Disclaimers:  I don’t own anything.  Nothing of value anyway.

Author’s notes:  Yes, Duo is sick.  In this part, Duo is plagued with nightmares, and Heero isn’t sure how to help him.  Well,
enjoy.



Desires and Deceptions
Part 3



Heero stared down at the boy sleeping in his arms.  Why was Duo so afraid?  What could possible have scared him so much?

He had seen the fear in Duo’s eyes when the American had seen the needle in Sally’s hand.  Something had happened to him to
make him fear needles so much.  This wasn’t just a simple phobia.  Heero could tell that it went much deeper than that.  If only
Duo would tell him, let him know his secrets.  But Heero knew he couldn’t force him.  He would just have to wait until Duo was
ready.

Heero frowned as Duo shifted in his sleep, his feverish forehead coming into contact with Heero’s arm.  Duo had a very high
temperature.  Maybe he could do something to help bring it down.  It was worth a try.  He wasn’t being of any help just sitting
there, and he really needed to do something.

Heero pulled his arms from around Duo, trying not to awaken him as he slipped out of the bed.  He walked into the bathroom,
glancing back at the pilot before passing through the doorway.  He picked up a washcloth and stepped over to the sink, turning
on the water and letting it soak into the cloth.

A faint murmuring sound drew Heero’s attention.  He turned off the water and walked back over to the bed, grimacing when he
saw Duo’s pain stricken face.  Must be dreaming, Heero thought to himself, as he folded the washcloth and placed laid it across
Duo’s forehead.  Duo’s eyelids twitched quickly, telling Heero that the American was indeed in the midst of a dream.  But by the
way Duo’s lips had tightened, the grip he held on the sheets and blankets, Heero knew that this was no dream, but a nightmare.


*****


Duo was alone and surrounded by darkness.  But even though there was no light, no way to identify where he was, it seemed
strangely familiar to him.  It was as if he had been there before.

As the realization of where he was hit him, a door was opened somewhere ahead of him, casting a bright and painful light on
him.  He shielded his eyes, just like he had done all those years ago, when he had first gotten there.  A voice, one he’d never be
able to forget, cut through him like a knife.  “Come along, Duo.  It’s time to begin your training.”  Professor G said, his
silhouette standing in the open doorway.

Duo looked down at himself, and saw that he was a kid again.  Dressed only in a pain of sweat pants, he suddenly felt just how
cold the room was.  His hair was still in its braid, although it was beginning to unravel.

He remembered this day, the first day of his training to be a Gundam pilot.  No, he thought, I don’t want this to happen again.  
He tried to take a step back, but it was as if he had no control over his own body.  He was just watching from behind his own
eyes as he walked over to the door and the man that stood there.

Professor G, slapped his hand on Duo’s bare shoulder.  “Come along, boy.”  He said without the slightest hint of emotion.

Duo obeyed, although he hadn’t wanted to.  Bis body just wouldn’t listen to his commands, to anything he wanted to do or say.  
He was forced to sit by and watch as his own past was replayed before him, as he lived it all over again.

He was taken to a white room, so different from the dark room he had just been in.  Everything was white, the walls of the
room padded.  He knew this wasn’t going to be good.  He could scream and scream and no one would hear him because of that
padding.  And he knew they were about to make him scream.  Duo remembered all of this so clearly, and he wished he would
wake up from this nightmare.

“We’re going to test your endurance, Duo.”  Professor G said.

“What do you mean?”  Duo’s voice asked, sounding like it had so many years ago.

Professor G leaned over the young boy, whispering into his ear. “You are going to be questioned.  No matter what, you are not
to answer.”

Duo nodded.  He remembered what was going to happen.  This had to be a dream, some horrible nightmare.  He couldn't go
through this again.  No, not again.

Professor G left, and Duo was alone once again.  Alone and waiting for what he knew was to come.  He wanted to wake up,
wanted desperately to be pulled from this terrible memory.  He didn’t want to do this again, didn’t know if he could stand the
pain.


*****


Heero frowned again as Duo whimpered in his sleep.  He placed his hand against Duo’s cheek, wishing he knew just how to
help Duo.  But he didn’t know what to do, had no clue how to be of any use in this situation.  It wasn’t something he had been
trained for.  Then again, he wasn’t even supposed to care about this boy, or anyone for that matter.  But Heero did care, he
loved Duo with all his heart.  It wasn’t something he could easily admit, but the feelings were there, lying within his heart, even
if his emotions were hidden from the rest of the world by his stoic mask.

