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

Notes:  More Duo and Quatre suffering.  A little info on Quatre’s background at the end.  Enjoy.



Hope From the Past



Part Two


Wufei was growing increasingly impatient.  He divided his attention between the hallway outside, and his two comrades inside
the room.  In his opinion, Heero and Trowa were taking unnecessary risks in dealing with those two people.  They could be
dangerous, a risk to the security of the resistance forces.

“Can we leave now?”  Wufei asked, in a hushed tone, glaring at the two rebels by the bed.

“Yes, perhaps it would be wise to vacate now.  We should get these two back to base and have Sally check them over.”  Trowa
replied, looking at Heero.

“Fine.”  Heero nodded.  

The three rebels pulled on their hoods again.  Wufei watched from the door as Trowa and Heero picked up the two strangers,
carrying them over to where Wufei stood glaring at them.  “Let’s go.”  He grumbled, pulling out his weapon as he exited the
room, his two comrades following close behind him.  Now that they had their arms full, Wufei would have to keep a better look
out, since at the moment he was the only one able to use his weapon.

They moved quietly through the halls.  Wufei was glad that they had waited now, since the patrols did seem to have thinned out
a bit.  However, he still did not like the idea of taking those two young men back to camp with them.

Wufei stepped out of the base, keeping his back close to the wall.  An icy breeze brushed past him, but he barely felt it.  He was
almost completely covered by clothes.  However, he did realize that those two young men would feel the cold.  He turned back
to his comrades before they stepped out into the cold, winter night.

“Since you insist on bringing them, I suggest you cover them more completely.  It is cold out here.”  He suggested.  Then
seeing that Heero and Trowa would have a problem covering them more thoroughly, Wufei stepped toward them.

Wufei sighed, grabbing a length of the red cloth that was being used as a blanket for the long-haired young man.  He wrapped it
around his body, covering him up to his chin.  He noticed that the young man’s eyes were closed, and that he did not look at all
well.  Despite the cold night air, sweat beaded on his brow.  And his breathing seemed gasping, as if he were struggling for air.  

He turned to the other young man, the one that Trowa held in his arms.  This one looked frail, his skin so very pale.  He
remained awake, although his eyes were only partially opened.  His body was small, his damp, blonde hair clinging to his
forehead.  Wufei grasped the white cloth and covered him with it, tucking it between Trowa’s body and the blonde that he held
in his arms.

“Thank you.”  The blonde whispered, his voice weak and tired.

Wufei blinked, a strange feeling overcoming his suspicions of the young blonde.  He now felt an unbearable urge to protect him,
although he couldn’t quite understand why.  There was just something about him that made Wufei believe that he needed to be
protected from all harm, but especially from the Taltheans.

Wufei stepped back, shaking off the now fleeting urge to defend the blonde.  “Come on.  Let’s get going before someone sees
us.”  Wufei said, his suspicions for the blonde beginning to return.  There was something strange about that blonde, and
probably that other young man as well.  He would have to keep an eye on the two of them.

He turned away from the blonde, leading the way as the group walked over to the truck they had hidden nearby.  Wufei got into
the driver’s seat of the old, beat-up truck, while Heero and Trowa climbed into the back, holding the two young men close as
Wufei started the engine.  Vehicles were basically just built from spare parts now, have been for the past couple centuries.  The
Taltheans rarely allowed new parts to be manufactured, so humans basically just had to make due with what little there was.

An hour later, Wufei was driving through one of many ruined cities.  Most buildings were just skeletons, having been stripped a
long time ago for their materials.  Wufei paid no attention to them.  He was solely focused on getting back to base safely, while
trying not to be spotted by a Talthean patrol.

A large section of the ground seemed to explode in front of him, and Wufei swerved to miss the fresh hole that was made in the
pavement.  “Damn!”  He exclaimed, looking in the rearview mirror, only to see a Talthean glider quickly catching up with the
truck.  Every time Wufei saw one of those small, one-person, fighter ships, he noticed the similarity in shape to that of a manta
ray, a now extinct sea creature.

“Hang on!”  Wufei shouted, hoping that his friends could hear him.  The Talthean glider continued to fire, making more of the
ground erupt in explosions, forcing Wufei to swerve wildly to avoid the truck getting hit.

Then Wufei saw it, a possible escape.  He hit the accelerator, driving as fast as the truck would go.  Moments later, he had
driven into what had once been the parking garage of some old building.  The Talthean glider couldn’t follow, so it gave them
time to find some other escape route.

