Disclaimers:  Again, I do not own anything.

Notes:  Part 9 of Desires and Deceptions.  It’s a week after the events of the last part.  Sorry, no Lemon.  You’ll just have to use
your imagination to figure out what happened.  Enjoy.



Desires and Deceptions
Part 9



Duo awakened, hearing a startled gasp from somewhere in the room.  He opened his eyes, looking in the direction of where the
sound came from.  Soon, his eyes focused on a figure standing by the door.  It was Quatre, carrying a tray in his arms, a deep
blush covering almost all of his face.

“What’s with the blush, Q-man?  We’re all guys here.”  Duo joked, tightening his embrace around Heero’s body.  

He knew that both he and Heero were naked, only covered by a thin sheet.  Since that night a week ago, their first intimate
encounter, Duo had fallen asleep in Heero’s arms every night, whether or not anything happened.  But seeing the two of them
like this shouldn’t be much of a surprise to Quatre.  The blonde had walked in on them when they were wearing less than just a
sheet.

Duo felt great, so much stronger than after their first night together.  The morning after that, he wasn’t even able to get out of
bed.  Not only because he was still sick, but because Heero just had so much energy, and had completely worn Duo out.  Duo
never thought anyone could match his own stamina, but he was quickly proven wrong as Heero obviously could.  Not that Duo
had slept with many people, none in fact . . . at least not willingly.  If it hadn’t been for those bastards that had trained him, he
would have been a virgin for Heero.  Of course, that fact didn’t matter much, since he knew that Heero loved him.

A gentle kiss, and a nip to his earlobe, quickly snapped Duo out of his thoughts.  He grinned down at Heero, looking away from
Quatre’s embarrassed face.  “Tease.”  Duo whispered, letting his hands slip beneath the sheet to caress Heero’s muscular body.  

Heero pulled Duo hands away from him. “Not now.”  He chided, getting himself into a sitting position then pulling Duo up to sit
beside him, making sure the sheet kept their lower bodies covered as they moved.

Quatre cleared his throat.  Duo once again looked to the blonde, and noticed the way he was shifting his weight from foot to
foot nervously.  Once Duo’s eyes locked with his, Quatre stepped forward, approaching the bed slowly while his face still
blushed a bright crimson.

He set the tray down on the bed, then as pleasantly as he could, he said,  “Good morning.  I hope you . . . slept  . . . well.”  He
said, struggling for a moment in the middle of his last sentence.

Duo smiled, realizing the implications of Quatre’s simple statement.  It was enough to make him blush too, and he turned away
from Quatre’s stare to look at the sheets on the bed, as if they had suddenly become interesting to him.  “Good morning.”  He
mumbled, fighting a giggle that threatened to erupt from his lips.

“Morning.”  Heero replied, quietly.  

Duo finally turned back, looking once again to Heero.  He nearly fell over laughing at the sight of Heero’s face.  The ‘Perfect
Soldier’ was blushing, almost as much as Quatre was.  It was so damn sweet, at least Duo thought so.  He wrapped his arms
around Heero’s neck, nuzzling against him as he whispered into his ear, “You look so cute when you blush.”

Duo pulled back slightly, watching in amusement as Heero’s lips quirked slightly into a smirk.  “So do you.”  Heero replied,
turning to face Duo.  

Heero reached up, his one hand moving to cup the back of Duo’s head, bringing him closer to him once again, their bodies
pressed firmly together as they wrapped their arms around each other.  Only moments later, Duo was lost in sensation as Heero’
s moist lips pressed against his, their hands starting to wander along each other’s bodies.  Breakfast was totally forgotten, as
was Quatre, while the two of them caressed and fondled each other with their mouths and hands.

“I’ll just put your food over here.”  Quatre said, although Duo and Heero completely ignored the blonde Arabian, concentrating
solely on each other.  They didn’t even notice as Quatre picked up the tray from the bed and placed it on a nearby table, didn’t
notice when Quatre quickly left the room either.  For Duo and Heero, there was only each other, nothing else in the world
mattered to them at the moment.  


*****


Quatre quickly slipped out of Duo and Heero’s bedroom.  Just as quickly, he ran up the stairs to his own room, hastily shutting
the door behind him.  Once the door was closed, he slumped back, sighing as he let himself slide down to the floor.  He pulled at
the collar of his shirt, tearing it open in his haste to remove it and causing several buttons to fly across the room.  The room had
suddeny gotten incredibly hot, much too hot.

He panted, gasping for breath while emotions flowed throughout his body and mind.  By Allah, he had no idea how much he
would be affected by Heero and Duo’s emotions.  It was like being hit with a dump truck full of love, desire, and lust.  Although
over the past week, Quatre had walked in on Duo and Heero in intimate embraces, or having just woken up after a night of
passion, never had he been there at the beginning of a passion-filled event.  It was so much more intense to actually be in the
same room while it was happening, to witness with his eyes and mind what was going on.

Quatre laid down on the floor, feeling the sweat beading on his skin as he fought to push the emotions away, not wanting to be
consumed by what he had sensed only moments ago.  He clenched his eyes shut and clawed at the floor beneath him, groaning
as his body reacted to what his eyes and mind had just witnessed.