Duo screamed, but didn’t awaken from his fevered dreams.  The tranquilizers kept him unconscious.  Duo flailed out with his
arms, trying to strike enemies that only he could see.  Heero grabbed his shoulders, trying to keep him from hurting himself.  
Heero knew he had to do something, had to help somehow.  He couldn’t just sit by and watch as Duo suffered.

Duo just shoved him away, as if he was the one who was hurting him.  Heero let go, knowing he was doing something wrong.  
This was obviously not the way to handle this situation.  He needed help, advice on what to do.

Heero stood and crossed the room to the video phone.  He quickly dialed a number.  After a few moments, a face appeared on
the screen.  It was Quatre, looking tired, rubbing his eyes wearily.  “Yes?”  Quatre asked, not really looking at the screen just yet.

“Quatre.”  Heero said, not bothering with a pleasant greeting.  He needed to know what to do.  He could still hear Duo behind
him, whimpering in his sleep.

“Heero?”  Quatre said, his eyes snapping up to look at the screen.

“Who is it?”  A voice called out from Quatre’s end of the line.

Heero could see Trowa standing in the background, wearing only a sheet around his body.  Heero didn’t let his mind wander to
thinking of what the two of them had been doing.  There were other more important things on his mind.

“It’s Heero.”  Quatre said, turning to look over his shoulder quickly.  He turned back to Heero.  “Where have you been?”  He
asked, worry in his voice.

“I’m at a motel in town.  Duo’s sick.”  Heero replied.

Quatre frowned, “How bad is it?”

“Sally said it looks like pneumonia.”  He said.  “I need to ask you something.  I need your advice.”

“I’ll try to help.”  Quatre answered, his face only showing concern.

Heero sighed, then began to speak.  “Duo is unconscious.  Sally sedated him.  But he’s having a nightmare and I don’t know
what to do.  How can I help him?”

Quatre smiled.  “Is that all?”

Heero nodded.

“Keep your voice low and talk to him soothingly.  Rub his back in slow circles to let him know that he’s not alone, that someone
is there with him.  Right now he’s probably not thinking straight because of the fever.”  Quatre replied.

“Thank you.”  Heero said as he disconnected the transmission, not letting Quatre say anything else.  He had gotten the
information he had wanted.  There was nothing else to discuss.

Heero went back over to the bed, sitting beside Duo once again.  He lifted the pilot into his arms.  “It’s okay Duo.”  He said
quietly, doing as Quatre had suggested.  He could only hope that he was doing it right.  This was so strange for him, so
unusual.  “I’m here.  I’m not leaving you.  You aren’t alone.”


*****


Duo was only aware of the pain.  He was in the midst of one of the training sessions again, his body so sore.  It had been
months since he had started, months of building up his endurance through almost constant pain, and truth serums.

The door to the white room opened and once again those men came in, the men that tried to get the information from him.  They
always succeeded, but each time it took longer for them to get it out of him.  But this time he wouldn’t answer, no matter how
long they did this to him.  He was even able to fight against the drugs for longer periods of time now.

The men grabbed him.  But they weren’t beating him this time, weren’t slapping him around like they usually did.  This was
different, against the orders of Professor G.  These men were just out to enjoy themselves by using his beaten and battered body
for their own sick purposes.  And in his weakened condition, Duo couldn’t fight back, couldn’t get away from them.

Duo’s mind screamed at the intrusion into his young body, at the way they touched his flesh.  The urge to vomit was terrible as
each of those men forced their way into him.

Once they were done, they cleaned him up, leaving no trace of what they had just done to him.  Then they began with what they
were supposed to have been doing, beating his already sore body.  A couple punches to the face, a few kicks to the stomach.  
And finally, a new injection of drugs.

“Tell us what we want to know.”  One of the men said, pulling away that awful needle, that terrible thing that only brought him
pain and suffering.

A moment later, every inch of his body was engulfed in pain, as if his veins were all on fire.  The burning continued, and Duo
knew this was no truth serum.  This was something else, something far more terrible.  His body shook as he fought against the
scream inside of him.  The agony of feeling like he was being burned alive was almost too much.  But he kept his mouth shut.  
He wouldn’t talk, couldn’t talk.

Then suddenly, the scene shifted to a time days later.  Still in pain, his blood running through his veins feeling like hot lava, he
tried to focus on what was going on.  People were in front of him.  No, not people, doctors.  They poked at his body, prodded
at his wounds, treating him like he was nothing, as if he was just some experiment.  They only caused him pain, just like those
awful needles.

Professor G was standing near them, watching as the doctors examined him without emotion.  “Will he live?”  The Professor
asked, calmly.

