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

Notes:  Heero confesses his feelings over Quatre’s apparently sleeping form.  Then he lets Quatre in on a secret he’s been
keeping bottled up inside of himself for years.

Guardian’s Betrayal

Part Six

Heero sighed as he watched over Quatre’s sleeping form.  The only sound in the otherwise quiet hospital room was the sound of
Quatre breathing and the quiet beeping of the heart monitor nearby.  He was thankful that Quatre wasn’t hurt seriously enough
to require being hooked up to a respirator.  There was just the IV going into Quatre’s arm - providing Quatre’s battered body
with fluids and nutrients - and the monitor.  If Quatre panicked again, the monitor would let the nurses know.

“I’m so sorry, Quatre.  No one deserves what happened to you.”  Heero sighed sadly, feeling as if this were all his own fault.  
“And you deserved it even less.  You’re too beautiful . . . inside and out.  I should have told you before I left.  Now I can never
tell you what I feel for you.  I doubt you’ll ever want to be touched again.  Least of all by me.  If I had just stayed behind, none
of this would have happened.”

Heero took a breath and glances at the heart monitor.  It still beeped steadily.  “I’d better say this now.  I’ll never be able to tell
you when you’re awake.”  He took a breath, letting it out slowly before he poured his heart out to the unconscious youth.  “I’ve
fallen in love with you, Quatre.  Your good nature and your sense of humor . . . the way your face lights up a room when you
smile . . . the way you can make me want to tell you my deepest, darkest secrets, the horrible memories and nightmares that still
plague me.”

Heero shook his head.  “I’ll be there for you, Quatre.  You’ll need someone to lean on.  I’ll be strong so you don’t have to, even
though being near you and not able to hold you the way I want to will be torture for me.  I will never hurt you, nor will I ever
allow anyone else to bring you harm.”  Heero let out a breath and fell silent.  He so wanted to gather Quatre’s body in his arms
and hold him close, but he wouldn’t until Quatre awoke and asked.  He'd failed Quatre in everything else.  He would not fail in

A soft voice spoke.  “S’nice, Heero.”  Quatre’s eyes cracked open.  “Wish you’d said something sooner, though.”  Quatre
swallowed and frowned.  “Wha . . .?”

Heero was quick to give Quatre a sip of water.  “You’re in a hospital.”  His eyes widened as he realized something.  “How long
have you been awake?”

Quatre’s mouth quirked a little.  “Since the ‘I’m sorry’.”  His smile dropped.  “I must still be drugged.  I think I should be more

“It’s probably shock.”  Heero swallowed, feeling very nervous.  Quatre had heard everything he had said?  “So you heard me
when I said . . .”

Quatre nodded slightly.  “Every word.”  He turned his gaze to look at Heero, a gentle look in his hazy eyes.  “Heero . . . don’t
write the possibility off just because of what happened to me.”

Heero felt a small leap in his heart.  “You should rest.  You’ve been through so much tonight.”

Quatre shook his head.  “No . . . I want to know . . . what are these dark secrets you are hiding?”

Heero looked down.  Perhaps he shouldn’t have mentioned that.  Then again, he had thought that Quatre was asleep when he
had been speaking.  “I . . . I don’t know how to say it Quatre.  The time isn’t right for this anyway.  You need to rest . . . I
won’t lay my problems on you when you’re in this condition.”

“I’m not going to break, Heero.  I’ll survive this . . . no matter what it takes.  I have you to help me, now don’t I?”  Quatre
said.  He reached over, weakly taking hold of Heero’s hand which had been laying on the side of the bed.  “Please, tell me?”

