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

Notes:  Heero and Sally take care of Duo.  Duo and Heero talk.  Enjoy.



Desires and Deceptions
Part 21



Heero repeatedly glanced over at Duo as they waited for Sally.  He couldn’t help but worry about the lovely American, deeply
concerned for his health.

Duo was sitting curled up beside Heero, pressed as close to the other side of the car and as far away from Heero as he could
get.  His entire body was trembling violently, his face buried against his arms.  Although Heero couldn’t see his face, he knew
that Duo was crying.  The choked up sobs escaping the beaten young man’s throat testified to that fact.

Heero reached out, but quickly pulled his hand back, frowning as Duo flinched away from him, his every movement seeping
terror.  Heero dropped his hand to his lap, clutching it in his other hand, feeling a sharp sting, as if Duo had actually slapped it
away.  His heart hurt, knowing that he had been the cause of Duo’s suffering, of all the American had been through after Heero
had betrayed him and broken that promise.

“I’m sorry, Duo.”  He whispered, not sure if Duo was listening, or even capable of hearing him at the moment.

There was no reply to Heero’s apology.  The only sounds in the car were Heero’s breathing and Duo’s whimpers and sobs.  
Heero hung his head in shame, hating himself for the pain that he had caused Duo.

Heero looked up, hearing a gentle rapping to the window.  Sally was standing there, so Heero rolled the window down.  “You
know, it would have been nice if you had unlocked my door too.”  Sally said, holding out her hand expectantly.

“Sorry.”  Heero replied, handing Sally her keys.  Then he lowered his head once again.

Sally sighed.  “Don’t worry about it, Heero.  I know your mind is focused on other things at the moment.”  She said, her tone
sympathetic.

Heero didn’t reply.  Sally walked around to the driver’s side and unlocked the door.  She got in, placing a black case on the seat
beside her.  Nothing was said by anyone in the car, and soon Sally had started the ignition and pulled out of the parking lot,
taking them away from the hospital.

Heero looked up again and saw that Sally was driving back to Quatre’s estate.  An idea occurred to him.  “Sally, can we go to a
hotel instead of Quatre’s estate?  I don’t think Duo would like being crowded . . . and perhaps the presence of the Maguanac
would only frighten him further.”

“Yes, I think you’re right.  If what those doctors said was true, then I doubt he will enjoy being around anyone, especially Rasid
or his men.”  Sally replied.

“What did they say?”  Heero inquired, wondering what Sally had been told.  

Sally was silent for a short time, casting several glances to the rearview mirror before she finally said anything.  “They said that
there were signs that Duo was sexually assaulted.”  She replied, her voice almost a whisper.

Heero flinched, as if he had been slapped.  To hear that Duo had been hurt like that was almost more than Heero could bear.  
Already he could feel the tears trailing along his cheeks.  Unable to stop them, he let them fall, knowing that it must be agony for
Duo, to have to survive being raped more than once in his young life.

Heero lowered his eyes, to stare down at the floor, as if it would tell him how to fix this, as if it held the answer to soothing all
of Duo’s suffering.  But it was silent, telling Heero nothing, just as Heero knew it would.  There was no one that could help
him.  He had to do this on his own.  And as soon as they got to a hotel, he would try his best to fix this . . . to help Duo.

Sally continued to talk, although Heero no longer heard her.  He was planning, trying to figure out what he could possibly say to
Duo once they were in a room together.  He hoped that Sally would go along with this, would let him be alone with Duo for
even five minutes.  Heero felt that he had to at least try, to attempt to offer an apology to the young man he loved and had
betrayed with his own ignorance.


*****


Heero looked over at Duo as Sally brought the car to a halt in front of a hotel.  The American was asleep, still huddled against
the door.  Heero gently pulled Duo closer to him, lifting him into his arms as Sally walked around and opened the door for him to
get out.

“Come on, the Preventers have a room reserved here at all times, just in case.”  Sally said, grabbing her case and handing her
keys over to the valet.  “I’ll call Une and have her authorize this.  Considering the situation, I’m sure she won’t refuse.”

“Fine.”  Heero replied, repeatedly casting glances down at the unconscious form of Duo Maxwell.

