.

Quatre shook his head, tears freely falling from his closed eyes.  “No . . . no.”  He mumbled.  “Please . . . stop it.  Please.”

“No way.”  Alex hissed.  Then without warning, he pressed his lips to Quatre’s mouth, roughly pushing past his lips with his
disgusting tongue before Quatre had a chance to clench his teeth shut.  His hand roughly delved between Quatre’s legs again,
harshly groping and fondling his genitals.

Only moments later, Quatre was vaguely aware that someone was shouting, of a strange grunting sound accompanied by thuds
and slaps.  He kept his eyes closed, not willing to open them and see Alex’s face so close to his own.  And then the hand
between his legs was gone, the tongue invading his mouth retreated, and the hand gripping his throat disappeared.  

Quatre crumbled to the ground, huddling himself into a small ball, keeping his eyes shut out of terror.  Alex might still be there.  
This could all just be some part of his sick, twisted sense of humor.  He didn’t want to take the risk of opening his eyes to see
Alex.  What if he was ready to hurt him again, ready to move onto a more painful invasion of his body?

Gentle hands gripped his shoulders, and Quatre shuddered, fear crushing his heart.  He couldn’t stop it, couldn’t control the
terror rushing through him.  He whimpered, trying to back away from the hands on his shoulders, not wanting to be hurt
anymore.

“Quatre . . . please, open your eyes.”  A familiar voice spoke.  It was Heero.  He sounded worried.  “Look at me.”

Quatre took a chance, and lifted his head, opening his eyes to look at who was in front of him.  It was Heero.  And as worried
as Heero’s voice had sounded a moment ago, he appeared even more concerned.  He winced, apparently seeing the marks on
Quatre’s face for the first time.

“Heero?” Quatre whispered, confused as to what had happened.  Where were Alex and Mueller?  Fear clouded his heart once
again, and he pushed himself backwards away from Heero, his eyes darting around wildly as he looked for the two bullies.  

“Quatre . . . it’s okay.  Wufei and I took care of those two thugs.”  Heero said, gently cupping Quatre’s face in his hands,
forcing him to look into Heero’s eyes.  “Meiran went to get help.”

Quatre sniffled, shifting his gaze away from Heero’s eyes.  Just beyond Heero, he saw Wufei, standing over the unconscious
forms of Alex and Mueller.  He shivered when he saw Alex, the memory of how he had touched him returning to his mind.  
Quatre lashed out, wrapping his arms around Heero frantically, burying his face in his stepbrother’s shoulder as sobs began to
wrack his small form.

Heero’s arms slowly circled him, holding him tenderly.  “Sshh . . . it’s okay, Quatre.”

“He was going to . . .  He almost . . .”  Quatre gasped, his voice choked and wavering.

Heero just held him tighter, gently stroking Quatre’s back with one hand.  “It’s okay, Quatre.  They won’t hurt you now.”  
Heero whispered, attempting to be soothing.  After a few moments, Heero pulled away from him.

Quatre shivered, sniffling.  “Heero?”  He whimpered, suddenly feeling that his stepbrother was disgusted with him, that he was
going to push him away.

Heero smiled gently, a rare expression on his face.  “Let’s get your clothes back on.  Okay?”  He whispered, glancing down at
Quatre’s body.

Quatre looked down, embarrassment flooding his mind.  He let Heero help him to stand, watching as his brother knelt slightly to
pull his pants up for him.  Quatre would have done it himself, but he just couldn’t stop shaking, couldn’t stop the tremors
coursing throughout his body.  He grasped what was left of his shirt, holding it closed as he slid back down to the ground,
Heero’s arms slipping away from him, the front of his pants still open.  He lay on his side and curled up on the ground, sobbing
once again.

“What happened here?”  A new voice called out.  

Quatre opened his eyes, watching as several faculty members stepped into his line of sight.  There was Mr. Dorlian, the
principal, helping a dazed Mueller to stand up.  Mr. Treize was helping Alex to stand.  Quatre shivered at the sight of Alex.  And
Mr. Peacecraft, the gym teacher/wrestling coach, was standing beside Meiran, just watching everything.  

Mr. Peacecraft turned his attention away from Alex and Mueller, his eyes landing on Quatre.  Quatre shivered under his gaze,
fearful of what the older man would think or say.  However, Mr. Peacecraft just pushed past the other people and knelt beside
Quatre, hesitantly reaching out to turn Quatre’s face to him.  “Good lord.”  He gasped.  He looked to Heero.  “What the hell
happened to him?”  He demanded.  Quatre whimpered at the tone, pulling his face away from Mr. Peacecraft and burying it in
his hands only to sob again.

“Wufei, Meiran, and I were on our way home.  I glanced over and saw Alex and Mueller.  Alex was . . . he was . . .”  Heero
said, apparently unable to continue.

“They what?”  Mr. Dorlian asked.  Quatre looked over, seeing that Mr. Dorlian and Mr. Treize were keeping Alex and Mueller
from leaving.  “What was Alex doing?”