Hands gripped his shoulders, pulling him up to a sitting position.  He forced his eyes to open, trying once more to block the
emotions that still swarmed him.  Trowa knelt before him, his face showing nothing but concern and worry.  “Quatre, are you
okay?”  He asked, his voice wavering if only slightly.

Quatre opened his mouth to reply, but found he couldn’t even form a simple phrase, not one syllable.  Instead, he threw his
arms around Trowa’s body, needing to feel the contact.  Trowa returned the embrace, and Quatre whimpered as his body
shuddered in excitement.  

Quatre’s hands seemed to take on a mind of their own as they began to wander along Trowa’s slender frame, shakily caressing
his strong muscles, exploring the body he knew so well already.  While his hands were busy, Quatre’s mouth was too.  He
licked and suckled on any bit of exposed skin he could reach, nipping slightly at Trowa’s earlobes, as his hands continued their
exploration.

Trowa moaned, and leaned forward, his mouth finding its way to Quatre’s throat, biting gently and sucking, leaving a definite
mark to his skin at the junction of his neck and shoulder.  His hands were also busy, untucking what remained of Quatre’s shirt
and sliding up underneath it to massage the warm skin it had once covered.

Quatre shuddered in response to Trowa’s touch, loving the feel of his callused hands against his skin.  However, his mind
became clear for a brief moment and he knew this wasn’t right.  There was no way he could let this continue.  

“No!”  He shouted as he roughly pushed Trowa away.

Trowa stared up at him in shock and surprise from where he had landed on the floor.  Apparently, Quatre’s sudden refusal to
continue had been enough to catch Trowa off guard and the silent young man had been unable to regain his balance in time to
keep from landing on his butt.

“Quatre, what’s wrong?”  Trowa asked, tentatively reaching out to Quatre only to pull back his hand as Quatre recoiled away
from him, shivering in embarrassment and the remaining emotions he had sensed from Duo and Heero.

“Please, don’t.”  Quatre whispered, wrapping his arms around his own body as he lay on his side once again.  “I’m sorry . . . I’
m sorry, Trowa.  But I can’t  . . . It’s not right . . .  I can’t do this now.”  He started sobbing, unable to stop the waterfall of
tears that fell from his eyes, dripping to pool on the floor.

“Quatre  . . . Please, talk to me.”  Trowa said, inching his way back over to Quatre.

Quatre shivered, pulling his knees closer to his body.  “Duo  . . . and Heero  . . . I tried to block it out . . . but it was so intense.  
I've never actually been in the room to witness  . . . to sense all of that  . . . It was too much.”  He whimpered.  “Just too much.”

Trowa reached out, crossing the remaining distance between the two of them to pull Quatre into an embrace.  Quatre rested his
head against Trowa’s chest, sighing at the warmth.  He struggled to keep his hormones in check, not wanting to do anything
more than hold Trowa.

“Do you . . . do you want me to help you?”  Trowa asked, sounding a little unsure of himself.

Quatre looked up, from this angle able to see both of Trowa’s wonderful emerald eyes.  And in those eyes he saw worry and
compassion.  Quatre shook his head.  “No, I can’t do that to you.  I won’t use you like that.”  He paused, trying to stop his
body from shaking.  “When we make love, I want it to be because we both want to, not because of a hormonal reaction to my
overwhelmed senses.”

“Are you sure?”  Trowa asked, gently running a hand through Quatre’s hair.

Quatre reached up, laying a trembling hand against Trowa’s cheek.  “Yes, I love you too much to just use you.  All I have to do
is get myself under control.”  He smiled slightly, trying to sound sure of himself, although he was unsure if he could regain
control without having to resort to what Trowa had offered.

The corners of Trowa’s lips quirked slightly.  “I love you too.”  His smile disappeared quickly.  “But I can’t just sit by and
watch you suffer through this.”  He said, taking the initiative and sweeping Quatre up off the floor.

Ignoring all of Quatre’s protests and questions, Trowa carried him into the bathroom that adjoined their bedroom.  He set Quatre
down on the edge of the tub, then reached over, turned on the water and plugged the drain.  While the tub filled with water,
Trowa turned to Quatre.  He helped Quatre remove his clothing, starting with his shoes and socks then moving to remove his
vest, shirt, and pants.  Finally, Quatre’s boxers joined the pile of clothing on the floor beside the tub.  

Quatre felt himself blushing, although he and Trowa had already been intimate on more than a few occasions.  Still, even though
he knew that Trowa loved him, he couldn’t help but feel embarrassed because of this situation.  His hormones had gone on a
rampage and all he wanted was Trowa’s body against him, to feel all the contours of Trowa’s hot naked flesh against his own
skin.

He trembled as the images of Trowa’s naked body flittered through his mind.  Closing his eyes against the wonderful images,
Quatre willed himself to calm down.  A moment later, he opened his eyes again, as he felt Trowa’s arms slide around his body,
lifting him from the floor once more.  He looked at the bathtub, and noticed that it was full, the water no longer running.  He
hadn’t even realized when Trowa had shut it off.

Quatre gasped in shock as the ice cold water came in contact with his body, immediately causing his skin to break out in goose
bumps.  He shivered violently, the freezing water surrounding him completely.  It was so cold that it was painful, like a thousand
needles piercing his skin.  Quatre clutched the sides of the tub, forcing himself to sit there in the icy cold, knowing he had to get
his body and mind under control again.