“Some of these wounds are very unusual.  But I suppose they are just from the torture sessions.”  One of the doctors said, his
voice cold and heartless.

Duo knew better.  Those wounds weren’t from the torture.  But it really didn’t matter.  These things would probably happen to
him if he were ever captured and thrown in a cell with other prisoners.  They’d rape him if they got the chance.  Hell, the guards
would probably do it too.  So, he’d keep his mouth shut.  No one had to know what had happened, no one.

An injection into his arm came soon after, and he slipped away into darkness.  It was another truth serum, more than he had
ever gotten before.  But unlike those other times, his body wasn’t able to handle all of it at once.  And when he woke up, he
found himself hooked up to various machines, with Professor G standing over him.

“What happened?”  Duo asked, wondering why he wasn’t being trained, why he wasn’t being beaten.

“You overdosed on the drugs you were given.  Someone miscalculated the dosage.”  He glared over his shoulder at a doctor at
the other end of the room.  He turned back to Duo.  “We will resume your training in a few days, once you are more stable.”

Again the scene shifted, taking him to another time, another painful moment.  It was weeks later this time, his body still a mass
of pain.  They were using the drug treatments again, in an attempt to see how much his body could take, how much pain he
could withstand before cracking.  This time however, Professor G was supervising everything very carefully.

Duo stood, withstanding the pain in his body to show that he could handle it, that he wasn’t going to give in.  Professor G just
glared at him, not saying one word.  There was a punch to his stomach and he collapsed around the fist, falling to his knees as
pain radiated throughout his body.  The pain was so horrible, but it wasn’t coming from his stomach.  It was in his chest, like a
knife sticking through his heart.

He gasped for breath, struggling for air, as he clutched his chest.  He dug his nails into his skin, fear penetrating his mind as he
wondered what was happening, why his heart hurt when no one had hit him in the chest.

Before he knew it, Professor G was beside him, laying him across the floor.  “What’s going on?”  Duo gasped, another stab of
pain hitting him.

If Professor G answered, he didn’t hear it.  Everything disappeared, the sound of his own heartbeat fading away into the
darkness.  It was just all gone.

Living through it again, viewing things from behind his own eyes, Duo was struggling against his own fear.  He remembered all
of it.  He had overdosed on the drugs the doctors had given him.  That had been the only reason they had stopped his training
the first time.  The second time, his heart just gave out on him, the strain too much for it.  Duo was lucky he hadn’t died, that
there hadn’t been any permanent damage.

And now, he was filled with renewed terror.  Why was he going through this again?  Why was he tormented with the past?

A voice spoke to him, kind and strangely familiar.  “It’s okay Duo.  I’m here.  I’m not leaving you.  You aren’t alone.”

It was Heero, he recognized the voice.  Warmth surrounded Duo, and he could feel arms around him, holding him close.  But
the fear still lingered, still tormented him, even though Heero’s soothing voice had broken through the darkness.


*****


Heero kept his arms around Duo, not knowing what else to do.  He had done all Quatre had suggested, had been doing that for
hours.  But Duo seemed no better.  It had only seemed to work for a few short minutes.  And now, Duo once again cried out in
fear, in pain.  Heero didn’t like the way Duo shivered, the way he flailed out in his fevered dreams.  Even Heero’s words no
longer seemed to help, nothing did anymore.

Once again, Heero applied a cool cloth to Duo’s forehead, wondering how long Sally would take.  How much time did she need
to run her tests anyway?  He wished she would hurry.

Duo murmured in his sleep.  “My fault.  Should have died like everyone else.  Solo, I’m sorry.  Sister Helen, I’m sorry.  I should
have been faster.  I was always too late.  I could have saved them if I had tried.”

Heero looked down at him, trying to think of who Duo was talking to.  Someone from his past maybe.  Heero pulled away from
Duo for a moment, and quickly retrieved his laptop from the bag Sally had brought over.  He returned to Duo's side, laying the
laptop across his knees as he draped his free arm around Duo.

With one hand he began typing, searching for any reference to the name “Solo.”  He knew that Duo had come from the L2
colony, the American had often told the others of how poor the place was whenever he entered one of Quatre’s mansions.  So
he started with any news information from that colony.

There was only one reference to the name “Solo.”  It was a small news column, devoted to the victims of a viral epidemic on
the L2 colony.  He read it out loud, although he didn’t know why he was doing it.

“The bodies of several unidentified street children were discovered earlier today, victims of the virus that has wiped out nearly all
of this colony’s poorer and homeless citizens.  The leader of this ‘street gang’ known only as Solo by the other children, was
among the deceased.  It is unknown where the rest of these children have disappeared to.”