Heero nodded, knowing that he couldn’t deny Quatre anything.  If the beautiful blonde wanted to hear the truth, then he would
hear it.  “You’re not the only one who’s been abused, Quatre.”  He said quietly, unable to meet Quatre’s eyes for fear of what
he’d see.  “I don’t remember well, but what I do remember is almost all painful.  My father . . . he wasn’t a good man.  He was
a soldier, and an angry drunk.”  He swallowed, forcing back the lump in his throat.  This was the first time he had spoken such
things aloud . . . he could feel himself shaking, although he was trying not to.  “One night, he got a little too drunk.  My mother
was protecting me from him.  It happened so quickly . . . they were at the top of the stairs.  He was hitting her and then she
grabbed his gun.  She shot him in the chest, but the force of the blast knocked her off balance and she fell, breaking her neck on
the way down.  I remember sitting by her body, just staring at the gun clutched in her hand.”

“I’m so sorry, Heero.”  Quatre whispered, raising his hand to caress one of Heero’s cheeks.  “I had no idea.”

Heero smiled a little, feeling as a single tear fell from his eye.  “I called my mother’s brother.  He was the only adult I knew.  He
came and took me away . . . raised me as an assassin.  When he died, Doctor J took me in.”  He shook his head.  “When I
started noticing the bruises on you, I couldn’t stand to see you suffer . . . I wanted to stop Keith, but I couldn’t be sure that he
was the one hurting you.  You never spoke about it.”

Quatre’s eyes filled with tears.  “I’m sorry, Heero.  I really am.  I should have told you.  But I didn’t want anyone else to get
hurt, not even Keith.  He killed my aunt . . . I didn’t want him to kill any of you.”

Heero rose from his seat, leaning over and gently wrapping his arms around Quatre’s beaten body.  “It's okay.  He won’t hurt
you now.  Never again.  Duo’s out there at the house watching out for him.  Wufei’s going to stand guard with him.  Everything
will be okay.  He'll never hurt you or anyone else again.  We’ll see to it that he’s put away for a long time.”

Quatre nodded against Heero’s shoulder, clinging to him.  “Thank you.”

Heero pulled back, still halfway leaning over Quatre’s body.  “Get some sleep, Quatre.  I’ll be here when you wake up.  I don’t
intend to leave you unless you want me to.”

Quatre smiled, nodding a little.  “Heero?”

“Hm?”  Heero wondered if Quatre was about to ask him to leave.  Maybe he would given the amount of pain he’d been through

A faint blush touched Quatre’s cheeks.  “Would you . . . kiss me goodnight?”

“Quatre . . . are you sure you want me to?”  He asked, dubious.  He didn’t want Quatre to force himself into moving too fast.

“Yes.  I think I need some tenderness right now . . . something to carry with me into sleep to chase the nightmares away.”  He
smiled, although only a little.

Heero nodded . . . he couldn’t say no.  He lowered his head, gently applying his lips to Quatre’s as lightly as he could.  Quatre’s
lips were already swollen . . . in fact, they had stitches in them from where Keith had bitten deep into the blonde’s bottom lip.  
Kissing was actually probably very painful to Quatre.  Still, Quatre responded to it, wrapping his arms around Heero and
returning the tender kiss, pushing back if only a little.

Heero drew away, smiling down at Quatre as he ran a delicate finger over the stitches in Quatre’s lip, careful with his touch.  
“You get some sleep now, Quatre.  I want to see you get good and healthy.  Maybe when you are you’d like to go on a date
with me?”

“I’d love to.”  Quatre replied, blinking tiredly.  He reached out, clasping Heero’s hand.  “You won’t leave me, right?”

“Never.”  Heero said, taking a seat beside Quatre’s bedside.

“Good.”  Quatre nodded, his eyes slowly falling shut.  Heero watched him, running his thumb across the back at Quatre’s hand.  
He knew what he said had been true.  He'd never leave Quatre, not again.  Even if they didn’t work out as a couple, he wouldn’t
abandon him as a friend.  The blonde was just too beautiful, even when he was beaten and bruised.  It was his kind heart and
loving nature that Heero had fallen so deeply in love with.  He could only hope that this crime against Quatre wouldn’t hurt his
gentle nature . . . he didn’t want to see Quatre grow bitter.  So he sat there beside Quatre, offering him all the comfort he could
give, hoping for the best.

To Be Continued . . .