Trowa left the room, only to return a short time later with a pair of pajamas for Quatre to wear.  However, he didn’t make a
move toward the tub, just laying the clothes on the counter beside the sink then leaning against a nearby wall and crossing his
arms over his chest.  For the first time, Quatre noticed that Trowa had pushed up the sleeves of his shirt, undoubtedly to keep
his own clothing dry when he placed Quatre in that tub.

Having Trowa just staring at him, was making Quatre a little nervous.  He wondered why Trowa was being so distant, why he
was standing all the way across the room.  Quatre took a chance and opened his mind a little, letting Trowa’s emotions fill his
mind for a brief instant before blocking them off once again.  Concern, that was the first emotion he sensed, a deep sense of
worry overlaying everything else.  Then there was love, as always directed toward Quatre, along with an underlying fear that
always seemed to be there whenever Quatre opened himself to Trowa’s emotions.  Quatre understood that Trowa was still
fearful of rejection, even after all the time they had spent together, all they had shared with each other.

“T-Trowa?”  Quatre stuttered, his teeth chattering from the cold.

“Yes?”  Trowa replied, taking a single step away from the wall and letting his arms fall to his sides.

“You c-can g-get c-closer . . .”  He paused finding it difficult to talk, and annoying to stutter so much.  “You c-can t-touch me  
. . . I w-won’t b-bite.”

Trowa slowly stepped closer, moving hesitantly across to the bathtub and Quatre.  He knelt down, lifting one of Quatre’s cold
hands to his face.  The warmth in his cheek was wonderful, Quatre thought, once again trying in vain to stop the shivering in his
own body.

Trowa kissed Quatre’s hand then set it down on the edge of the tub again.  Then he reached out, letting his strong hands glide
across Quatre’s back.  “You’re too tense.”  Trowa commented, as he began a soothing back rub.  “You need to relax.”

Quatre sighed contentedly, as Trowa’s warm hands caressed his back and shoulders, firmly pressing against the tightened
muscles in certain places.  He let his mind drift, using this as an opportunity to clear his mind of all thoughts, of all those
distracting emotions.  He completely focused on the warm hands that Trowa lovingly used to massage his back, letting
everything else just slip away into oblivion.

“Are you okay?”  Trowa asked, bringing Quatre back to reality.

“Huh?”  He replied, slightly confused.  When had Trowa stopped giving him that wonderful back rub?  And when had he moved
around to sit on the edge of the tub facing Quatre?

“You were quiet for a little bit.  Did you fall asleep or something?”

“I g-guess I d-did.”  He replied, still stuttering from the cold.

“How are you feeling?”  Trowa asked, running his fingers along Quatre’s cheek.

“B-better.”  Quatre said.  “B-but very c-cold.  C-can I g-get out n-now?”

Trowa smiled and reached over to pull the plug from the drain.  Then he helped Quatre to get up, letting him rest most, if not all,
of his weight against the taller youth.  After Quatre stepped from the tub, Trowa removed an arm from around him, reaching
over to grab a towel from a nearby rack.

Quatre stood there, trembling in the cold as Trowa handed him the towel, letting him dry himself while Trowa grabbed another
towel to help him.  Then once Quatre was dry, Trowa helped him to get dressed.  Quatre didn’t mind all of the help.  On the
contrary, he quite enjoyed it, loving the way that Trowa cared for him, all the tenderness he was showing.

Trowa led Quatre out of the bathroom, letting him walk on his own, although his arm remained fixed around Quatre’s waist.  He
helped Quatre over to the bed, pulling back the blankets then covering Quatre once he was lying down.  

Quatre sighed, noticing that Trowa was just standing there, a worried expression crossing his features for a brief moment.  He
held out his arms to Trowa, not wanting to be alone at the moment, needing to feel contact although now he wasn’t being
overwhelmed by desire and lust anymore.  “Please . . .”  He said, finally no longer stuttering.  “Please, hold me. I don’t want to
be alone.”

Without wasting a moment, Trowa kicked off his shoes and climbed into bed beside Quatre, slowly wrapping his arms around
him as if afraid that he would break him if he held too tightly.  Quatre just snuggled closer to him, laying his head against his
love’s chest so that he could listen to his breathing and the strong beat of his heart.  And soon those sounds lulled him to sleep,
happy in the knowledge that Trowa loved him enough to put up with his troublesome empathic abilities.


*****


Heero sighed as he stood in the shower, letting the water stream across his body, washing away what soap suds remained on his
body.  It was refreshing, invigorating, especially after the events of only a few moments ago.  After that little tryst with Duo, it
was surprising that he could even walk, let alone stand there in the shower.  Duo sure did have a lot of energy in bed, much
more than he had out of bed it seemed.

Heero smiled at the thought, happy in the knowledge that he finally had Duo in his life.  Smiles came more naturally to Heero
now, ever since he and Duo had gotten together.  He felt more open than he had ever felt before in his life, more capable of
expressing the emotions he had always thought of as distractions.

“Come on, Heero.  Are you going to take all day in there?”  Duo’s voice called out from outside the bathroom door.

