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

Notes: Another part of my fic.  Nothing much else to say about it.  They get back to base, Duo and Quatre get some medical
treatment.  Enjoy.



Hope From the Past



Part Four


Trowa hadn’t been aware that he had drifted off to sleep, until he was awakened by the vehicle jolting to a stop.  He snapped his
eyes open, berating himself for falling asleep.  He looked down, grateful to see that he still held Quatre in his arms.  The blonde
was awake, staring up at him with a smile on his angelic face.

“You’re beautiful when you sleep.”  Quatre whispered, once again brushing a trembling hand across Trowa’s cheek.  The
blonde seemed to enjoy doing that, and Trowa wasn’t about to tell him to stop.  To be perfectly honest, Trowa enjoyed the feel
of Quatre’s soft hands touching his skin.

Trowa blushed at Quatre’s statement, unused to getting compliments.  Before he could reply though, a hand shook his shoulder
and gained his attention.  He turned, Quatre’s hand falling away from his face, to see Wufei sitting beside him.  On Wufei’s
other side, Heero was sliding out of the vehicle, being careful not to jostle Duo too much.

“Let us get him inside.”  Wufei suggested.  

Trowa nodded, sliding himself out of the vehicle, keeping Quatre’s small body held against his own, declining when Wufei
offered his help.  He just didn’t want to let go of the young man yet.  Trowa didn’t understand why, but he felt some strange
attraction to him, a need to protect the small beauty.  And then there was the almost constant urge to just find a bedroom or
some other secluded place and have his way with the seemingly fragile blonde.  Trowa’s emotions toward Quatre were just
running wild and he couldn’t explain why.  He had never felt anything so strongly for anyone else before in his life.

“Bring them to the infirmary.”  Sally called out.

Trowa nodded, taking a glance down at the blonde once again.  He frowned, disappointed and a little worried to see that Quatre
had fallen into unconsciousness.  When he looked up again, he saw Heero following Sally into the hidden bunker that they called
a base.  Heero was still carrying Duo in his arms, probably as reluctant to let go of him as Trowa was of releasing his hold on
Quatre.  The vehicle they had just used, was taken away and hidden somewhere safe.  Once they walked inside the bunker, the
thick, metal doors slid shut, effectively sealing them inside the base.

They walked a short distance, passing the door that led to a heavily guarded staircase and moving into a nearby elevator.  For
several minutes, they descended into the depths of the mountain where the bunker was located.  This had once been a military
base, some big secret facility, before the Taltheans had arrived on Earth.  Luckily, the Taltheans hadn’t found it yet.  There were
many branches of the resistance scattered around the Earth, but few had such a place to hide out in.  

As soon as the doors opened, the small group stepped out into the corridor, Sally leading the way once again.  She took them to
the infirmary.  “Okay, put them down on the beds and get them undressed”  She said, quickly walking over to gather her
equipment.

Trowa set the blonde down on one bed, laying him across the pristine sheets and pulling the cloths that had been used as
makeshift blankets away from his body.  Quatre shivered, his eyes slowly opening as his pale form was revealed.  He looked up
at Trowa, confusion clear in his eyes.  However, Trowa also saw the fear creeping into those beautiful aquamarine orbs.  

“It’s okay.”  Trowa hushed, laying a hand against one of Quatre’s cheeks.  “No one here will harm you.”

Quatre smiled faintly, his breath coming to him raggedly as he glanced around the room.  He was obviously still quite scared.

Trowa glanced up, seeing Heero across from him, leaning over Duo’s prone form.  The long-haired youth remained
unconscious, his body bare of the blanket that had once been wrapped around him.  Heero was staring down at him, one of his
hands clasping one of Duo’s limp hands.  

Sally pushed a cart over beside Duo, ordering nurses around as she began to work on the ill young man.  Another doctor
stepped over, offering his help to Sally.  She nodded to him, telling him what her preliminary examinations of Duo had told her.  
Then she let the man take over with Duo, ordering him to perform several tests and procedures on the young man.

Sally got another cart, wheeling it over to Quatre’s bedside.  “How are you feeling?”  Sally asked, smiling at the pale blonde.

