Disclaimers:  I don’t own Gundam wing or any of its wonderful characters. I’m just using them here for fun and nonprofit
purposes.

Notes:  Part 10 of my little fic.  No real notes in this part I guess.



Desires and Deceptions
Part 10



Trowa left Wufei and Heero in the ballroom with Rasid, leaving the three of them to talk over anything they wanted to.  He didn’
t care if either of them followed him or not.  He just wanted to get back to Quatre’s side and see how he was feeling.  He picked
up his pace, wanting to get back to Quatre as quickly as possible.

A few minutes later, Trowa stepped into the bedroom he and Quatre shared.  He looked around the room, but saw no signs of
either Duo or Sally.  Then he noticed that the bathroom door was shut.  They must be in there, he thought to himself.  Quietly,
he moved over to the bed, letting his eyes drift over every visible inch of Quatre’s body.

The beautiful blonde was sleeping, his face pale but peaceful.  At least he wasn’t having a nightmare like the last time he had
been sleeping.  Trowa sat on the edge of the bed, and just watched the rise and fall of Quatre’s chest, still worried about his
angel’s health.  With a gentle hand, Trowa reached out and tenderly stroked Quatre’s cheek, smiling as the blonde leaned into
Trowa’s hand as a response to his touch.

The opening of the bathroom door drew Trowa’s attention away from Quatre.  His mouth dropped open in surprise as he saw
Sally, helping Duo out of the room.  Duo looked positively awful, pale and shaken.  Trowa stood, and quickly crossed the room
to stand in front of Sally and Duo, wondering just what had happened to the American.

He heard as Duo mumbled, over and over again, the same words.  “My fault . . . my fault.”  He didn’t look up at Trowa, didn’t
do anything other than walk where Sally led him, his body trembling and tears dripping along his pale cheeks.

“What happened?”  Trowa asked, reaching out to Duo hesitantly, then pulling his arm back as the American flinched away from
him.

“He’s just a bit shaken up.  We had a little talk . . . it’s not important what we talked about . . . and he broke down.  It’ll do him
good that he got some of those pent-up fears and emotions off his chest.  Just take it easy with him.”  Sally replied.

Trowa nodded, although he didn’t have a clue about what Sally was talking about.  What pent-up fears and emotions did Duo
have?  He shook his head, knowing it was none of his business to pry.  “I doubt he’ll be able to make it all the way to his
room.”  Trowa said honestly, seeing the condition Duo was in.  He looked like he could pass out any minute.  “Might as well let
him stay here.”

Trowa slowly wrapped an arm around Duo’s shoulders, and led him over to the bed.  Duo looked like he needed a good nap,
and his own room was too far away, so staying here was probably the best idea.  Sally let go of Duo and walked ahead of
them.  She reached the bed first, and pulled back the blankets on one side, not disturbing Quatre who slept soundly on the other
side of the bed.

Sally stepped back and Trowa helped Duo to sit on the bed.  He removed the American’s shoes, just dropping them to the floor
without a second thought.  Then he pushed Duo back, letting him lie down as he covered him with the blankets.  He frowned as
Duo curled himself into a ball, his back to Quatre as he trembled despite the blankets over his body.

He didn’t like seeing Duo like this.  It was like he was sick all over again, but this time it wasn’t his body that was sick, but his
heart.  Something was obviously troubling him, and Trowa suspected that it included blaming himself for Quatre’s health.  
Maybe Trowa shouldn’t have been so hard on Duo and Heero before.  It was obviously having a very strong impact on Duo.

“Quatre should be fine with a little rest.”  Sally said, gaining Trowa’s attention.  “He has a slight fever, and I can’t say that his
health isn’t a concern to me, but with rest he should be better soon.  I gave him what I hope will make him feel better, but it’ll
also leave him feeling quite drowsy.  Don’t be surprised if he doesn’t wake up right away.  The same thing goes for Duo.  I
think his body needs the rest, so he might end up sleeping the rest of the day like Quatre, with only random moments of near
consciousness.”

“Will Quatre be well enough to attend the party tomorrow night?  I know he would be very upset if he had to miss it.”  Trowa
said, moving around to Quatre’s side of the bed.

“I don’t see any reason why not.  As long as he doesn't push himself too hard, he should be okay.  Besides, I will be at the
party, so if I think he’s had enough I’ll let you know and you can escort him back to his room.”  Sally replied.

Trowa nodded, and pulled a chair up to the side of the bed.  He sat, gently grasping one of Quatre’s limp hands in his own.


*****


Heero followed Wufei.  He could see that the young Chinese man was heading for Quatre’s room, and since that was where he
was heading himself, he had no choice but to follow.  It wasn’t a race, so there was no need to run, and Duo was healthy, no
reason to worry about that.  However, Duo was in a room with Sally, and Heero knew about the American’s phobia.  Perhaps
he should quicken his pace, if only to be able to comfort his love sooner.

He saw as Wufei stopped just outside of Trowa and Quatre’s bedroom door.  Wufei just stood there, apparently waiting for
him.  When Heero was only a few steps away, Wufei opened the door, allowing Heero to go into the room first.

Heero gasped the moment he stepped into the room, worry entering his mind at the sight of Duo.  The American was lying on
the bed beside Quatre.  He was curled into a tight ball, his body shivering violently.

“What happened?”  Wufei demanded, before Heero had even been able to open his mouth and ask that very same question.