Heero’s mind snapped back to the present, and he shut off the water.  He ignored Duo’s incessant pounding on the door, while
he dried himself off, and wrapped a towel around his waist.  Then he brushed his hair, fixing it as best as he could.  

He turned to the door, and upon opening it, was greeted with the smiling face of Duo Maxwell.  Heero smiled back, only slightly,
but it was still a smile.  “About time.”  Duo commented, gently pushing his way past Heero.

Heero turned, facing the bathroom as Duo paused to look back at him.  “Don’t take too long.”  He said.

“I won’t.”  Duo replied, a sly smile on his face.  He leaned forward, pressing a quick kiss to Heero’s lips, before going into the
bathroom and shutting the door behind him.

Heero turned and walked over to the dresser containing what few clothes he owned.  He pulled open a drawer, taking out a pair
of jeans and a green T-shirt.  It was too cold for his usual clothes, so he had to cope with wearing something else.  As he
grabbed a pair of socks, his eyes caught sight of a small box.  

He set his clothes on top of the dresser and retrieved the small black box.  Flipping it open, he saw the two rings that he had
purchased for Duo a week ago.  So simple, yet lovely.  Heero smiled, as the plan he had thought up returned to his mind.  
Tomorrow . . . tomorrow night, he would do what he planned, and give Duo his present.

Heero set the box into the drawer once again, covering it with some clothes.  Then he closed the drawer and grabbed his
clothes, walking over to the bed to get dressed.  Then, while he waited for Duo, Heero leaned back on the bed and picked up his
book from the night stand, flipping it open to the page where he had last left off.

Several minutes later, Duo walked out of the bathroom, one towel wrapped around his waist as he dried his hair with another
towel.  Heero peered over the top of his book, enjoying the sight of a scantily clad Duo.  He was so beautiful, in Heero’s mind,
and probably to anyone that had a pair of eyes.  Heero couldn’t comprehend the idea of anyone thinking that the American pilot
was unattractive.

Heero continued to watch the American, all the time enjoying the wonderful view.  Duo got dressed, pulling on a pair of sweat
pants over his boxer shorts, then tossing on a plain black T-shirt.  

“Enjoying the show?”  Duo asked, picking up his hairbrush and running it through his hair, which was currently draped over one
of his shoulders.

“Yes, very much.”  Heero replied, closing his book and placing it back on the night stand.  He swung his legs over the edge of
the bed and stood.  Then quickly, he crossed the distance between the American and himself.  He rested his hands on Duo’s
shoulders from behind.  “You’re beautiful.”  He murmured into Duo’s ear before placing a kiss to Duo’s neck.

Duo leaned back against Heero, letting the hand that wasn’t holding the brush slip behind him to caress Heero’s thigh.  “I love it
when you say that.”  He replied.

Heero took a step back away from Duo, taking the brush away from the American with one hand, while with his other he pulled
the hair from over Duo’s shoulder, letting the chestnut strands fall behind his back.  “Allow me.”  Heero said, as he ran the
brush through Duo’s luxurious hair.

As he gently brushed the damp, silky strands, Heero inhaled the wonderful scent of the shampoo and conditioner that Duo used.  
They were some kind of botanical blend.  Heero could smell the aroma of roses from Duo’s shampoo mixed with that of
peaches from his conditioner.  Heero definitely did love that smell, the two scents mingled together so perfectly, as if they were
made specifically to be together with Duo’s unique scent.

Heero shook his head, clearing his mind.  He went back to brushing Duo’s hair, then braided it neatly, fixing an elastic band,
which Duo had supplied to him, at the end of the length of hair.

Once done, he wrapped his arms around Duo’s body, laying his head against his back.  “Are you ready to go downstairs?  I'm
sure the others are wondering what’s been keeping us up here for so long.  We all do have some things to go over for tomorrow
night.”

“Oh yeah.  I almost forgot about the party.”  Duo replied, resting his hands over Heero’s.

“How could you forget?  The party is for you.”  Heero said.  “To celebrate your recovered health, something all of us are happy
about.”

Duo turned in his Heero’s arms.  “Can’t wait.”  He smiled, draping his arms around Heero’s neck.

Heero smiled, leaning forward to claim Duo’s mouth in a kiss.


*****


Trowa listened as Quatre’s breathing slowed, as the blonde fell into sleep.  Once he was sure that his angel was asleep, he
slowly removed his arms from around the slim body of his lover.  Carefully, he slid out of bed, moving cautiously to place a
pillow under Quatre’s head, where Trowa’s chest had once been.  In response to Trowa’s movement, Quatre shifted in his
sleep, curling his arms around the pillow as if it were Trowa’s body he was still holding.  Yet, the beautiful blonde did not
awaken from his slumber.

Trowa looked down at the sleeping form of his beloved.  Quatre looked so peaceful in sleep, yet he was still very pale, and his
lips were now tinted a slight blue from being put into that cold water several minutes ago.  Trowa was worried.  Quatre had
been affected so greatly by whatever Duo and Heero had been doing in their bedroom . . . and Trowa had a good idea as to what
they had been doing.  He couldn’t believe that the two of them had been so blind as to completely forget about Quatre’s
empathic abilities.  Didn’t they think about how they would affect him with their emotions?  Obviously they hadn’t, or else
Trowa wouldn’t have had to get Quatre to soak in icy water to calm himself.

