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

Notes:  Heero has a nightmare about his own painful past and someone unexpected comforts him afterwards.  Duo wakes up to
hear some very disturbing news.

Choices of the Heart

Part Thirteen

Heero was asleep in his bed.  The guests they had over that night had departed hours ago.  Wufei, Meiran, and Duo had left
shortly after Quatre had gone to bed.  Mr. Winner had returned from work a few hours after that, looking in on his slumbering
son once before he retired to his own room for the evening.  Iria and Heero had followed the rest of their family’s example and
went to sleep as well.  And Rasid was in the guest room next door to Heero’s room, having decided to stay around if only to
find out the routines that Quatre followed every day.

However, even though Heero was asleep, he wasn’t resting at all peacefully.  He was tossing and turning, his mind plagued by
horrible visions as he fitfully slept.  The blankets were coiled around him, clinging to his sweat-slickened skin, while he
ineffectually clawed at them and the bed below him.

In his nightmares, he relived his worst memory . . . for the first time since it had happened he was actually remembering the
events clearly.  There was his mother . . . his beautiful mother, Setzu Yuy.  Heero was barely six years old, smiling happily as he
held his mother’s hand.  It was getting dark and they were returning to the car after a pleasant day in the park.  Then he
watched as those boys, as those teenage boys stepped out from behind the trees, their breath foul with liquor as they taunted and

One of them had a gun, grabbing Heero away from his mother and holding the barrel to his head, ordering his mother to strip.  
Setzu Yuy’s lip was trembling, tears silently falling from her eyes, but she complied with them to save Heero . . . it was all for
Heero.  Heero could hear himself screaming for her, his own eyes blurred by the torrent of tears that streamed from his eyes.  
But those boys ignored him, each taking a turn at raping his mother in front of him, smacking him if he attempted to look away
from the horrendous things they forced her to do.

The next thing Heero knew he was opening his eyes and gazing up at Rasid’s worried face.  The larger man’s hands were
clamped around his arms, holding him down to the bed.  Heero blinked, fear washing through him, momentarily unable to
distinguish between reality and the terrible nightmare of his past.  Rasid only held his arms, soothing words falling from his lips
to try and calm Heero.  Even as Heero kicked, and tried to squirm away, Rasid held him down, his grip not strong enough to
hurt, but just forceful enough to keep him down.

With a whimper, Heero gave up his struggles, laying there quietly as a single tear dripped from his eye.  Rasid let go of him then,
and Heero rolled over onto his side, turning away from Rasid and curling up, his body shaking as he wept.  He hadn’t had
nightmares of his mother’s attack in years.  But now all of a sudden they had started again, all because he had failed to protect
Quatre yesterday at school.

A firm, yet gentle hand stroked along Heero’s back, a whispering voice quietly urging him to calm down.  After a moment,
Heero turned, looking up at Rasid and feeling a mix of embarrassment and gratitude about the huge man’s presence in his
bedroom this night.

Rasid said nothing.  Instead, he reached out and carefully unwound the blankets and sheets from Heero’s body.  Then he gently
pulled Heero into his arms, cradling the still shaking youth as one would a frightened child.  Heero, although he usually gave off a
gruff exterior, sank into the embrace . . . he was too tired to put up his walls of disinterest, too weary to care what Rasid would
think of him in this moment of weakness.  He just let himself be cradled in the older man’s strong arms, feeling secure in the
comforting embrace.

After a few moments, Heero found the courage to speak his mind, his brow furrowing lightly as he asked the questions that
were plaguing him.  “Have you ever let someone down when they needed you, Rasid?  Have you ever had to sit by and watch
someone you care about suffer and know that it’s your own fault that they’re hurting?”

Rasid sighed, his hands pushing Heero away from him lightly.  “Yes, I am afraid that I have.”  The older man replied sadly.  “My
son was attacked a few years ago, much like Quatre was.  I was late picking him up from school and he was beaten and raped.  
He was not as fortunate as Quatre I am afraid . . . he died a short time later having never regained consciousness after the

Heero gasped, paling as he heard that.  He hadn’t meant to bring up such memories in Rasid . . . hadn’t known that Rasid’s own
son had suffered a horrible death.  “I’m sorry.  I shouldn’t have asked that.”  He said, bowing his head and biting into his
bottom lip.