Heero sat in a seat in the lobby, watching as Sally walked to the front desk.  She pulled out her credentials and showed them to
the girl behind the desk, although Heero couldn’t quite make out anything that was said from where he was.  He turned his
attention away from Sally, knowing that she could handle the situation.  He once again looked down at Duo, frowning at the way
he whimpered even in his sleep.

He lifted his hand, gently brushing his fingertips along Duo’s bruised face, ignoring all the stares from the other people in the
lobby.  He didn’t care if they stared, didn’t listen to the quiet whispers or murmured gossip.  All he was aware of was Duo, and
the raspy breath that left the American’s battered body.

A gentle hand grasped his shoulder and Heero finally looked away from Duo, looking up only to see Sally’s concerned face.  She
feigned a smile.  “Let’s go to the room.”  Sally whispered.  “It’s all ready for us, beds turned down, mints on the pillows . . . the
works.”

Heero nodded, easily lifting Duo into his arms as he stood.  He quietly followed Sally into the elevator, cradling Duo against him,
never wanting to let go of him again.  Soon, the elevator doors opened and Heero once again followed Sally, not saying a word
as she opened the door to the room for him.

He vaguely noticed that the room was well furnished, more a suite than a room.  They were standing in what appeared to be a
spacious living room, well decorated in cream and rose colors.  The drapes were closed, so Heero couldn’t see the view, but
judging by the room he was in, he knew that the view had to be great.

“This way.”  Sally said, leading Heero over to a set of closed doors.  She opened them and motioned for Heero to go first.

It was a bedroom, two twin beds next to each other.  Again, the room was done in pale rose and cream shades.  “Why two
beds?”  Heero asked, curious.

“I assumed that you’d want to stay with him.”  Sally answered.  She gestured to a door directly across the living room from the
bedroom they were currently in.  “I’ll be staying in that bedroom.  Both rooms have their own bathrooms.”  She pointed to a
door near one of the twin beds.  “So you don’t have to worry about disturbing me any time of the night.  However, if you need
me for anything . . . you just come right over.”

“Okay.”  Heero replied.

“Good, now that we’ve got all that out of the way, let’s tend to Duo.”  Sally said, gesturing to the bed closer to the bathroom
door.  “Put him down there.  He should be closer to the bathroom . . . to make things more convenient.”

Heero nodded, moving over to the bed and gently laying Duo down, flicking the mint off the pillow without care.  He pulled the
blanket from around Duo’s frame, just tossing it aside.  Sally had already walked around to the other side of the bed.  She knelt
down, setting the case beside herself and opening it.  She reached in and pulled out a bottle and a needle.

“I think it would be best if he stayed unconscious for the time being . . . at least until I tend to his wounds.”  Sally said,
unwrapping the syringe and getting it ready, extracting some of the liquid from the bottle then pressing the plunger up on the
syringe to get rid of any air bubbles.  “It's a low dose, just enough to knock him out for a short time.  I know he’ll have
nightmares so I don’t want him suffering through them unable to awaken.  But I can’t have him panicking while I treat his
wounds.”

“I understand.”  Heero said, watching as Sally swabbed some dampened cotton over Duo’s arm, then injected the sedative into
Duo’s body.

Duo remained asleep.  Sally quickly checked Duo’s vitals . . . his heartbeat and breathing, his eyes and blood pressure.  “Heero,
can you help me strip him?”  Sally asked, once she finished the preliminary examination.

Heero nodded, moving to sit on the bed beside Duo.  He carefully lifted Duo’s hips from the bed, allowing Sally to remove Duo’
s only garment, the loose pants that he had been wearing.  

“Flip him over.”  Sally said.

Heero did as he was told, carefully turning Duo to lie on his stomach.  He pushed Duo’s hair aside, moving it off of his body,
just in case it was in Sally’s way.

Sally slowly slid Duo’s legs apart.  His buttocks was almost a single massive bruise, his hips discolored where his attackers had
apparently held him as they used his body.  Sally took in a sharp gasp, then reached out, gently prodding Duo.  “There’s a lot of
damage here.”  She said quietly.  “He must have been gang raped . . . repeatedly.  It’ll take a while to heal.”  A tear trailed down
her face, but she didn’t acknowledge it, just continuing to work, obviously trying to keep calm despite her affection for Duo.