Heero frowned, and looked to Duo, who shivered and thrashed about on the bed.  Was Duo a part of that gang, Heero
wondered.  Was Solo someone close to him?

He turned back to his laptop, searching once again, this time for the other name Duo had said.  This time however, he found a
clip from a news program.

He listened as the reporter talked.  “We are here today at the sight of a great tragedy.  Earlier today, rebels seized the Maxwell
Church.  They fired on Federation soldiers who had no choice but to return fire.  Two hundred forty-five people were killed in
what can only be the Maxwell Church Massacre.  Among the dead were Father Maxwell, and Sister Helen, known for their
generosity in helping the many war orphans they had taken in last year find homes.  There was only one survivor, one of the
war orphans that they had taken in.  The young boy, is being taken into Federation custody for questioning.”

Heero watched as the camera moved around, showing him the burnt ruins of a church, the bodies being loaded into trucks.  As
the camera panned, Heero saw a familiar sight.

He paused the video and zoomed in on the image.  It was definitely Duo, his long chestnut hair in a braid, his face smudged with
dirt.  In his hand he clasped tightly to a cross.  But his eyes were vacant.  He wasn’t crying, he was just staring at one of the
bodies being loaded into a truck.  There was just something about that look, as if he blamed himself for everything.

Heero closed his laptop, placing it on the floor as he turned back to Duo.  How much suffering had Duo been through in his
life?  How many people that he loved had died?  Heero wrapped his arms around Duo again, hoping the long-haired pilot would
awaken from his fevered dreams soon.


*****


Duo was once again surrounded by darkness.  There was nothing but black all around him.  It wasn’t like the previous dreams.  
He wasn’t watching everything from behind his own eyes.  He had control over himself, could do anything he wanted.  But
there was just nothing around him but the quiet darkness.

Then a voice pierced the silence.  Duo recognized it immediately, even though it had been years since he had last heard it.  It
was Solo.  “You let me down, kid.”  Solo said, his form appearing only moments after the first words were spoken.  He was
just as Duo remembered him, the last time he had seen him.  Solo’s body was weak and frail, his bones showing through his
pale skin, because of the virus that had killed him.  “I thought you were my friend, but you let me die.”

“I’m sorry, Solo.  I tried, but I just wasn’t fast enough.”  Duo replied, calling out to his long dead friend.

“You weren’t my friend.  If you were, I wouldn’t be dead.  You could have saved me if you really wanted to.”  Solo said, his
eyes filled with anger.

Duo looked ahead, watching as a shape appeared behind Solo.  In only seconds he recognized the form.  He gasped, taking a
step back as Sister Helen approached him, her clothes stained with blood, her own blood.

“You betrayed me, Duo.  You let us die.  Why didn’t you save us?”  She asked, tears glimmering in her eyes.

“I tried.  I swear I tried.”  Duo cried, reaching out to Sister Helen.

She stepped back, her eyes reflecting sadness and anger.  He had never seen her look like this.  It scared him, and hurt him,
more than he could have ever imagined, seeing the disappointment on her face.

“That obviously wasn’t good enough.  You could have saved us, if only you had tried harder.”  She said, her form disappearing
back into the darkness along with Solo.

The voices of Sister Helen and Solo still rang in his ears, continuing to speak, even though he could no longer see them.  “We
died because of you.  All because of you.”

“My fault.  Should have died like everyone else.  Solo, I’m sorry.  Sister Helen, I’m sorry.  I should have been faster.”  Duo
mumbled to the darkness.  “I was always too late.  I could have saved them if I had tried.”

“That’s right.”  A new voice answered.  An instant later, Duo was shocked to see himself standing before him.  Or more
precisely, his double.

“Who are you?”  Duo asked.

His double smiled, “I’m you.”  He replied, a darkness behind his glimmering eyes.

“No, you’re not.”  Duo said, not wanting to believe that.

“Oh, but I am.  I guess you could say I’m your dark side.”  His double replied.

“What do you want?”  Duo asked.

The double raised his hands in a surrendering gesture.  “Just to congratulate you on all the pain you’ve caused, on all the
innocent people you’ve killed.”  The double replied, circling around Duo and lowering his arms.

“Go away!”  Duo shouted, getting quite annoyed with this conversation.  He hadn’t killed innocent people.  All he had killed were
soldiers in mobile suits, and men that wanted him dead.

“Come on, admit it.  You enjoyed it when they died.  You liked watching as Sister Helen and Solo breathed their last breaths.”  
The double smiled, still circling him.