Heero swallowed, pausing before he spoke again.  “Alex was assaulting Quatre.  He had one of his hands . . .”  He paused again,
then whispered the last part quietly.  “He had one of his hands down the front of Quatre’s pants . . . groping him.”

Quatre shuddered again, curling himself into a smaller ball, still watching as the others continued to talk.  “What?”  Mr. Treize
shouted, his tone horrified.  

“Come along, boys.  The two of you are going to my office until the police arrive.”  Mr. Dorlian said, as he and Mr. Treize
pulled Alex and Mueller away.

“I’ll take Quatre to the nurse.  Sally should look him over.  Don’t forget to call an ambulance.  Quatre should be taken to a
hospital just in case his injuries are more serious than they appear.”  Mr. Peacecraft said.  Then he turned to Quatre.  “Can you
walk?”

Quatre just lay there, not answering for a moment.  He uncurled his body, pushing himself up with shaking arms.  Apparently,
Mr. Peacecraft thought that he was taking too long, since he swept Quatre into his arms, holding him gently.  He slowly rose,
taking careful steps as he walked, as if afraid that he would hurt Quatre if he jarred him too much.  Quatre appreciated the
gesture, although his body continued to tremble, fear still lingering in his heart and mind.


*****


Heero followed behind Mr. Peacecraft, Wufei and Meiran on either side of him, as they all walked to the nurse’s office.  He
couldn’t believe what had happened to Quatre, and on school grounds no less.  Of course the area where Quatre had been
attacked was well-known as a dangerous place, nowhere for people like Quatre to be walking alone.  The most dangerous
students always hung out around there.  He wondered what had possessed Quatre to walk that way in the first place.

He fumed as they walked through the halls, wanting to pound Alex for ever touching Quatre.  He regretted not being there to
protect him.  Maybe if he hadn’t been so childish because of the fact that Quatre had made them late for school that morning, he
would have been walking home with him like he usually did.  Quatre wouldn’t have been alone in the first place, if Heero wasn’t
so pigheaded.

Mr. Peacecraft stepped into the nurse’s office.  He carefully set Quatre down on a raised bed, then stepped back.  “You three
keep an eye on him, while I go find nurse Sally.”  Mr. Peacecraft said.

“Yes, sir.”  Heero replied, stepping over beside his stepbrother.  He dropped the backpacks, his and Quatre’s to the floor, not
really remembering when he had picked up Quatre’s bag in the first place.

Quatre just sat there, staring down at his hands.  Heero hopped up onto the bed beside Quatre, gently wrapping an arm around
the blonde’s shoulders, unsure if it was a good idea to touch him or not.  Quatre might not want any human contact.  However,
Heero smiled slightly, as Quatre leaned closer to him, laying his head against Heero’s shoulder.

“How could you be so STUPID, Winner?”  Wufei asked, the moment that Mr. Peacecraft was out of the room.  “Why don't you
know how to defend yourself?”

“Wufei . . .”  Heero warned, not liking the tone or the words that Wufei was using.

“Of all the lame-brain things!”  Wufei continued.  “You went out there ALONE!  Even the kids failing their classes know better
than to go that way ALONE!  What were you THINKING?”  

“Wufei Chang . . . you had best watch what you are saying.”  Meiran said, glaring at him.

Again, Wufei ignored the warning to stop.  He kept on seething, stepping closer to Quatre as he ranted.  “You were just
BEGGING for this sort of thing to happen by going that way alone!”

Wufei abruptly stopped as Meiran slapped him, then began yelling at him.  “Don’t you DARE blame Quatre for this!  HE is the
victim here!  Rather than rant and rave because you’re blaming yourself for not being there and putting the blame on someone
else’s shoulder, you should be thinking of Quatre.”

Wufei opened his mouth, but Heero stopped him from saying anything.  “Don’t even THINK it, Wufei!  You’re lucky Meiran
slapped you.  Had it been me, you would be sprawled across the floor unconscious!  This was NOT Quatre’s fault!  Just look at
him, look what you’ve already caused with your rash words.”

All eyes turned to Quatre, Heero’s included.  He watched the young blonde, frowning at the feeling of the shivers running
through his small body.  Quatre was clutching tightly to Heero’s clothes, his face buried against his shoulder as fresh tears
spilled from his eyes.

“I can’t believe you are so callous, Wufei.”  Meiran sneered, moving to sit beside Quatre.  She ran a hand along his back,
obviously trying to comfort her friend.

“I’m sorry, Quatre.”  Wufei whispered.  “I was not thinking clearly when I said those things, and I was totally mistaken.  I
know it wasn’t your fault.”

Meiran feigned a gasp.  “Quatre . . . did you hear that?  The great Chang Wufei admitted that he was wrong about something.”

Heero sighed as Quatre didn’t look up, not even a hint of a smile crossing his features.  This was definitely bad.  Quatre and
Meiran always found amusement poking fun at Wufei.  But not today.  He was hurting, and Heero didn’t know how to help him.



To Be Continued . . .