Heero was by Duo’s side in an instant, before Sally had time to reply to Wufei’s question.  He ignored the fact that Quatre was
also in the bed, and that Trowa was sitting beside the blonde.  He was only concerned about Duo at the moment, and no one else.

Gently, he placed his hand on Duo’s arm, wincing when Duo flinched away from him.  Was Duo having another relapse, Heero
asked himself.  What the hell had happened to him?

“Duo was just dealing with some bad memories.”  Sally said.  “They overwhelmed him.”

“He didn’t look like he would make it all the way to the room you two share, so I suggested that he stay here.”  Trowa said, still
sitting beside Quatre’s side of the bed, holding the blonde’s hand carefully.

Heero clasped Duo’s hand, frowning at how much the American was shivering.  He leaned closer to his beloved Duo, so that his
mouth was only a breath away from the long-haired pilot’s ear.  “It’s okay, Duo.  I’m here.  You’re okay.”  He whispered.

In response to Heero’s soothing words, Duo reached out to Heero, wrapping his arms about his shoulders almost frantically.  
Heero let himself be pulled down, not fighting one little bit.  It was obvious that Duo needed to hold onto something, and if he
wanted to hold Heero, then so be it.

“My fault.”  Duo mumbled repeatedly.

Heero grimaced, not liking the sound of that.  He drew his arms around the body of his trembling lover, running his hands in
caresses along his back.  “No, it’s not.”  He replied in a whisper, hoping his words would reach the youth he held so gently, not
caring if the others heard as well.

Eventually, Duo’s shivering ceased, his breath became even and he slipped into slumber.  Heero pulled himself away from Duo
slowly, looking down in worry at the tear-streaked face of his lover.  Running his hand along Duo’s cheek, he hoped the
American would be okay.


*****


Quatre felt awful.  Tired  . . . so very tired.  His eyelids felt as if they weighed a ton, and there was a strange taste in his mouth.  
His throat was dry and sore, feeling like he had gargled with broken glass, and some disgusting film seemed to be covering his
tongue.

Slowly, Quatre forced his eyes to open, an odd sense of fear causing his heart to ache.  He wasn’t afraid, so it must be one of
his friends  . . . but who?  Focusing was difficult, but after blinking a few times, he saw Trowa sitting in a chair near the bed,
his chin propped up with one of his hands, his eyes closed.  Quatre let a smile quirk his lips, seeing that his beloved had fallen
asleep while watching over him.

But still . . . there was that sense of fear he felt.  He slowly turned his head, wondering if anyone else was in the room.  After a
few hazy moments of near unconsciousness, his mind finally registered the fact that the warmth he felt in the bed beside him
was not because of the blankets covering him.  There was someone in his bed.  And if Trowa was asleep in that chair, that
meant someone else was in bed with him.

Quatre let his head flop to the side, blinking his eyes to refocus them on an object much closer to him than Trowa was.  He
struggled to keep his eyes open, then saw a telltale length of nearly unraveled, braided hair, telling him that Duo was the one in
bed with him.  By the way Duo was trembling, even though it was ever so slightly, Quatre knew that the fear he sensed was
coming from his American friend.

“Quatre?”  Trowa’s voice whispered, finally causing Quatre to realize that one of his hands was being held in Trowa’s firm, yet
gentle, grip.  Trowa’s hand was now tugging gently on Quatre’s, urging him to turn.

Quatre turned back to Trowa, smiling as best as he could despite the incredible tiredness he felt.  “Trowa . . .”  He said, his
voice sounding raspy and weak.

Trowa leaned forward, pressing his fingers to Quatre’s lips to hush him.  “Don’t talk . . . just rest.”  Trowa said, letting his hand
drift along Quatre’s face in a gentle caress, his other hand still clasping one of Quatre’s.

Quatre shook his head slightly, successfully knocking Trowa’s hand away from him.  “Duo?”  He asked, gesturing weakly to
the figure lying on the bed beside him.

Trowa sighed, closing his eyes for a brief moment.  “From what I understand, he and Sally talked about some stuff, and it left
him quite shaken.  Since I didn’t think he would be able to make it to his own room, I thought it would be best if he stayed
here.  Is it harmful to you that he’s here?”

Quatre shook his head in response to Trowa’s question.  “He’s afraid.”  Quatre replied, slowly rolling over onto his side to give
Duo his full attention.  He pulled his hand away from Trowa, and laid it against Duo’s back.  “He’s so afraid.”

Without waiting for Trowa to respond, Quatre slid closer to Duo, wrapping his arms about him, his head resting against the
American’s back.  He closed his eyes, the impact of Duo’s emotions nearly causing him to pass out.  Being this close, it was so
much stronger, everything was clearer to Quatre.

“Don’t be afraid, Duo.”  Quatre mumbled, hoping the American could hear him.  “You’re safe here.”

Quatre sighed in relief as the trembling in Duo’s body faded.  But he didn’t move away, deciding that it would be best to stay
like that as long as Duo needed to feel the contact, to know that he wasn’t alone.

A few minutes later, Quatre felt a slight movement from the body he held in his arms.  “Yo, Q-man, why do you have your arms
around me?”  Duo asked, his voice sounding as pleasant as it ever did.  