Duo couldn’t believe his ears.  He hadn’t enjoyed that, not one bit.  Seeing them die had been like watching a piece of his own
heart die.  “No, I didn’t!”  Duo snapped back.  “I cared for them.  I didn’t want them to die.  I loved them.”

“But still, you let them die.  You let them all die.”

Duo didn’t really want to believe that.  “I tried my best.  I didn’t want them to die.  I tried . . .”

The double interrupted.  “Your best wasn’t good enough.  Why don’t you just give in, admit the truth?  You wanted them to
die.  That’s why you were always too late.”

“Never!  I’ll never admit to that lie!”  Duo yelled in protest.

The double sighed, putting his hands behind his back.  “Then I guess I'll just have to get rid of you then.”

He pulled his hands from behind him.  Duo’s eyes widened in fear, seeing that his double’s fingers had turned into needles.  
They were long sharp-looking needles, drops of clear liquid dripping from the tips of each one.  Duo stepped back, wanting to
turn and run.  Hands clamped around him, holding him in place.  Duo looked around, only to see Solo, Sister Helen, and Father
Maxwell holding him tight.

“Come here and take your medicine.”  The double laughed, while Duo struggled to break free of his loved ones’ grasps.

“No!”  Duo screamed.


*****


Heero was startled when Duo screamed out.  Duo’s eyes shot open and he bolted straight up in bed.  Heero grabbed his
shoulders, trying to keep him from hurting himself, but Duo fought against him.  He pushed Heero’s hands away, scrambling
back from him as he panted in fear.

“Duo, it’s okay.”  Heero said, attempting once again to calm Duo.

Duo blinked, as if seeing him for the first time.  “Heero?”  He whispered, sounding unsure of what he was seeing.

“Yeah, Duo.  It’s me.  It’s okay.  You were just having a nightmare.”  Heero reached out his hand, but pulled it back, not
wanting to scare Duo any further.  Obviously, that nightmare had been terrible.  Heero wasn’t sure what to do.  Maybe he
should have asked Quatre for more advice.

Duo didn’t say a word, he just launched himself at Heero, throwing his arms around him.  He held so tightly, squeezing all the air
from Heero’s lungs.  But Heero didn’t push him away, didn’t know if he really wanted to.  If he pushed Duo away now, what
would the American do?  How would he take it?  It wasn’t that Heero didn’t like the contact, it was just that he was afraid for
Duo’s health.

Heero let his instincts take over, not knowing what else to do.  “It’s okay Duo.”  Heero said in a hushed tone.  He began rubbing
Duo’s back in slow circles, hoping he was being of some help.  “It was just a nightmare.”

“No.”  Duo sobbed.  “It wasn’t.  Everything was my fault.  I could have saved them.”  Duo replied through his tears.  Whatever
else he had said was lost as his sobs turned into coughs.

Heero held him tighter, cradling him until the fit subsided.  “I’m sure it’s not.”  Heero whispered.

“Yes it is.  If only I had been faster, I could’ve saved them.  Solo . . . Sister Helen and Father Maxwell . . . I was too late,
always too late.”

Heero didn’t like hearing this.  He gently pushed Duo away from him, looking deep into his eyes.  “No.  I don’t want to hear you
blaming yourself ever again.  Whatever happened wasn’t your fault.  You were just a kid when all that happened.”

Duo’s brow furrowed, as confusion settled on his face.  “How do you know I was just a kid?”  He asked warily.

“You were talking in your sleep.  While you were unconscious, I did a search on a couple of the names you said.”  Heero
replied, hoping Duo wouldn’t hate him for intruding into his personal life.

“Then you know it was my fault.  All of their deaths.  If I had just gone faster . . . ”  Duo said, fresh tears falling from his
already red-rimmed eyes.

“No, I don’t believe that.  As I said before, you were just a kid.”  Heero replied, encircling him in his arms again.  “Don’t blame
yourself for something you couldn’t have prevented.”

Duo didn’t answer, didn’t say a word as Heero held him.  Heero laid down on the bed, pulling Duo along with him.  He removed
one arm from around Duo to grab the blankets and pull them up.  Duo laid his head against Heero’s chest, getting as close to
him as he possibly could, while Heero covered the both of them with the blankets.

“I love you.”  Duo said, as he yawned.  “Please don’t ever leave me.”

“I’d never leave you Duo.  I love you too.”  Heero replied, planting a small kiss on Duo’s fevered forehead.

Heero let himself drift off to sleep, not caring if he got sick because of his closeness to Duo.  It would be worth it if he could
ease Duo’s pain even a little bit.



To Be Continued . . .