Wufei hopped out of the truck, quickly moving around to assist Heero and Trowa with getting those two strangers out.  Then,
after scanning the surrounding area, Wufei’s eyes caught sight of a manhole cover that was partially sticking up in the air.

“Over there!”  Wufei pointed.  “Looks like we’ll be going underground for awhile.”

“I hope not for too long.  I don’t think these two will last much longer without medical attention.”  Trowa said, nodding to the
one that Heero held in his arms, then down toward the now unconscious blonde he himself carried.

“We can give them first-aid, but Sally is more qualified to handle their problems.”  Heero stated calmly.

“Yes, but we can’t just go back out there.  That Talthean glider will be patrolling the area for a few hours at least.  We had best
lay low until they decide to give up.”  Wufei replied, pulling the manhole cover the rest of the way off.  Taltheans were lazy, so
Wufei knew they wouldn’t send any ground troops in.  They were cocky, and thought that since they ruled the Earth, they didn’
t need to bother with the nuisances that the resistance posed.

Wufei climbed down the ladder first, then helped Heero with the long-haired young man.  He laid the youth on the ground,
frowning as he felt the heat coming from his bare body even through the layer of clothes he wore himself.  He pulled out his
flashlight and looked around, noticing immediately that they were in one of the old, unused subway systems.  Great, this could
take them all throughout the city.  It would be more difficult for any Talthean patrols to find them if they stayed underground.

He smiled to himself, then looked over and watched as Heero helped Trowa get the blonde down the ladder.  The moment
Trowa took the blonde back from his friend, Heero went and picked up the long-haired youth, adjusting the weight in his arms
to carry him more easily.

“This way.”  Wufei said, then began walking, knowing that the others were close behind him.  He knew that they wouldn’t be
able to walk for too long.  His friends would need time to rest soon.  Carrying another person wore down your strength quickly.


*****


Trowa tiredly followed behind his friends as they walked through the dark tunnel.  He was tired, even though the youth he
carried in his arms was not very heavy.  He knew they needed to stop soon, if only to attempt to give the two young men first-
aid.

“Look, over there.”  Wufei said, pointing with his flashlight.

The beam from his light shone onto an old subway car.  It was off the tracks.  Instead of facing straight down the tunnel, it was
pointed more to one side, crossing the tracks that it was supposed to be on.  Trowa was surprised to see that it hadn’t been
stripped of parts yet.  The windows themselves were worth a small fortune on that black-market, not to mention the metal hull
that still seemed to be completely intact and almost free of dents or other damage.

“We can rest in there for a while.”  Heero commented.

Trowa nodded, agreeing silently.  In his arms, the pale blonde groaned, his small body still shivering.  “Sshh . . .”  Trowa
hushed, shifting Quatre’s weight in his arms, hoping that it made the young man even slightly more comfortable.

Once inside the old subway car, Trowa gently laid the blonde down on one of the seats, noticing that Heero had laid the long-
haired young man on a seat across from him.  Gently, he brushed his fingers through the blonde’s hair, worriedly watching as
Quatre groaned, flinching away from the contact while he remained unconscious.

He turned for a moment, watching as Wufei set up the portable stove, taking a lantern from his pack and providing some light to
fill the subway car.  “What are you doing?”  Trowa asked.

“What does it look like I’m doing?”  Wufei responded, while he continued to work.  “We have no idea how long it will be before
we get back to base.  If we don’t get something into those two to get them warm . . . they won’t be alive for Sally to look after
them.”  He pulled an emergency blanket from his pack and handed it to Heero.  “I’ll bet it’s warmer than those two cloths put
together.”  He gestured toward the long-haired young man.  “It looks like that one’s had a great deal of blood loss.  We have to
keep him as warm as possible.  Trowa . . . you wrap the red fabric around the blonde.”

Trowa smirked.  “Since when are YOU the leader?”  Regardless, he did as Wufei directed.  He agreed with his comrade, the
long-haired youth was worse off than Quatre.  Where Quatre was whimpering, the other youth lay limp when Heero moved
him.  Heero removed the cloth from him, revealing his lithe body.  Trowa winced when he saw the blood stains on the youth’s
legs.  Heero covered the young man with the blanket Wufei had supplied.

Once the blonde was bundled up in both the red and white fabrics, Trowa turned back to watch Wufei.  His friend was pouring
the water out of his canteen into a small pot that he had placed on the portable stove.  Wufei glanced in his direction briefly, then
turned back to what he was doing, stirring around the contents of the pot.  “I used one of the ration packets, one of the broths.  
It should be good enough for now.  I do not know how much their stomachs can handle at the moment.  They already seem to
be very ill.”