She reached into her case again, pulling out a tube of some kind of cream.  Heero just watched as Sally applied the cream to
Duo’s anus, smearing it over any area that was red of where the skin had been broken.

Heero stroked his hand along Duo’s bare back, which was also slightly bruised, just not as mush as the rest of him.  He could
hear the faint whimpers escaping Duo’s mouth, could see the way that his muscles twitched whenever Sally’s fingers touched
one of those sores.  Heero tried to soothe him, hoping that his actions were comforting and not hurtful.

When Sally pulled her hand away, the cream remaining on her finger was tainted pink.  “Okay, let’s turn him back over.”  Sally
said, wiping her fingers off on a bit of cloth.  She helped Heero to turn the unconscious young man so that he lay on his back.

Heero’s eyes wandered along Duo’s bruised form, his gaze settling on the gashes to Duo’s arms.  Blood was caked to his arms,
also staining his legs from when he had wrapped his arms about himself.  “How did these happen?”  Heero asked, just barely
brushing his fingers along one of the cuts.

“Apparently, the police were called when he was spotted trashing some store window, reaching in and grabbing radios only to
smash them against the ground.  According to the police, he seemed oblivious to what he was doing to himself.”  Sally said, as
she examined Duo’s bruises and wounds.

“Will . . . Will he be okay?”  Heero asked, concerned for Duo’s health.

“I certainly hope so, Heero.”  She lifted one of Duo’s arms.  “We better get him cleaned up.  Can you get some warm water?”

Heero nodded then stood.  He quickly stepped into the bathroom.  Opening several cabinets, he searched for something that he
could use to hold the water.  Finally, he found a basin and filled it with warm water, not too hot that it would hurt Duo, but not
cold either.  On his way back out of the bathroom, he grabbed a washcloth, grateful to find that the cloth was very soft.

Heero set the basin on the floor by the bed as he knelt down.  He looked over and saw that Sally was taking various objects out
of her case . . . bandages, antibacterial cream, and other such items.  She set them on the bed beside Duo, then looked up at
Heero.  “You clean him and I’ll do the rest.  Okay?”  She said, feigning a smile.

“Yes . . . okay.”  Heero replied.  He soaked the washcloth, then rung it out.  Hesitantly, he began to clean off Duo’s arms,
hoping that he wasn’t being too rough.  Repeatedly, he rinsed the cloth out, frowning as the water in the basin quickly turned
pink . . . darkening to a reddish shade, as he continued to clean Duo’s body.

As soon as Heero finished with one area, Sally would tend to any wounds Duo had there . . . applying cream . . . bandaging
when necessary.  The two of them worked silently, the only noise in the room being the soft whimpers that Duo made every
now and then.

Once they were both done, Sally stood.  “I’m going to have to leave you two alone for a short time.”  She said, leaning over and
packing her items back into the case.

“What?  Why?”  Heero asked.

“Well . . . he’s stable now, but he needs medication that I didn’t bring.  I wanted to be certain of his condition before I
prescribed anything.  While I’m out, I might as well stop by Quatre’s estate to pick up your belongings and to let Quatre and the
others know the situation.”  Sally paused.  “I’m sure you’ll take good care of him while I’m gone.”

“Of course.”  Heero said.

Sally smiled.  “Now, I’m going to leave my case here . . . if you need any bandages.  I’ll try not to take too long.”

Heero nodded.  “Okay.”

“Try and keep him calm.  He should be waking up soon.”  Sally said, then left the room, pausing in the doorway to take one last
glance back.

As soon as Sally was gone, Heero stood, picking up the basin of blood tainted water as he moved.  He carried it into the
bathroom and dumped it out in the sink, rinsing the basin, washcloth, and sink before he left the room again.

Duo’s whimpering only seemed to increase, filled with fear as he began to claw at the sheets below him.  Heero frowned,
reaching to the foot of the bed and grabbing the blankets.  He pulled them up to cover Duo’s shivering, bare body.