He reached out, tenderly brushing his fingers through Quatre’s platinum blonde locks, smiling slightly as Quatre snuggled closer
to the pillow in response.  Poor Quatre . . . he had been exhausted by what he had sensed, from fighting the emotions and his
own hormones with all the strength he had.  Trowa felt anger rising inside of him, for how insensitive Duo and Heero had been.  
How could they do that to Quatre?

Trowa turned away from the bed, and stalked out of the room, making sure he didn’t make a sound as he left.  He didn’t want
to disturb Quatre’s sleep, when the blonde so desperately needed it at the moment.

As he walked through the halls, heading for Duo and Heero’s bedroom, he saw that the library door was open.  Thinking that
perhaps either Duo or Heero were inside, he stepped into the room, letting his gaze travel around the interior.  He sighed, as he
saw Wufei sitting in one of the high-backed leather chairs, reading a book.  Definitely not who he was looking for.

“Something wrong, Barton?”  Wufei asked, peering over the edge of his book.

“Have you seen Heero or Duo this morning?”  Trowa asked, attempting to keep the anger from his voice.

Obviously, he was unsuccessful.  Wufei laid his book on a table by his chair, giving his full attention to Trowa.  “No, they have
not left their room yet.  At least I have not seen them so far today.  Is something wrong?”

“I just need to talk with them.”  Trowa replied.

“You might as well wait here, Barton.  This is where we agreed to meet today to discuss the party.  They should get here sooner
or later.”

“Yeah, right.  I forgot  . . . the party.”  Trowa sighed, raising his hand so that he could rub one of his temples with his fingers.

“Is there something troubling you, Barton?”  Wufei asked, once again.

“Quatre won’t be attending this meeting.”  Trowa replied, slumping into a nearby chair.

“What?  Why?  Has something happened to Winner?”  Wufei asked, rising to his feet.

Before Trowa could answer, he heard the sound of someone entering the room.  He stood, spinning to see Duo and Heero step
into the room.  “Hey guys, something up?”  Duo asked cheerfully, his arm casually draped around Heero’s shoulders.

Trowa walked over to them.  Without warning, he pulled back his arm and delivered a good strong punch directly to Heero’s
cheek.  The action barely made Heero flinch, let alone react to it.  He just stared at Trowa, only his eyes betraying his stoic
appearance by showing his confusion and surprise for the hostile act.

Duo jumped forward, pushing his way between Trowa and Heero and blocking Trowa from striking Heero anymore.  Trowa,
however was done with Heero, and he had no intention of hitting Duo no matter how angry he was.  Duo’s health, although
recovered, was still a concern to everyone including Trowa.  He didn’t want to risk hurting him.

“What the Hell was that for?!”  Duo shouted, pushing Trowa back.

Trowa stumbled for a moment, before he quickly regained his balance.  “Don’t you two have any common decency?”  Trowa
hissed back.

Heero stepped around Duo and spoke, his voice always remaining calm.  “What are you talking about?”

“That little display of affection you put on in your room . . . in front of Quatre.  Have you forgotten that he’s an empath?”  
Trowa said, attempting to keep his anger in check.

Heero flinched, his eyes widening slightly in realization.  Duo gasped, his hand flying to his mouth.  Obviously, they hadn’t
realized what they had done, or else this would come as no surprise to them.

“Is Winner okay?”  Wufei asked, stepping over to the group.

Trowa lowered his gaze.  “He’s sleeping now.  But it took him awhile to get control of himself.”  He lifted his gaze a moment
and glared up at Duo and Heero.  “Do you know how exhausting it is for Quatre, when he has to fight away emotions because
they’re too strong for him to block them out?  It takes all the energy he has to bring his body and mind under control again.”  
Then he added in a hushed whisper,  “I can’t stand to see him suffer like that.”

“Oh, God, Trowa  . . . I’m sorry  . . . We’re sorry.  I mean, we had no idea, we just forgot about him.”  Duo rambled.

“Yes, we’re sorry.”  Heero mumbled, almost inaudibly.

“I’m not the one you should be apologizing to.”  Trowa replied, taking a breath to keep himself calm.

Duo sighed.  “Well, can we go see Quatre?  I really would like to apologize to him.”

“He’s asleep.  I don’t want to disturb him.”  Trowa said, avoiding looking at either Duo or Heero.  He just didn't think he could
look at them without wanting to hurt them for how stupid they had acted.

“You say he was exhausted.  Shouldn’t you have Sally look him over, to be sure his health isn’t in danger?”  Wufei asked.

Trowa looked up, glancing over at the Chinese young man.  He hadn’t even thought of that.  What if something happened to
Quatre while his strength was gone?  He could be vulnerable to all sorts of health problems right now.  “Fine.  I’ll go get Sally
and meet you at our bedroom.”  Trowa said.

“I will go speak with Rasid.  Now that Winner is ill, I do not think he will be capable of organizing this party without any help.  
Perhaps the Maguanacs can take over from now on . . . unless Quatre’s health suitably recovers.”