Trowa nodded.  “Heero, perhaps we should do something to help lower their fevers.”  Trowa suggested, turning to his other
friend.

“I agree.”  Heero replied, reaching for his canteen.

Trowa grabbed an edge of the white fabric covering Quatre’s body, tearing off one strip and then another.  He handed one strip
over to Heero, keeping the other for himself.  Then he grabbed his own canteen and took off the cap.  He balled up the strip of
cloth then held it to the opening.  Then he tipped the canteen, soaking it.  When he rung it out, he made sure that all the water
dripped back into the canteen, knowing that it would be foolish to waste the water when they didn’t know where to find any
more fresh water around them.

He unraveled the strip of cloth, then folded it neatly.  Smiling gently, he brushed the blonde bangs away from Quatre’s forehead,
placing the damp cloth against his head.  Quatre flinched again, causing Trowa’s smile to immediately vanish.

Small whimpers escaped the blonde’s lips, his face contorting into a pain-filled expression.  He lifted his hands weakly, as if
searching for something, only to have them drop back down to the seat tiredly.  His small fingers clawed at the surface beneath
him, and he parted his lips, beginning to murmur in a slight voice.

“Where . . . where are you?”  Quatre asked, his voice so low that Trowa had to lean closer to be able to hear him.  “Azra . . .
Risha . . . It’s so quiet here . . . much too quiet.  Why did you leave me?  Where have you all gone?”

Trowa leaned back, knowing that those names were familiar to him.  He was sure he knew them, all of them, just like he was
sure that he knew Quatre’s name from somewhere.  But he just couldn’t grasp why they seemed so familiar to him, where he
knew them from.

Before he could further ponder the mystery that those names meant, the blonde’s eyes snapped open, and he cried out in
obvious terror.  Trowa reached up, grasping Quatre’s shoulders to keep him still, to hold him down and prevent him from
hurting himself.  Quatre only trembled, looking up in fear at Trowa.

Trowa took his hands away from Quatre, shaking his head slightly as he realized that he was still wearing his hood.  He had
obviously scared the young man, since Quatre couldn’t see his face to know who he was.

“It’s okay.”  Trowa whispered, reaching up to tug the hood off.  “It’s me.  You’re not going to be hurt.”

Quatre let out a long breath along with a slight laugh, his relief apparent.  He reached out with a trembling hand, taking hold of
one of Trowa’s.  A slight frown marred his face for a moment.  “You never told me your name.”  He whispered.

Trowa glanced back at Wufei, wondering if his friend had heard the blonde.  Apparently, he hadn’t since he was still sitting there
stirring the food.  However, Trowa knew that looks could be deceiving.  Wufei was very attentive and had extremely good
hearing.

Wufei turned to him, after glancing briefly in Heero’s direction.  He sighed, then nodded.  “Go ahead . . . I do believe that
introductions are in order.”  He stood and stepped over, removing his own hood as he walked.

Trowa looked over, watching as Heero also removed his hood.  He looked back down at the blonde.  “Quatre, this is Wufei
Chang and Heero Yuy . . .  and I am Trowa Barton.  Guys, this is Quatre.”  He said, gesturing toward each person as he named
them.

“It’s nice to meet you.”  Quatre said, smiling slightly, even as his body continued to shiver.

A weak voice caught everyone’s attention and they all looked over to the long-haired young man.  “Duo . . . I’m Duo Maxwell.”

Trowa nodded to the obviously tired young man.  “Good to meet you.”  He said, offering a ghost of a smile.

“Do you have a last name, or is it just Quatre?”  Wufei asked, staring down at the blonde.

“I-I have a last name.”  He paused, not speaking for a few moments.  “I’m Quatre . . . Quatre Raberba Winner.”  He whispered.

Trowa’s eyes widened, the name finally registering in his mind.  It couldn’t be.  There was no possible way that he could be the
same person.

“Excuse us for a minute.”  Trowa said, standing up.  He grabbed both Wufei and Heero, dragging them to the other end of the
subway car.

“What is this about?”  Heero demanded, pulling his arm free of Trowa’s grasp.

“Did you hear what he said his name was?”  Trowa asked.

“Yeah . . . so?”  Heero responded, his brow furrowed in obvious confusion.

Trowa shook his head.  “Quatre Raberba Winner . . . as in only male heir of Hashim Winner, brother to twenty-nine influential
women including Azra, Risha . . . and Iria Winner.”