Heero could only sit by and watch as Duo fought his way through some nightmare.  He wasn’t even willing to hold Duo’s hand,
fearing that if Duo awakened to see Heero touching him, that Duo would react badly.  He just didn’t want to frighten the already
terrified American any further.

It was several, long minutes before Duo’s eyes fluttered open.  He looked up at Heero, his body beginning to shiver even before
his eyes had focused.  Duo was clearly frightened.

Heero didn’t want to be the cause of Duo suffering, so he stood and backed away from the hurt American’s bed.  He moved as
far from Duo as he could, sitting in a chair near the door.  Duo sat up, groaning as he moved.  Then he leaned back, panting as
the effort of moving obviously pained his sore body.

“Duo . . . I know I hurt you.”  Heero said, watching Duo’s reaction to his words.  “I know you probably hate me right now.”

Duo only sat there, staring down at the blankets covering his bruised body, as if they held some special interest to him.  He didn’
t say a word, not even glancing up to look in Heero’s general direction.

“If you want to talk . . . I’m willing to talk for as long as it takes.  If you want me to leave, I’ll leave.  Whatever you want . . .
the ball is in your court.”  Heero said, just wanting to get any kind of reaction out of Duo.

Duo said nothing, his gaze still focused on his blankets.  He just shivered, not moving from his place in bed.

After several minutes of silence, Heero stood.  He sighed, seeing that Duo wanted nothing to do with him.  Heero couldn't blame
him, not after what had happened.  It was obvious that Duo couldn’t forgive Heero’s betrayal.  He turned, intending to leave the
room, to give Duo some space.  When Sally came back, he would leave, would spare Duo anymore pain and suffering by him
being near the beautiful American.

He was almost to the door, when a faint murmur reached his ears.  Heero froze in place . . . his heart quickening its pace as he
slowly turned around.  “What was that?”  Heero asked, making sure to keep the soldier out of his voice.  There was no need to
further upset Duo.

Duo raised his gaze, his eyes shimmering with tears.  Heero felt his insides twist as Duo’s heartbroken gaze locked with his own
eyes.  “You lied.”  Duo whispered, his voice weak and quavering.  “You promised you wouldn’t leave me . . . you lied.”

Heero blinked in confusion before comprehension had him mentally kicking himself in the rear.  “Duo . . .”  Heero said, letting
out a resigned breath as he moved closer to the bed and sat on the floor, not too close to Duo.  Because of a misunderstanding .
. . this was all because of Heero and how blind he had been.  Somehow he had to fix the situation . . . and he had no idea of how
to do it.  “I’m sorry, Duo.  I know it’s probably not enough, but I am sorry.  I was stupid, a fool to ever think you would throw
away what we had . . . what I wish we still have . . . for a fling.  I know you’re not so petty.  Now that I know the truth, I can
only beg your forgiveness.”

He glanced up at Duo and felt a slight sparkle of hope when he saw that Duo was actually listening.  He continued to talk.  “I
should never have walked out on you like that.  Instead of letting you explain, I just left, blind to how it would affect you.”  
Heero said.  He ached to take Duo into his arms, to hold him close and soothe his suffering away, but knew that it had to be
Duo’s choice.  He swallowed against the lump that was growing in his throat.  “I screwed it all up, didn’t I?”  He asked,
breaking eye contact, looking away from Duo’s pain filled eyes.

There was a long silence before Duo spoke.  “Heero . . . I’m to blame too.”  Duo said in a whispered voice.

“No!”  Heero shouted, immediately regretting the exclamation as Duo whimpered and recoiled away, turning over on his side as
he attempted to get away.  “Oh, God . . . I’m so sorry, Duo.”  Heero apologized, getting to his knees and leaning forward.  He
gently grasped Duo’s shoulder and urged him to roll back over again.

“Don’t . . . don’t hurt me.”  Duo sniffled, his body shaking severely.

“I won’t hurt you . . . I didn’t mean to shout.”  Heero said, taking his hand away and moving back to give Duo some room.  “I
just don’t want you to ever blame yourself.  You did nothing wrong.”

“But, Hilde and I . . . we . . .”  Duo shuddered again, his voice choking up in his throat.  “We were in bed together.”