However, Quatre could still sense the fear within Duo, and he knew that something was still troubling his friend.  Shyly, he
pulled away from Duo, feeling a blush creeping across his cheeks.  “Sorry, Duo.”  Quatre said, casting a worried glance in
Trowa’s direction to tell him that all was not as well as it seemed.  “I guess I’m just not used to waking up with anyone other
than Trowa in our bed.”

“Jeez, Quatre, I didn’t know you and Tro were into this kinky kind of thing . . . Threesome huh?”  Duo said, chuckling as he
pushed himself into a more upright position.

Quatre felt himself blushing once again, and looked to his side to see Trowa turning a ghastly pale shade.  “Very funny.”  Quatre
said, smiling at the shocked expression on the face of his love.  He gently clasped Trowa’s hand, watching with amusement as
Trowa’s face regained some of its color.

“Seriously though . . .”  Duo said, running his hand through his bangs.  “What am I doing in your bed?”

“What’s the last thing you remember?”  Trowa asked, taking a seat on the edge of the bed beside Quatre.

Quatre fought his own tiredness, and turned to watch Duo.  The American shook his head slightly, staying silent for several long
seconds, as if he was lost in thought.  “Well, I remember Sally asking to see me in private, and then we  . . . talked.”  He paused
briefly and shuddered, then he continued.  “I don’t really remember all too much after that.  Everything’s kinda hazy.”

“Well, I don’t know what you and Sally talked about . . . and I won’t ask about it either . . . But when Sally brought you out of
the bathroom, you looked quite shaken up so I thought it would be best if you got some rest.  Since I thought your bedroom
was too far away for you to make it there in your condition, I thought it best if you just stayed here.”  Trowa replied.

Duo suddenly looked up, his eyes darting around the room almost frantically.  “Where’s Heero?”  He asked, clutching the
blankets below him in a grip that left his knuckles turning white.

Quatre flinched, turning away from Duo as the fear he sensed from the American hit him like a punch.  He gasped, rolling over
and grabbing Trowa in a plea for help, his own body beginning to tremble violently.  He couldn’t form his own words, couldn’t
do anything but feel that fear, that sense of abandonment.  He needed Trowa to calm Duo, at least a little.

Trowa’s arms circled him quickly, cradling his body while he shook.  Then he pulled one of his hands away from Quatre and
grabbed Duo’s shoulder.  “Calm down, Duo.  Heero just went to get you something to eat.  He felt he needed something to do,
and I suggested that he get some food for when you woke up.  Of course, I hadn’t expected either you or Quatre to wake up so
soon, not from what Sally had said about you two.”

Just as Quatre looked up, sensing that Duo’s fear was ebbing away like the tide, the bedroom door opened and Heero stepped in,
carrying a covered tray in his arms.  He smirked slightly, a small expression, but an expression nonetheless.  “Glad to see you’re
awake.”  Heero commented, closing the bedroom door behind him and stepping over to the bed.

Duo’s posture relaxed, his fingers releasing their iron grip on the sheets and blankets below him.  “Heero.”  He gasped, sounding
relieved, a small smile threading its way across his face as he looked at Heero.

Heero set the tray down on the bed between Duo and Quatre, then sat beside Duo, letting the American cling to him like a
lifeline.  Heero didn’t seem to mind.  In fact, he smiled, sliding his hands along Duo’s body comfortingly.

It was agonizingly quiet.  Quatre felt he had to do something to break the silence, to get rid of all the tension in the air.  “What
did you bring, Heero?”  He asked, pulling himself away from Trowa’s warm arms.

Heero reached over and lifted the lid from the tray.  Quatre looked at what was lying on the plate.  It was nothing but fruits and
cheeses, some crackers and a couple bottles of water.  On the side were a couple sandwiches, but Quatre assumed they were
not meant for either Duo or himself.

Duo picked up a piece of cheese, just staring at it for a moment.  “What’s this?”  He asked.

“Well, I wasn’t expecting to find either of you awake when I returned, so I thought that I should select food that would keep
well.  The sandwiches are for Trowa and me.”  Heero replied, picking up one sandwich as Trowa took the other.

“Okay.”  Duo sighed.  He popped the piece of cheese into his mouth and ate it with a grin on his face.

For a moment Quatre just watched as the others silently ate.  Duo picked up various items from the tray and tossed them into
his mouth while Trowa and Heero each ate their sandwiches.

Quatre sat up slightly and reached out, feeling a bit hungry himself.  But the food on the tray was just out of his reach.  He
sighed, laying back on the bed, his hand falling just a few inches short of the tray.

“Need some help?”  Trowa asked after swallowing a mouthful of his sandwich.

Quatre smiled up at him.  “Yes, please.”  He replied.

Trowa set his sandwich down on the tray, then helped Quatre into a sitting position, propping a couple pillows behind his back.  
Then he turned back to the tray.  He picked up his own sandwich with one hand and grabbed a couple loose grapes with the
other.

Quatre opened his mouth, allowing Trowa to feed him the grapes one at a time, without feeling the least bit upset.  He wasn’t
strong enough to do it himself so there was no reason to argue about it.  Well, he could probably hold his own food if he tried,
but having Trowa take care of him was so much more pleasant.  He smiled while he chewed the fruit in his mouth, just admiring
the view of his beloved Trowa.