Both Heero and Wufei gasped and visibly flinched.  “You can’t think that he’s the same Quatre Winner?”  Wufei asked, staring
at him incredulously.

“Do you know anyone else that goes by that name?”  Trowa asked.  “It seems strange, but what other conclusion can we come
to?”

“But Quatre Raberba Winner disappeared almost three hundred years ago.”  Heero whispered.  “His sisters were the ones that
started the resistance against the Taltheans, thinking for sure that they had a hand in their little brother’s disappearance.  Iria
Winner was the last of his sisters and she died searching for him.  He’d be long dead by now.”

“He would . . . unless the Taltheans kept him in cryogenic stasis all this time.”  Trowa replied.

“The Taltheans have had him, and possibly that other young man, for three hundred years?”  Wufei asked, sounding appalled.  

“And you saw that room, and everything in it.  There’s no doubt in my mind what the two of them were being used for during
all that time.”  Heero stated.  “Maybe just off and on throughout the years, not for the entire time they were there, since they
have not aged all that much.  From what I heard, Quatre Winner was only about fourteen when he vanished.”

“We cannot tell them how much time has passed.  They are already in a fragile state, physically and mentally.”  Wufei said.

Trowa nodded.  “I agree.  But we can’t keep this away from them forever.  They will have to know the truth eventually.”

“Let us just wait until they have recovered somewhat.”  Heero said, waiting briefly while the other two nodded their assent.  
Then he turned to face Wufei.  “Is that broth ready?  We should care for them now and worry about telling them the truth later.”

Wufei nodded.  “I’ll get it.”

Trowa returned to kneel by Quatre’s side, offering a reassuring smile.  “Can you sit up?”  He asked.

Quatre nodded slightly.  “I think so.”  He replied, trying to push himself up.  

When Trowa saw that he wouldn’t be able to make it himself, he helped the blonde.  He stood, then helped the blonde sit up
slightly.  He sat behind him, letting Quatre rest his back against Trowa’s side while he held him upright with one arm.  

Wufei stepped over and handed him a small, tin cup.  “Thanks.”  Trowa said, nodding slightly to his friend.  Then he looked
down at Quatre.  “Here.”  He offered, moving the cup closer to Quatre.

The blonde flinched, moving away.  “No . . . please.”  He whimpered, turning his face away from the cup, the trembling in his
body increasing.

Trowa frowned, for a moment not understanding.  Then it hit him.  The Taltheans probably drugged them through their food . .
. when and if they fed them.  Quatre might think Trowa meant to hurt him.  “It’s okay.  I said I wouldn’t hurt you.”

Quatre tilted his head, looking up at Trowa’s face.  He didn’t look as if he believed Trowa, so Trowa did the only thing he could
think of.

He smiled down at Quatre, then lifted the cup to his own lips and took a sip.  He couldn’t help but flinch at the taste.  Rations
never were appetizing.  “It may taste awful, but it’ll help keep you warm and boost your strength.”

Quatre nodded.  Trowa once again offered the cup to Quatre, holding it to his lips for him since he didn't even seem to have the
strength to hold the cup himself.  He tilted the cup slowly, allowing the blonde to take small sips and nothing more.  It would do
no good to rush him now.  Once all the broth was gone, he set the cup aside.

He frowned at the way Quatre continued to shiver, knowing that there had to be a way to keep him warm.  Only one answer
occurred to him, but he was hesitant to do it since the young blonde didn’t trust him all that much.  However, he couldn’t let
him freeze.  

Slowly, he wrapped his arms around Quatre, pulling him closer to his own body.  He watched carefully for any signs of
resistance, knowing that if Quatre pulled away from him he would have to let go.  There was no way he would hurt Quatre
now, mentally or physically.  Since he saw no resistance to his actions, Trowa pulled Quatre closer, making sure that the cloths
remained snugly wrapped around his pale body.

Quatre laid his head against Trowa’s chest, a contented sigh escaping him.  Trowa looked down, relieved to see that the blonde
had already fallen asleep in his arms, probably unaware that Trowa was even holding him.

As he looked down at that beautiful face, worry entered Trowa’s heart.  When Quatre found out just how long the Taltheans
had kept him prisoner, he might do something foolish.  Perhaps he wouldn't be able to handle the news.  Trowa knew that he
would have to be there for him, to help him adjust to a new life.  He could only hope that Quatre would accept his help, and the
new life he was being forced into.



To Be Continued . . .