Quatre grabbed one of Trowa’s hands, fear clearly written on his features.  Trowa felt sorry for him, feeling so much rage for
how horribly the Taltheans had treated him.  However, he smiled down at the young man, not wanting to frighten him any
further.  “It’s okay, Sally is a doctor.  She just wants to help you.”

Quatre nodded, although the look of fear never left his features.  He turned to Sally, still clutching Trowa’s hand.  “I-I’m tired . .
. cold . . . hungry.”  The blonde whispered.

Sally smiled again.  “Anything else?”

Quatre looked confused, his brow furrowing as he thought for a moment.  “Nothing’s clear . . . everything seems hazy.”  He
paused again.  “And it hurts.”

“Where does it hurt?”  Sally asked, concern lacing her voice.

Quatre turned away, closing his eyes and not meeting either Trowa or Sally’s eyes.  Trowa understood though, there was no
need to elaborate since he knew what the Taltheans had done to the pale blonde.

Sally laid a hand on Quatre’s shoulder, apparently also understanding Quatre’s reluctance to continue.  “Don’t worry.  We’ll take
good care of you here.”

Quatre slowly turned back to look at Sally.  A hopeful expression crossed his face.  “Really?  And Duo too?”

“Of course we’ll take care of Duo.”  Sally replied, offering a kind smile.  “Now, I have some tests I need to do.  Is that okay
with you?”

“You’re asking my permission?”  Quatre asked, seemingly confused.

“We’d never do anything to you without your permission.”  Sally answered, brushing a hand through Quatre’s bangs.  

Quatre smiled slightly.  “No one has ever asked for my permission before, not even my sisters when they . . .”  He stopped,
biting into his lip before he could finish his sentence.

Trowa saw his hesitation to continue, but decided not to ask him about it now.  Questions could wait until later.  They had to
make sure he would survive first.  He looked up at Sally, not saying anything.  He only shook his head, silently telling her not to
pursue that line of conversation.

“Okay, Quatre.  I want to take your temperature.”  Sally smiled, picking up a thermometer from the cart she had wheeled over.

Quatre opened his mouth, silently obeying.  While they waited, Sally checked Quatre’s eyes, writing down the results on some
form that she had attached to a clipboard.  She did several more tests, checking his blood pressure, looking into his mouth and
ears, checking his lungs and heart with her stethoscope, also drawing some blood.  

She moved down to the edge of the bed, placing her hand against the bottom of Quatre’s foot, her other hand wrapping around
his calf as she lifted his leg off of the bed slightly.  “I want you to push as hard as you can on my hand.”  

Quatre nodded, then closed his eyes.  He looked to be straining himself, but was barely able to move his leg at all.  “I’m sorry.”  
He whispered, letting out a long breath.

“It’s okay.”  Sally hushed, moving up to Quatre’s side again.  She grasped his hand.  “Now, how about squeezing my hand.  
Can you do that?”

Trowa watched, as Quatre’s hand slowly tightened around Sally’s for a brief moment, before he let go.  “I can’t.”  He
whimpered, a tear falling from one eye.

Trowa gently brushed the tear away, letting his hand linger on Quatre’s cheek for several long seconds.  He hoped that he was
being of some help, but wasn’t sure.  All he was really doing was standing there and holding onto Quatre’s hand.  It just didn’t
seem like it was enough.  Then Quatre smiled up at him, and all his doubts vanished.  He still worried, hoping that the blonde
would be okay, but at least now he knew that his presence was comforting to Quatre.


*****


Several hours later, Heero stood in the infirmary again, looking down on the young man that lay on one of the beds.  Duo looked
so fragile, laying there, connected to all sorts of different equipment.  

There was an oxygen mask over his face, an IV in each arm, dripping fluids he desperately needed into his frail body.  A
cardiograph beeped along with his heartbeat, another machine hooked up to record brain activity, and yet another to monitor the
activity in his muscles.  Quatre was also hooked up to the same types of equipment, minus the oxygen mask.  He was breathing
well on his own and Sally had said that he didn’t need it at the moment.

Heero sighed, reaching out and gently clasping Duo’s hand, afraid to hold any tighter.  He didn’t want to hurt the fragile young
man.  Duo was not doing very well.  He hadn’t regained consciousness in a long time.