A strange feeling flowed through Quatre’s mind.  He glanced over at Heero, sensing a twinge of guilt from the Japanese youth.  
It was like he was hiding something, some piece of information that he wasn’t pleased about himself.  And to prove that fact,
Heero repeatedly glanced at his watch, although this action was apparently unnoticed by everyone other than Quatre.

Although Quatre was curious, he was content to wait until everyone was done eating to ask Heero what he was hiding.  So he
sat there, still letting Trowa feed him bits of fruit, stealing glances at the other young men so that he would know when the meal
was over.

Duo was the first to stop eating, as odd as that seemed.  He curled his arms around Heero’s waist, laying his head against his
shoulder as the Japanese youth continued to eat his sandwich.  He looked content just to be near Heero, not caring if Heero
returned his embrace or anything, just pleased to be near the other young man.

Trowa finished with his sandwich.  He reached over to the tray, for another piece of fruit.  But Quatre held up his hand,
stopping him from feeding it to him.  “No, please.  I can’t eat any more.”  Quatre whispered, allowing his arm to fall weakly to
the bed beside his body.

“You sure?”  Trowa asked.

Quatre nodded in reply, grasping one of Trowa’s hands.  Trowa smiled, placing the bit of fruit back on the tray.  Quatre
returned the smile, for a moment lost in the depths of his lover’s emerald eyes.

After a few seconds, Quatre turned to look at Heero and noticed that he was also finished eating.  Heero was sitting there, his
arms protectively circled around Duo’s body, one hand running long caresses along Duo’s back, the other resting at his waist.

Still, Quatre could sense that Heero was hiding something, a vague feeling of remorse drifting through his mind.  “Heero, is there
something you want to tell us?”  Quatre asked, after Heero had once again glanced to his watch.

“Huh?”  Heero asked, seemingly confused.  He turned his attention to Quatre, although his arms remained protectively wrapped
around Duo’s body.

“You seem to have something on your mind, and you keep looking at your watch.  Is there somewhere else you need to be?”  
Quatre asked.

Heero closed his eyes a moment and Duo slowly slid away from him.  “I have a mission.  While I was getting the food, I
checked my email and I’m needed back at Headquarters.”  Heero said, sighing as he stood.

“You have to leave?”  Duo asked, his voice wavering slightly.

Quatre silently took in a gasp of air, feeling as Duo’s fear washed over him.  After taking a moment to regain his composure,
Quatre asked, “When do you have to go?”

“Within the next five minutes.”  Heero replied, his face unreadable.  “Une has expressed that my presence is urgently required
and I informed her that I would be there as soon as possible.  I should have already left.”  

“But you stayed to have lunch with us.”  Duo muttered, staring down at the bed he sat on.

Heero reached out, cupping Duo’s face in the palm of one hand.  His face remaining calm, he spoke.  “I wouldn’t have left until
I was sure you were okay.”  

Quatre saw that the smile Duo flashed to Heero was forced.  It was so obvious that the American was worried about being
abandoned, that Heero might not come back to him.  Quatre shook his head, hoping for Duo to get over his fears.

“What’s the mission?”  Trowa asked, breaking the unbearable silence that had fallen between the four of them.

“It’s classified . . . for my ears only.”  Heero replied, sighing.

“Will you be back by tomorrow night?”  Quatre asked, wondering if Heero would be able to attend the party.

“I’m not sure.”  He said to Quatre.  Then he turned to Duo.  “I’ll come back as quickly as I can.”  Heero said, leaning over to
give Duo a short but passionate kiss.  Then he left, only glancing back once before he closed the door behind himself.

Quatre shuddered, as waves of grief and terror washed over him, feelings of shame and guilt flooding his mind.  The sickening
taste of bile arose in his throat and he swallowed, his hands clutching his stomach as he tried to push aside the horrible nauseous
feeling.  Out of the corner of his half-closed eyes, he saw as Duo leapt from the bed and ran to the bathroom.  Only moments
later the sounds of retching could clearly be heard, and Quatre hoped his friend was okay.


*****


Trowa watched as Duo’s entire body began shaking, continuing to watch as the American jumped from the bed and ran into the
bathroom.  He quickly glanced down at Quatre, frowning when he saw the blonde clutching his stomach as if he were sick.  

For a moment he was confused, overwhelmed with worry for his angel and his friend, torn between who he should help first.  
The sounds Duo was making in the bathroom told Trowa all he needed to know however.  Obviously, Quatre was just sensing
Duo’s troubled emotions and having a similar reaction as the American.

“I’ll go check on him.”  Trowa said, brushing his hand through Quatre’s bangs as he rose from the bed.

Quatre merely nodded in reply, biting his bottom lip while his arms remained wrapped around his stomach.  He still looked so
sick, so frail . . . Trowa was reluctant to leave him, but he knew that he had to check on Duo.  Once Duo’s feelings were dealt
with, there was a good chance that Quatre would get better, if only slightly.

Trowa stepped into the bathroom, grimacing at the sight before him.  Duo was kneeling on the floor, hunched over the toilet, his
back arching with every heaving retch he made.  After dry heaving several times, Duo leaned back slightly, resting his forehead
just on the edge of the toilet seat as his body began to tremble severely.  Duo wrapped his arms around himself, sweat literally
dripping from his face.  He just sat there, his braid nearly completely unraveled and hanging over one of his shoulders.  It fell
over Duo’s shoulder to block his face from view as Trowa continued to watch him.