“Yes, that would be a good idea.”  Trowa said, leaving the room without any further discussion.


*****


Duo took hold of Heero’s hand as they left the library, feeling very upset with himself over Quatre’s condition.  It was all his
own fault that the blonde was ill.  If he had been able to hold off on his own hormones for just a few minutes, until Quatre left
the room, everything would have been okay  . . . Quatre would be okay.

Duo sighed, feeling nothing but self blame.  “All my fault.”  He muttered quietly to himself.

Heero stopped walking, causing Duo to stop also.  He turned Duo to face him.  “It’s not your fault.”  He said.  

“Yes, it is.  If I hadn’t been such and idiot, Quatre wouldn’t be so out of it right now.”  Duo replied, staring deep into Prussian
blue eyes.

“But, it’s my fault too.  I didn’t try to stop you very well.”  He paused glancing away from Duo.  “I should have remembered
Quatre’s empathic abilities.”

Duo smiled, reaching out with one hand to hook a finger under Heero’s chin.  He turned Heero to face him.  “Then I guess we’
re both to blame.”  He leaned forward, giving Heero a quick kiss in the hopes that it would make Heero feel a little better.  He
didn’t want Heero getting upset over what had happened to Quatre, when it was so obviously Duo’s fault that it had happened.  

Heero took hold of his hand once again, breaking away from their kiss.  Then he started walking, Duo strolling along beside
him.  After a couple minutes, they stood outside of Quatre and Trowa’s bedroom door.  Duo shifted from foot to foot
nervously, glancing up and down the hallway looking for any sign of Trowa or Sally.

Finally, he saw them.  Sally was carrying that black bag of hers.  The very thought of a physical exam made Duo shiver, even
though he wasn’t the one Sally was here to look at.  Heero’s arm encircled Duo’s shoulders immediately, providing him with
some comfort.

Duo and Heero stepped back, allowing Trowa to open the door.  Then they followed Trowa and Sally into the room.  They
gathered around Quatre’s bed, Sally and Trowa on one side, while Duo and Heero circled around to the other side.

Duo bit his lip, keeping himself from gasping at the sight of Quatre.  The blonde was laying there, his skin pale and his lips tinted
a pale shade of blue making him seem as if he were cold.  However, his skin was beading with sweat, and his sleep was
unpeaceful.  He tossed and turned, his body trembling, his face twisted into a pained expression as he clawed at the blankets and
sheets covering him.

“He was sleeping peacefully when I left him.”  Trowa said, moving to sit on the bed beside Quatre, taking up one of the blonde’s
trembling hands into his own.  “Quatre . . .”  He said firmly, worry apparent in his actions, although neither his voice nor face
betrayed his calm exterior.  “Quatre  . . . wake up.”

Quatre’s eyes opened slightly, for a brief instant closing shut again.  He turned to Trowa and quirked his lips into a smile.  It was
obviously forced.  He looked so tired, so weak. “Hello, Trowa.”  He said, his voice barely able to be called a whisper.  

“Are you okay?”  Trowa asked.

“Yes.  I was just having a nightmare, nothing to worry about.”  Quatre replied, attempting to sit up, but Trowa just pushed him
back down onto the bed, although the blonde hadn’t gotten too far anyway.  Then Quatre saw Sally.  “Sally, good morning.”

“There are some people here that want to talk to you.”  Trowa said, brushing Quatre’s damp bangs away from his forehead.

“Really?”  Quatre asked feebly, turning his head slowly to face Duo and Heero.  “Duo . . . Heero . . . so nice to see the two of
you.”  He said, almost breathlessly.

“Quatre . . . I . . . We came to apologize to you.”  Duo began.

“Yes, we are very sorry for the way we acted.”  Heero said.

“We just kinda got caught up in each other that we forgot you were in the room with us.  I’m so sorry . . . We’re sorry.”  Duo
said, leaning over to gently grasp Quatre’s other hand.

Quatre smiled up at him, his eyes still only half-open.  “Don’t blame yourself.  I can understand you getting lost in your
feelings.  I still do sometimes.”  He turned to Trowa, his smile growing even brighter as he looked at the silent young man.

“Okay, I think it’s too crowded in here.  I need room to work.”  Sally said from behind Trowa.

“But I won’t leave him here alone.”  Trowa replied, never taking his eyes off of Quatre.

“Fine.”  Sally replied speaking to Trowa.  “I want to look Duo over one last time, just to be sure he is well.  After his last relapse
I don’t want to take any chances.  So, why don’t you and Heero find something to occupy your time?”  

“We can go find Wufei and help Rasid and him with the party arrangements.”  Heero offered.

Trowa nodded in agreement, then leaned over to give Quatre a kiss on the cheek.  “I’ll see you soon.”  He said.

Duo looked at Sally, not liking the idea of her once again giving him a physical.  He had thought he was through with all of that.  
He was healthy again.

“It’s okay.”  Heero whispered into Duo’s ear as he gently took hold of his hand.  “You can trust her.”

Duo nodded wordlessly, truly wanting to believe that, but unsure if he could.  He watched as Trowa and Heero walked out of
the room, leaving Duo and Quatre with Sally.  Once the door closed behind Heero and Trowa, Duo’s body shivered, an
unconscious reaction to being near a doctor.