Heero’s eyes widened, realizing for the first time that Duo had no idea of what Relena had done to him.  “No, none of this is
your fault.”  Heero said, speaking gently.  “You were set up . . . I was meant to find you in bed with Hilde.  Relena timed it all
perfectly . . . she set us both up.”

“Relena?”  Duo asked, his voice filled with disbelief.

Heero let out a harsh laugh.  “Yeah . . . everything she did was meant to drive us apart.  The Halloween party was supposed to
disgust me, the poison was supposed to kill you, and the drug she slipped you at the party was supposed to help her break us up
forever.  She figured that I’d run to her for comfort . . . which I unfortunately did . . . and that you’d stay with Hilde.  She’s
really disturbed.  I don’t fit into her perfect mold, so she’s trying to force it onto me by cutting away bits and pieces of my heart
and soul.”

“She did all that?”  Duo asked, his brow furrowing as he thought.

“Yes.  The only reason that she helped you with the Halloween party was because she thought that I’d be disgusted with you
and push you away for kissing me.  When that didn’t work, she laced your medication with rat poison and tried to kill you.  And
when that plan didn’t work, she decided to drug you and Hilde and arrange it so that when I came back from a mission . . .
which she had set up . . . that I’d think you were using me all along and run to her for comfort.  She was conveniently waiting
for me outside the estate.”  Heero replied, lowering his head in shame.

“I was set up?”  Duo whispered.

Heero nodded.  “Relena doesn’t care who she hurts . . . just so long as she gets me.  She even drugged Quatre to prevent him
from sensing something from her and interfering in her plans.  He very nearly went insane because of a side effect.”

Duo gasped.  “Quatre?”  Heero looked up, only to see Duo’s eyes wide with worry, his body continuing to tremble.  “Is . . . is
he okay?”  Duo asked.

“I won’t lie . . . he’s sick, very weak at the moment.  For a while, he had no control over his empathic abilities.  But once the
remainder of the drug in his system was neutralized, he recovered some form of control.  He has Trowa and Wufei to take care
of him now . . . I’m sure he’ll make a full recovery with their help.”  Heero said, hoping that the knowledge would offer some
comfort to Duo.

A ghost of a smile graced Duo’s face for a brief instant.  “Good.”  He whispered quietly, taking a long breath.

Heero sighed and turned away, feeling that he didn’t truly belong by Duo’s side, not when he had caused the American so much
pain.  “I know this whole mess is my fault . . . and I wouldn’t blame you if you told me to get the hell out of your life.  I'll leave
as soon as Sally comes back, if that’s what you want.”

Silence was all that Heero heard.  He took a chance and glanced up, his eyes settling on Duo’s pale face.  Duo wasn’t looking at
him, his gaze once again focused on the blankets that covered his trembling body.

Heero slowly stood, his heart aching now that his fears had been confirmed.  Duo did hate him . . . did want Heero out of his
life.  “I'll go . . . give you some space.”  Heero said, once again turning and walking to the door.

“No . . . please . . .”  Duo’s faint voice called out, stopping Heero in his tracks.  “Please . . . I don’t want to be alone . . . stay . .
. please.”  He whimpered, his eyes pleading.

Heero nodded.  “Okay.”  He walked over to the bed beside Duo’s and sat, just watching as Duo let out a sigh of relief.  It was
obvious that all he wanted was company, that he was afraid to be alone.  

After a few moments, Duo yawned, his eyelids beginning to droop.  Heero knew that he must be tired, everything about Duo’s
body testifying to the fact that he was exhausted.

“Perhaps you should get some sleep.  You need to regain your strength.”  Heero suggested.  But at the sight of Duo’s panicked
expression, Heero amended his offer.  “I need a nap myself, so if you don’t mind, I’ll just rest my eyes for a bit.”

Heero kicked off his shoes and laid back on his bed, turning his head so that he could keep an eye on Duo.  He grew relieved as
he watched Duo lie down, groaning in apparent discomfort, but at least willing to listen to Heero.  Once he was sure that Duo
was asleep, Heero closed his eyes, allowing sleep to claim him.  His last thoughts were of Duo and his hopes that the American
would recover.



To Be Continued . . .