Trowa took slow steps, stopping at the sink.  He grabbed one of the cups that were set near the sink and filled it with cool
water.  Then he slowly stepped over, and dropped to his knees beside Duo’s huddled and shivering form.  Carefully, he reached
out, his hand sliding the curtain of half-braided and knotted hair away from Duo’s face, pushing it back over his shoulder.

He held the cup of water out to Duo.  “Here.”  He said in his gentlest voice.

Duo opened his eyes, lifting his face away from the toilet to look at Trowa.  With hands that shook, he took the cup from
Trowa, a faltering smile on his pale, sweat-covered face.  “Thank you.”  He whispered, his voice rough and hoarse.

Trowa reached up and flushed the toilet then closed the lid.  He watched as Duo took small sips of the water in his cup, his eyes
never looking directly at Trowa, always on the floor while his body continued to shudder.

“Are you okay?”  Trowa asked, seeing that Duo was done with his water since he had set the cup on the floor beside him.  
“What’s wrong?”

Duo sniffled and looked away, apparently ashamed of his own behavior.  “It’s nothing.”

“I don’t believe that.”  Trowa said, laying a hand on Duo’s shaking shoulder, frowning when the muscles in that shoulder
tightened under the contact.  “If it were nothing then you wouldn’t be reacting like this.  I only want to help.”

Tears welled up in Duo eyes and he slouched forward, covering his eyes with his hands.  “Oh, God, it’s so stupid.”  He
mumbled.

“What’s wrong?  Is there anything I can do to help?”  Trowa’s worry for his friend was steadily increasing.  Duo was not doing
at all well.  Something terrible must be going through the American’s mind to make him act this way.

Without warning, Duo threw himself at Trowa, latching onto him as he openly began sobbing.  Trowa blinked in surprise,
having not expected Duo to embrace him so strongly.  However, he wrapped his arms around Duo, knowing that he would hold
his friend as long as he needed to.

“I’m so afraid Heero won’t come back.”  Duo choked out between sobs, his voice muffled slightly by Trowa’s body.  “It’s
stupid.  But I’m scared he’s left me . . . left me alone . . . just like everyone else.”

Trowa cradled Duo’s body firmly, running one of his hands along Duo’s spine in what he hoped was a comforting gesture.  
“Duo, it’s okay.”  He said, keeping his tone gentle.  “Heero wouldn’t have left unless it was really important.  He’ll come back . .
. I’m sure he will.”

“I wish I was so sure.”  Duo grumbled, burying his face in Trowa’s chest, his tears soaking into Trowa’s shirt.

Trowa pulled Duo away from him, holding him at arms length and looking deep into his red-rimmed eyes.  “Duo, Heero loves
you.  He would not just abandon you.”

Duo wiped the tears from his eyes, sniffling.  “I know he loves me.  I just can’t shake the feeling that he’s left.  I just can’t stop
feeling so scared.  It’s stupid . . . I know it is.”

Trowa sighed, then took in a deep breath, preparing himself for a reply he felt a little nervous about.  He didn’t like talking about
himself very much, especially in matters that were so personal as feelings.  “Duo . . . your fear isn’t stupid . . . it’s just
baseless.  Sometimes I feel frightened that Quatre is going to leave me.  After all . . . I am just a nameless nobody.”  He sighed
again.  “On those days that I can’t understand why Quatre could care at all about me, I find myself near tears, feeling that any
day he could leave me for someone better, or just leave me.  However, my fears are just as baseless as yours.  Heero loves you,
just as Quatre loves me.”

Duo smirked slightly, his lips only hinting at a smile.  “Thanks, Trowa.  I know you don’t like talking about this stuff.  Sorry I
made you bring up your feelings.”

“Don’t worry about it, Duo.  If it means I made you feel even slightly better, I was glad to do it.”  Trowa replied, helping Duo to
his feet.  “Now come on, I think Quatre will be worried about us.”

“Is he okay?  Did he sense my emotions again?”  Duo asked, his voice becoming increasingly worried, as he clutched tightly to
Trowa’s arms.  “I hurt him again, didn’t I?”

“Duo, don’t worry.  He’ll be fine.”  Trowa said, although he wasn’t sure if he really believed it himself.  Quatre was quite weak
at the moment and Duo’s emotions had seemed to have a bad effect on him.  Trowa could only hope that the blonde was okay,
and that his own words to Duo had been truthful.

“I hope you’re right.”  Duo said, taking his arms away from Trowa.

Before he could even take a step, Duo’s legs gave out from under him.  Trowa moved quickly, catching Duo before he could
fall and sweeping him up into his arms.  “You okay?”  He asked as he adjusted the weight in his arms to make himself and Duo
more comfortable.

“A little tired, I guess.”  Duo replied, wrapping his arms around Trowa’s neck and resting his head against his chest.

“Maybe you should get some sleep.”  Trowa replied.  Against his chest, Duo nodded.

He carried Duo out of the bathroom, taking him right over to the bed.  He noticed that Quatre was sitting up, although the blonde
still seemed incredibly tired.  Trowa set Duo on the edge of the bed, then grabbed a couple tissues from off the bedside table.  
He proceeded to wipe the tears and sweat from Duo’s face, cleaning him somewhat.

Trowa tossed the used tissues onto the tray that still sat on the center of the bed, watching for a moment as Quatre snuggled
down under the blankets.  Then he picked up the tray and placed it on the bedside table.  