“Duo, can you give me a hand?”  Sally asked, dragging Duo from his thoughts.

“Sure.”  He answered pleasantly, turning his attention to her.  “What do you need me to do?”

Sally opened her bag, not yet pulling anything out.  “Quatre looks a little tired . . . why don’t you help him sit up?”

Duo got on the large bed beside Quatre and helped him to sit up.  While he held Quatre up with one arm, he reached over and
arranged some pillows against the headboard.  Then he set the blonde back, propping him up against the pillows and the
headboard.

“Thank you, Duo.”  Quatre said, his eyes opened slightly more than they had been before, his lips almost completely returned to
their normal shade.

Duo smiled at Quatre, as he sat on the bed beside the blonde.  “Just glad to be of help, buddy.”

Sally took a seat across from Duo, facing Quatre.  She already had her stethoscope ready.  With a smile on her face, she
unbuttoned Quatre’s pajama top.  Then, after breathing across the stethoscope, she placed it against his chest.  “Take a deep
breath.”  She said.

Duo frowned when Quatre complied.  His breathing did not sound all that strong, and he hadn’t been able to hold it in for very
long.  Duo’s heart sank, knowing that he had been the cause of this.  If he had just been more careful  . . . if only he hadn’t
forgotten that Quatre was in the room when he had started up with Heero, Quatre would still be okay.

Sally tossed her stethoscope back into her bag after getting Quatre to take another deep breath and checking his blood pressure.  
She pulled out a penlight and shone it into one of his eyes, then the other, all the while talking.  “Quatre, do you have an
explanation for why your lips were blue when we came in here to see you?”  She asked.

Quatre’s cheeks grew red, and Duo was sure that he would look extremely embarrassed if that light wasn’t being shone in his
eyes.  “I . . .uh . . . After I sensed Duo and Heero’s emotions, I . . . I had a difficult time getting my own mind . . . and body . .
. under control.  Trowa helped me into the bathroom and I took a very cold bath.”  Quatre replied.  By the time he had finished
speaking, Sally had finished checking his eyes.  Sure enough, just as Duo has suspected, he did look completely embarrassed,
unable to look at either Duo or Sally when he was finished speaking.

Duo continued to watch, his heart pounding erratically in his chest whenever Sally touched Quatre, or pulled anything from that
bag of hers.  He just couldn’t get over that stupid phobia of his.

Sally stuck a thermometer into Quatre’s mouth.  A short time later, she pulled it out again, frowning at the reading.  “You have a
slight fever, Quatre.” She said, rummaging around in her bag once again.  

She pulled out a syringe and a vial of some liquid.  Quickly, she unwrapped the syringe and readied it.  Duo had to look away as
she pushed the needle into Quatre’s arm, not even able to watch as it was done to another person.

“What was that?”  Quatre asked.

“Just something that will make you feel better.  Now, I think you should get some rest and let the medicine do its job.”  Sally
replied.

Quatre nodded, then closed his eyes.  Duo couldn’t believe that Quatre could trust her so implicitly, as if it were nothing to him.  
Then again, he wasn’t the one with the phobia . . . Duo was.

Sally picked up Quatre’s wrist, checking his pulse as he drifted off to sleep.  After a few minutes, she set his arm down again,
then stood and turned to Duo, holding her bag in her hand.  “Duo, may I have a word with you in private?”  

“S-sure.”  Duo replied, stuttering out of fear.  He had tried to suppress the unwanted emotion, but had failed miserably.

Duo followed Sally into the bathroom.  He flinched as she shut the door behind them, leaving them alone in a small enclosed
space with a doctor, definitely not Duo’s idea of fun.  He turned, and leaned back against the counter, trying to seem as if he
weren’t as frightened as he really was.  

“What did you want to talk about, Doc?”  He asked, struggling to keep his voice calm.

Sally sighed, leaning over to place her bag on the floor beside her feet.  “Duo, I don’t know why you have a problem with me . .
.”

Duo interrupted her.  “Problem?  What problem?”  Duo asked, his heart racing.

“Duo, I’ve seen the way you act whenever you’re in the room with me.  I know you are afraid of me for some reason.  Now, I
don’t know what is causing this, but I want you to know that you have no reason to be frightened of me.  I would never hurt
you, Duo . . . never.”  She said, slowly stepping toward him.

Duo looked away from her, ashamed of how he was acting.  This was just a stupid phobia.  How could he have let it get so far
out of hand?  Now he was making Sally feel bad.  No one should suffer  . . .  in any way . . . because of him.  “I'm  . . . I’m
sorry.”  He whispered, not able to get his voice any louder.

“Is it me, Duo?  Or is it something I did?  Why are you so afraid of me?”  Sally asked, staying by the door.

Duo took a step away from the counter.  “No  . . . it’s not you or anything you did.”  He said frantically, not wanting her to
think there was something wrong with her.  He looked down at the floor, closing his eyes as he spoke again.  “I . . .I just don’t
like doctors . . . that’s all.  It’s not you.”

“Please, Duo . . . I don’t want you to be afraid of me.  I won’t push you for an explanation as to why you don’t like doctors, it’
s obviously something that pains you.  But I do want to earn your trust.  I’d never hurt you, Duo.”  Sally said, reaching out to
Duo with one hand, then pulling her arm back only moments later, as if she had second thoughts about the simple action.