“No, do not berate yourself for asking questions.  My son’s death was the reason I quit the police force and became a
bodyguard.  I help to protect those who were involved in crimes similar to the ones that ended my son’s life.  I find great
pleasure in knowing that I can offer protection to someone so kind as your brother.”  Rasid replied, tilting Heero’s face up with
one finger and smiling at him gently.  “My son continues to live on in my heart.  And I still have my other children to live for and

“That’s good.”  Heero replied, nodding slightly.

“Do you wish to talk of your nightmare?”  Rasid asked, brushing back Heero’s sweat-dampened hair with one of his large hands.

Heero frowned and sighed.  “Not really.”  He replied, pulling his legs up to his chest and wrapping his arms around them as he
shivered slightly.  “I dreamed of my mother . . . remembering the day when she was gang raped in front of me.”  He said very
quietly, his voice barely able to be heard.

Rasid’s hand settled on one of Heero’s bare shoulders, silently offering comfort.  “I am sorry that you had to go through
something so horrible.  No one should suffer through anything even remotely similar.”  The older man said.

Heero smiled slightly, then raised his gaze.  He opened his mouth, curious about something.  “Did I wake you up?  Was I that
loud?”  He asked.

Rasid offered a kind smile and nodded.  “You did call out quite loudly in your sleep.  However, I was not sleeping.  I was
reading in my room when I heard you.  I felt I had to investigate.”

“Thank you.”  Heero said, yawning widely.

“It was no problem, young sir.”  Rasid said, once again weaving his fingers through Heero’s hair with a great deal of gentleness
that you wouldn’t normally expect from someone so large.  “You seem to be tired.  Why don’t you go back to sleep?  If you
would like, I will remain here until you fall asleep.”

Heero nodded, grateful for the kind offer.  “Yes, thank you.  I’d appreciate that.”  Heero said.

Rasid smirked, helping Heero to lie down, covering him lightly with the blankets.  He sat on the edge of Heero’s bed, every now
and then stroking his hand through Heero’s hair.  Heero fell asleep, finding the gentle touches oddly soothing.  Rasid remained
where he was, staying true to his word and keeping Heero company until a peaceful slumber finally overtook him.


Duo was jolted awake in the middle of the night by someone shoving him.  He blinked open weary eyes, worry quickly
spreading through him as he saw Catherine’s panic-stricken face hovering over him.  Tears were falling from her eyes as she
pushed and shoved against Duo’s body, pleading with him to wake up.

“What is it Catherine?”  Duo asked, sitting up and grabbing her arms.

“It’s Trowa!”  She nearly shouted, clutching at his biceps.  “He came to my room . . . woke me up.  Duo, he says he’s having
trouble breathing.  He wants to go to the hospital.”

Duo jumped out of bed, not caring that Catherine would see him wearing nothing but his boxers.  It just didn’t seem all that
important whether he was dressed in anything or not.  “Where is he now?”  Duo asked, quickly pulling on a pair of jeans and a

“He’s in my room.  I’ll get the car, you get Trowa dressed.”  Catherine said, then rushed out of the room.

Duo nodded, more to himself than to Catherine.  Obviously, it wasn’t a dire situation, since Catherine hadn’t called an ambulance
. . . but Catherine deemed it worthy of a trip to the emergency room.  Trowa must be in bad shape just to get her to do that.  
And for Trowa to actually want to go to a hospital . . . that was a bad thing all by itself.

Once he was dressed, not really caring what state his hair was in at the moment, Duo rushed into Trowa’s room.  He grabbed
some clothes for his friend, shoes as well, then went to Catherine’s room.  Duo frowned deeply as he saw Trowa.  The tall
young man was sitting on Catherine’s bed, his face locked in a grimace of pain.  He was clutching a hand over his chest, his
breath coming to him in short gasps as he sat there.