Gently urging Duo to lie down, Trowa also climbed into bed, sandwiching Duo between Quatre and himself.  He smiled as Duo
curled closer to Quatre, allowing the blonde to embrace him in his arms.  Trowa threw an arm over Duo’s body, his hand laying
over one of Quatre’s arms.  If sleeping like this would help Duo to feel even the slightest bit better, then so be it.  Trowa was
glad to be of help, and he knew that Quatre wouldn’t mind either.

Trowa closed his eyes, although he knew he couldn’t stay too long.  There were still things he needed to do this afternoon,
helping with preparations for the party.  But he would at least stay until Quatre and Duo had fallen asleep.


*****


Duo sighed from his place against the wall, his arms folded over his chest as he watched all of the partygoers having fun.  The
party had been going on for at least an hour now, and still there was no sign of Heero yet.

Heero had left on that mission over a day ago and there had still been no word from him.  What kind of a mission had he been
sent on?  Duo couldn’t help but worry.

He looked around again, trying to get rid of the worry in his heart.  Everyone here was someone he knew, people from work
mostly.  Still, the party was small, and the room remained uncrowded, plenty of space to walk around or dance depending on
the mood of the guest.

There was Quatre, sitting in a chair across the room.  Naturally, Trowa was standing by the blonde’s side, looking down at him,
worry apparent on the young man’s face.  Quatre still seemed tired, although most of his strength had returned.  Duo knew that
Quatre wouldn’t last until the end of the party.  Eventually, Trowa was bound to say that it was time for Quatre to leave, and
Duo didn’t think the blonde would put up much of a fight about it.

Duo had basically spent the last two days with Quatre and Trowa, sleeping in their bed.  Of course, Trowa had left sometime
yesterday afternoon, probably to help Wufei and Rasid with the party.  Sally had shown up every few hours, checking on Duo
and Quatre, and although Duo still didn’t like the idea of her touching him, he felt far more calm around her than the last few
times.

It was nice that they had let him stay in their room, letting him stay the night sleeping in their bed between the two of them.  It
made him feel like someone cared, that he wasn’t alone.  He appreciated their kindness immensely.

“Hey, sexy.  Guess who?”  A familiar voice said.

Duo jumped slightly, surprised and snapped his head up to look at who had spoken to him.  “Hilde?!  What are you doing here?”  
He asked, shocked to see her.

“Jeez, with that kind of a greeting, you’ll make me think that you didn’t want me here.”  She huffed, crossing her arms over her
chest.

“It’s not that.”  He smiled.  “I just  . . . wasn’t expecting you.”

Hilde smiled, playfully slapping him on the arm.  “You dope!  I’m here because I heard you were sick and couldn’t get past Ali-
Quatre and the forty Maguanac before now.  This was the first time they let me anywhere near you.  What’s up with that?”

Duo ran a hand through his bangs.  “Well . . . Heero was being a little overprotective of me  . . . not that I mind.”

“He FINALLY woke up, huh?”  Hilde sighed, moving to lean against the wall beside Duo.  “About time he saw what a gem you
are!”

Duo looked down, mentally slapping himself for being such a jerk.  Here Hilde was and he was talking about himself and Heero.  
“Sorry, Hilde.”

“For what?  Duo . . . You’re a great friend, but I know you aren’t attracted to me in that way.  I can’t say that I’m thrilled
about it.  But I’ve learned to live with the fact that we’ll be nothing more than friends.”

Duo smiled at her, glad they had that understanding.  He really would hate to lose her as a friend.  He had already lost enough
friends to death . . . there was no need to lose one because of a love triangle.


*****


Trowa stared down at Quatre, worried about his lover.  They hadn’t been at this party all that long, and already Quatre had
needed to sit and rest.  He was still exhausted, and no doubt Duo’s continued worry about Heero was getting to him.

He looked up, his eyes settling on Duo’s frowning face.  Duo’s eyes kept drifting over to the doors, apparently watching for any
sign of Heero.  Trowa knew he was worried, it was obvious to everyone.  Trowa himself was worried.  It had been over a day,
and still there was no word from Heero, nothing to indicate if the mission was over and whether he was well or not.

As Trowa continued to watch, Hilde approached Duo.  Her presence seemed to be helping the American’s demeanor, distracting
him from his worry.  He was actually smiling now, probably joking with his friend.  Then Trowa turned his attention back to
Quatre, only to see his blonde lover smiling up at him.

“Feeling better, I see.”  Trowa commented, returning the smile.

“A little.  Duo’s not feeling as worried as before.”  Quatre replied, then he cleared his throat.

“You okay?”  Trowa asked, concerned.

“My throat’s kinda dry.  May I please have a drink?”  Quatre replied, in his ever so polite way.

Trowa nodded.  “Of course.  I’ll be right back.”  He lifted Quatre’s hand, placing a gentle kiss to the pale skin before turning
and walking in the direction of the refreshments.

Before he had even crossed the room halfway, he was stopped.  “Trowa.”  Relena said, greeting him cheerfully.

“Relena.”  He said, nodding slightly in her direction.  It was as polite a greeting as he was willing to give to her.  He had never
really been formally introduced to her, or had the time to get to know her, so it wasn’t as if they were anything more than just
acquaintances.

She held two glasses out to him.  “Here.”