Duo took a tentative step toward her again, this time within an arm’s reach of her.  “I’m trying not to be afraid of you.”  Duo
said, quietly.  “I know you wouldn’t hurt me.  But I can’t shake the feeling.  I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be sorry.  This is obviously some deep-rooted fear.  It’ll take time for this to change  . . . if you want this to change.”  

Duo took another step, slowly raising his hand to reach out to her.  Hesitantly, fighting his fear, he let Sally take hold of his
hand, and forced a smile when he looked to her face.  “I don’t want to be afraid of you.  I know you’re a friend, and you've
helped us all countless times in the past . . .”  He let his words trail off, suddenly at a loss for words.

Sally slowly embraced him.  Duo shivered, still trying to control the fear.  It was silly to be so frightened of Sally.  She wouldn’t
hurt him . . . he knew that.  With trembling hands, he reached up, circling his arms around her body, his own body breaking out
in a cold sweat as he took a chance.  He closed his eyes, taking deep breaths to relax as he let himself sink into her embrace,
pushing away all thoughts and doubts, knowing she wouldn’t hurt him.  He still felt afraid, and yet the embrace was a comfort
to him.


*****


Wufei had just found Rasid in the ballroom, ordering around various people who were bustling about in preparation for the party,
when he heard footsteps approaching him from behind.  He turned, and to his surprise saw Heero and Trowa approaching him.

“What are you two doing here?”  Wufei questioned.

“Sally told us to leave the room.”  Trowa replied.

“Is Winner okay?”  Wufei asked, genuinely concerned for the blonde Arabian.

Trowa looked down at the floor, not replying.  Obviously, Quatre was not well, or else Trowa would have said something.

“Have you talked with Rasid yet?”  Heero asked.

Wufei turned to him.  “I have not had a chance to talk with him yet.  I just entered the room after searching this mansion for the
man since we departed the library.”

“Then let’s go.”  Trowa said, snapping his gaze up, and stepping past both Wufei and Heero.

Wufei didn’t like this.  It was apparent that Trowa was worried about Quatre.  Perhaps, he shouldn’t be doing this.  Wufei
pushed the thoughts aside as he and Heero followed the agitated young man over to Rasid.

“Rasid, we have something to discuss with you.”  Wufei stated, while gently laying a hand on Trowa’s shoulder to stop him,
and to offer some amount of comfort, although no one else probably saw it that way.

Rasid turned to them.  “Yes, how may I be of service to you?”  He asked, bowing out of respect.

“We have come to ask if you can take over the preparations for the party.”  Wufei responded.  “It will all be up to you if you
agree to do this.”

Rasid stared down at the three of them.  “Why, has something happened to Master Quatre?”

Trowa sighed, then spoke, in a voice that remained calm.  “Quatre has taken ill.  He can’t take on the task of getting everything
ready.”

“What has happened to Master Quatre?”  Rasid asked, his voice sounding quite distressed.

Wufei didn’t know what to say.  He turned to Trowa, and saw that he had his mouth hanging open, unable to say a word.  But
Heero didn’t seem to have that problem.  “Quatre sensed something that overwhelmed him and now he’s totally exhausted.  Don’
t ask anything more, the matter is far too personal.”

Rasid nodded slightly.  “Will he be okay?”

“Sally is checking him over now, to make sure he’s well.”  Trowa said, finally finding his voice.

“Will you be able to take on the responsibility of this party?”  Wufei asked, changing the subject as best as he could.

“It should be no problem.  Master Quatre has already done most of the work himself.  All that needs to be done is getting this
room ready for the party and making sure that the guest rooms are prepared in case anyone needs them.”  Rasid replied.  “Will
that be all?”

“Yes.”  Heero replied.

Trowa turned away from the group.  “I’m going to check and see if Sally’s done yet.”

“Wish Master Quatre well for me, please.”  Rasid said.

Trowa turned back, and nodded, then resumed on his way out of the room.  Wufei watched him leave, then turned back to
Rasid.  “If you need any help . . . ”

“I will ask for it.”  Rasid said, finishing Wufei’s sentence for him.

Wufei bowed to the large bear of a man, then turned and walked away, not knowing if Heero was following him or not.  It didn’
t matter either way to Wufei anyway.  Heero could do whatever he wished.  However, Wufei’s thoughts drifted to Quatre.  He
hoped Quatre’s health would recover.  But if he was as exhausted as Trowa and Heero claimed him to be, would he be well
enough to attend the party tomorrow night?  

Wufei knew that Quatre would be greatly disappointed if he could not attend the party celebrating Duo’s recovered health, it had
been all the Arabian had talked about for nearly a week, a way to distract everyone from the worries over the American.  

Planning for this party took everyone’s mind off of worrying for Duo, and the annoying fact that no leads had been found to
identify the person that had poisoned Duo.  That fact, was a constant annoyance to Wufei.  No leads, no clues, nothing to tell
them who would want to hurt the loud-mouthed American.  But no further attempts had been made, so Wufei and the others
could do nothing but wait and hope that no other attempts would be made.



To Be Continued . . .