“Come on, let’s get you dressed, Trowa.”  Duo said, quickly and gently helping Trowa into the sweat pants and T-shirt he had
gotten.  Lastly, he slipped a pair of canvas shoes on Trowa’s feet, not bothering with socks, then wound a hand around Trowa’
s waist and helped him to rise to his feet.

“It hurts, Duo.”  Trowa gasped and whimpered, leaning heavily against Duo’s body.

“I know . . . we’re taking you to the hospital.  Don’t you worry, buddy.  You’ll be fine.”  Duo babbled, not sure if even he really
believed his own words himself.

Trowa remained silent after that, whimpering every now and then, but not speaking again.  Duo got his friend into the car,
sitting with him in the backseat and making sure to keep him comfortable, doing everything he could to ensure that his friend
was going to be okay.  Inside he was panicking though, fearful of losing his best friend tonight.

*A couple hours later*

Duo stood over Trowa’s hospital bed, biting his fingernails as he looked down on the sleeping face of his ill friend.  This had
been a close call, much too close in Duo’s honest opinion.  Now Trowa was sleeping, peacefully, but still hooked up to various
monitors, an oxygen tube in his nose and IV’s in either of his arms.

Catherine was outside of the room, talking with a doctor about Trowa’s condition.  The doctor was prescribing Trowa new
doses for his medications, telling her that his condition is only going to continue failing unless he gets an operation.  
Unfortunately, it was an operation that they just couldn’t afford right now.  They had heard this so many times before . . . Duo
knew the routine by heart already.  

Slowly, Trowa’s eyes fluttered open.  He blinked as he looked around, his eyes eventually settling on Duo’s concerned face.  
“Guess I was right to want to come here, huh?”  Trowa asked, his voice a feeble whisper.

Duo smiled, even if it was fake, and took hold one of Trowa’s hands.  “They’re altering your doses again, Trowa.”

“Of course they are . . . what else can they do?”  Trowa sneered, closing his eyes as he sighed deeply.  “I’m dying, Duo . . .
and they won’t do a damn thing about it because I can’t afford to pay for this stupid operation . . . because I don’t have medical
insurance.”  He said, tears prickling in the corners of his eyes.

Duo frowned, tightening his hold on Trowa’s hand.  “Calm down, Trowa . . . don’t excite yourself.  It’s not good for you.”  
Duo said, laying his free hand on Trowa’s shoulder.  “You are not going to die.  How many times do I have to tell you that I
won’t allow that to happen?  I’ll get that money for you somehow.”

Trowa smiled weakly.  “So, how long are they willing to keep me this time?”  He asked, changing the subject.

“This doctor seems generous, he actually wants to monitor your condition for a while.”  Duo said, smiling in return.  “He didn’t
specify a number of hours or days, but he actually seems willing to help you.”

Trowa let out a quiet chuckle.  “That’s new.  They usually can’t wait to get rid of me.  He must be new or something.”

As much as Duo hated to admit it, he knew that his friend was right.  The doctors at this hospital tended to rush through
Trowa's case, getting him back home as quickly as they could.  Charity only took a person so far . . . and this hospital wasn’t all
that charitable to begin with.  It had strict policies about people like Trowa . . . people that couldn’t pay.  It was difficult enough
for Catherine to afford Trowa’s various medications.

Duo brushed an errant strand of Trowa’s hair to the side, along with the rest of his bangs.  “Why don’t you get some rest,
Trowa?”  Duo suggested.  “I think you could use some sleep right about now.”

Trowa nodded, not even attempting to put up an argument as he closed his eyes and slowly drifted off to sleep.  That worried
Duo.  Trowa usually fought sleeping in a hospital room . . . he was afraid of never waking up again.  Duo knew that Trowa
must be exhausted to quietly obey him like he had.  Duo sighed again, his hand set atop Trowa’s head, his thumb idly brushing
across Trowa’s forehead, once again hoping that Trowa would live to see another day.

To Be Continued . . .