“What’s this?”  Trowa asked, eyeing the glasses she held in her hands.  

“I saw Quatre and just thought he needed a drink . . . He looks positively parched.  I hope he is well.”

“He hasn’t been feeling well, but his health is progressively recovering.”  Trowa said, keeping his tone calm.

“Here.”  She said, smiling brightly as she once again offered the drinks to him.  “Once I saw you were heading in the direction
of the refreshments I assumed you were getting something for Quatre, so I thought I’d intercept you to save us both the trouble
of making a long trip.  You can just take the glasses from me, and that’ll take less time than having to wait in that line for you to
get your drinks.  It seems so many people have gotten thirsty.”

“Thank you.”  Trowa said as he took the offered drinks from her.

“This one’s wine, the other is sparkling grape juice.”  Relena said, pointing to the glass in Trowa’s right hand first, then the one
in his left.  “Knowing Quatre’s religion I knew that alcohol wasn’t appropriate for him.”

Trowa nodded, turning away from Relena without another word.  He returned to Quatre’s side, holding out the glass he held in
his left hand to the blonde.  Quatre took it with a smile on his face.  “Thank you.”  He said, then took a few slow sips from the
glass.

“Anything for you.”  Trowa replied, gently brushing his fingers through Quatre’s soft hair, smirking at the way Quatre blushed
at the contact.


*****


Duo was still standing there against the wall, and once again he found his eyes drawn over to the door.  There was still no sign
of Heero yet.  Hilde was saying something to him, but his mind was so clouded with worry that he didn’t hear a word she said.

“Sounds good.”  He said, nodding, not really hearing what Hilde had said to him.  He just felt he had to make some kind of
answer to what she was saying.  He didn’t want to be rude or anything.

“Duo!”  She said sharply, slapping his arm.

“Hey, what was that for?”  He asked, rubbing his arm where she had hit him, although it didn’t hurt one little bit.

“You're not listening to me.”  Hilde chided.  “I asked you if you wanted me to serve you up a nice cup of arsenic and you said
that it sounded good.”

“Sorry, Hilde.”  Duo muttered, glancing down at the floor.

Hilde sighed.  “What’s on your mind?  What are you worried about?”

“Heero.  He went on a mission yesterday, and I haven’t heard one word.”  Duo replied, once again looking to the door.

“You’re worried about Heero?”  Hilde said with a laugh.  “Come on, Duo  . . . this isn’t like you to pine over a guy, worrying
about him every minute of the day.”

Duo shook his head, realizing how right she was.  He was acting like a total idiot.  He knew that Heero wouldn’t leave him, that
had been established yesterday after talking with Trowa.  And he knew Heero could take care of himself.  The mission couldn’t
have been truly dangerous seeing as how only Heero had been called in for duty and none of the others.  So it was just probably
something simple, like a hacking job, something Heero could handle without a problem.  There really was no reason for Duo to
fret over every little thing.

Duo pushed himself away from the wall, feeling like a complete idiot for all that useless worrying.  Still, he was a little
concerned about how long Heero’s mission was taking, but he wasn’t at the point of speeding down to Preventers HQ to find
out what that mission was.

“Duo, so glad to see you up and around.”  Relena called out, as she walked across the room.  Duo could see that she was
carrying three glasses, two in her left hand, one in her right.  

She let Duo take two of the glasses from her.  He handed one to Hilde, while he kept the other.  “Relena, great to see you.”  He
paused, taking a sip of his drink.  “Jeez, from Queen of the world to wine server  . . . That’s quite a demotion.”

Relena threw him a halfhearted glare.  “Ha ha, Duo.  VERY funny.”

“Be nice . . .”  Hilde hissed, jabbing Duo in the ribs with an elbow.

“Chill, Hilde.”  Duo said, turning to smirk at Hilde.  “If it weren’t for Relena’s help, Heero and I wouldn’t be together.”

Hilde’s jaw dropped open.  “Are you serious?”

“Please, Duo, don’t mention it.  You’ve been good for Heero.”  Relena replied, then took a sip of her own drink.

“Yeah, although the original plan didn’t go so well.”  Duo said, watching as Hilde drank her wine.  “If it weren’t for her help,
Heero might never have said he loved me.”  

“Amazing.”  Hilde gasped.

Duo smirked as Hilde downed the rest of her drink in just a few short gulps.  Apparently she was shocked that Relena had
helped.  Duo had to admit, he himself had been shocked when Relena had first offered to help.

Well, Duo was in the mood to do something.  He was tired of just standing around waiting for Heero to come back.  He wanted
to have some fun.  He lifted his drink, gulping the rest down quickly.  Once done, he took Hilde’s glass from her and handed the
two empty glasses over to Relena.  Then he took hold of Hilde’s wrist.  “Come on, Hilde.  Let’s dance.”  He said, smiling
brightly.

Hilde blushed.  “Fine . . . but only one song.”

Duo pulled Hilde along, guiding her onto the dance floor.  When they started dancing, the music had a fast beat, a good rhythm.  
He enjoyed it, letting the music guide his movements.  But that song stopped, and Duo found himself stuck on the dance floor at
the beginning of a slow song.

He scratched the back of his head, just standing there for a moment looking at Hilde.  He didn’t know what to say.  Thankfully,
Hilde didn’t seem to have that problem.  “You don’t have to dance if you don’t want to.”

“No  . . . no, it’s okay.  I’ll dance.”  He replied, smirking.

“Duo, I’m not going to force you to dance with me if you really don’t want to.”  She replied.

“I want to, I guess I need something to do.”  Duo replied.

Hilde draped her arms around Duo’s neck, while he set his hands at her waist.  He sighed, enjoying the warmth her body
provided when she got even closer, laying her head against his shoulder.  For a moment his thoughts drifted to wondering what
it would have been like with Hilde.  But he pushed those thoughts aside quickly, knowing he was happy with Heero.

The sharp sound of a glass breaking gained Duo’s complete attention.  He snapped his head to the side, searching for the source
of the sound.  To his shock, he saw pieces of glass strewn all over the floor in front of Quatre and Trowa.  Only moments later,
Quatre slumped forward out of his chair, his knees hitting the floor.  Luckily Trowa caught him before he could fall completely
forward.  However, Duo could already see the spreading pool of crimson on the floor around his legs.  Obviously, Quatre had
cut his legs open on the glass.

Duo rushed over, pushing his way through the quickly gathering crowd, hoping his friend was okay.  “Quatre.”  He gasped,
watching as Trowa scooped the unconscious blonde into his arms.

“Duo, find Sally and bring her to our room.”  Trowa commanded as he made his way through the crowd.  Thankfully, the
people moved aside as Trowa walked, obviously not wanting to get in his way.

Duo nodded, and was searching for Sally before Trowa had even finished his sentence.  Finally, after seconds that seemed to
take an eternity to Duo, he found Sally.  She was trying to force her way through the crowd, although she wasn’t having very
good luck.  The people just wouldn’t move aside for her.

He grabbed her wrist.  “Come on, something’s wrong with Quatre.”  He said, dragging her toward the door.

“What happened?”  Sally asked as they rushed through the halls.

“I don’t know.  I heard a glass breaking and when I turned, I saw Quatre fall forward.  I’m pretty sure he cut his legs open on
the glass when he fell.”  Duo replied, not lessening his pace.

“I’ll need my bag.”

“Looks like it’s already waiting for you.”  Duo said as they approached the room.

He pointed ahead of him to one of the Maguanac that stood just outside the door to Quatre and Trowa’s bedroom.  He was
obviously waiting for them, and his face and body language told Duo that he was completely worried.

The Maguanac opened the door and held out the bag.  Sally took it from him as they stepped into the room, neither of them
saying one word to each other.  The door was shut behind Duo and Sally and they quickly made their way to the bed.

Quatre was laying there, unconscious.  His pant legs were covered in blood, his face and clothes drenched in sweat.  His
trembling hands clung to Trowa, who was kneeling beside the bed, worriedly trying to soothe the young blonde.  Even in
unconsciousness, he held tightly to Trowa, as if he was the only one that could help him.

Sally immediately opened her bag and began pulling things out, setting them on the bed beside Quatre as she hastily looked him
over.  Everything she did was hazy to Duo, as if he was just floating through some unreal dream.  Every word she said came
out muddled, never quite reaching his ears.  Only Quatre’s pale form was visible to Duo, only his erratic breathing could be
heard.  Duo’s heart pounded in his own ears, and for a moment he felt as if he was falling, just drifting away into oblivion.

Suddenly he was aware of hands on his shoulders, shaking him in an almost frantic manner.  Duo blinked, his eyes focusing on
Trowa who stood in front of him, his face oddly filled with worry.

“What’s up, Trowa?”  Duo asked, feeling slightly confused.

“You were just staring off into space and then you started swaying. You looked like you would pass out any minute.  Are you
okay?”  Trowa asked, removing his hands from Duo’s shoulders.

Duo put his hand to his head.  “I guess I’m a little dizzy.  How’s Quatre?”

“Sally’s still looking him over, but she says it looks like he just exhausted himself again.  Why don’t you go get some rest?  
There isn’t anything you can do here anyway.  Besides, you know Quatre . . . he’d just tell you to get some rest himself if he
could.”

Duo smirked and nodded, knowing it was the truth.  Quatre would only be worried about him.  “Okay.  But you gotta tell me if
his condition changes, okay?”

“Fine.”  Trowa replied.

Duo turned and left the room, still worried about his friend.  He had wanted to stay, but Trowa had been right, Quatre would
want him to get rest.  Besides, he was feeling a little odd.  He put his hand to the wall as he walked, his legs threatening to give
out on him as he made his way through the hallways.

The minutes drew on for what seemed like hours.  He couldn’t understand why he felt so tired, why he kept giggling.  Maybe it
hadn’t been a good idea for him to drink so soon after being so sick.

Finally, he reached his own room.  He opened the door, closing it behind himself as he stumbled into the room.  Duo nearly fell
half a dozen times as he crossed the room to the bed, his eyes never quite able to focus on his objective.

Duo’s legs hit the edge of the bed, and he just let himself fall forward.  He giggled as he landed face first on the soft bed, for no
apparent reason.  Then he half crawled, half slid across the bed and dropped down, sinking his face into the pillow.

He stretched his arm out, just wanting more room.  His brow furrowed as his hand came in contact with something warm and
soft.  He lifted his face from the pillow, turning to see what lay beside him.  After a few moments he was able to focus his eyes.

“Hey, Hilde.” He said, smiling at the girl that lay beside him in the bed.



To Be Continued . . .