“What am I doing?”  Heero asked himself, not understanding why he felt such a need to help Duo, why he wanted to protect
him.  He had never cared about anyone before . . . why should Duo be any different?  Still, Heero reached out, adjusting the
blanket that covered Duo’s lower half, hoping to make him at least a little more comfortable.

“Heero?”  A weary voice called out.

Heero turned, only to see that Quatre was watching him.  Trowa had left the blonde’s side hours ago, although reluctantly.  But
Trowa did have other duties to see to.

“Yes, Quatre?”  Heero replied, gently laying Duo’s hand back down on the bed and stepping over to the blonde’s bedside.

“Is Duo okay?”  Quatre asked, his eyes betraying him, showing just how fearful he really was.

Heero didn’t really know how to answer that.  Duo was not doing well.  But he couldn’t exactly say that to Quatre.  It might
interfere with the blonde’s recovery.  He could start worrying, perhaps even decide not to take care of himself due to worries
for his friend.  Heero decided it would be best to lie in this situation.  “I'm sure he’ll be fine.”  Heero answered in his usual
monotone voice.

Quatre smiled.  “I know you’re lying.”  The blonde said.  “But thank you.”

Heero offered a slight smirk and nodded.  There was definitely something odd about Quatre, but he couldn’t be sure of what it
was.  Something about him just seemed strange.  

“Heero!”  Wufei yelled, as he ran into the infirmary.  “General Treize wants to see us.”  

Heero nodded, bidding Quatre goodbye before he turned and left the room, following Wufei to the General’s office.  Inside, he
saw Sally already standing there.  Captain Noin was standing beside the doctor.  Trowa entered the room only moments later.

“Please sit, gentlemen.”  Treize said, gesturing to several chairs in front of his desk.

Heero and his two partners walked over and sat in those chairs.  “You wanted to see us, sir?”  Heero asked.

“Yes . . . those two young men you brought to us.  I thought you would want to hear Sally’s report about their health.”  General
Treize replied.

“Yes, how are they?”  Trowa asked.

Sally sighed, flipping through the papers on the clipboard that she held in her hands.  “Both are suffering from muscular atrophy,
meaning that their arms and legs are basically useless.  Quatre was only able to hold onto my hand, weakly for a few short
seconds, so their arms seemed to have gotten more exercise than their legs have in all these years.  They are malnourished,
dehydrated, have been sexually abused, and beaten.  Their bruises should become more pronounced within a few hours now that
they are starting to get warmed up.  They are most definitely addicted to a substance that seems to have lowered their inhibitions
and increased their endorphin levels.  Withdrawal symptoms should be starting any time now.”

Treize nodded.  “Is there anything else, Sally?”

“Yes . . . I tried to x-ray them, but the machines seemed to have failed.  Every time there was always a malfunction.  I don’t
know whether it was due to the equipment or something in them, but I think it would be best to keep them under guard for the
time being.  And the blood tests to determine if that really is Quatre Raberba Winner will be done by tomorrow morning.”

Heero lowered his head, not liking what he had heard.  Duo was definitely not doing well.  He could only hope the beautiful
young man would regain his strength.

“Do you think he could be the real Quatre Raberba Winner?”  Noin asked.

Treize opened a file on his desk, flipping through the pages.  “Unfortunately, details about the young Winner heir are sketchy at
best.  There seems to be a whole chunk of his life missing, almost ten years, from shortly before his father’s death up until he
was reportedly kidnapped by the Taltheans.  There are no pictures of him after he turned eight.  So a visual identification is out
of the question.  All we know about him was gathered by his sisters almost three hundred years ago.  Iria searched for him all
her life, and her children and her sisters’ children have continued the effort.”

“Ah yes . . . the nomads.  Don’t you think if he is really Quatre Winner that they will want him . . . possibly to use him for their
own purposes as some sort of figurehead for their movement?”  Wufei said.

“Yes . . . there is no doubt that they will.  For now the suspicions of his true identity stays in this room.  No one is to talk about
who he possibly is.  Understood?”  Treize demanded.

Heero and the other nodded in affirmation of the request, a few of them also voiced their agreement.  “What about the other one
. . . Duo?”  Heero asked.

Treize closed one folder and opened another.  “Duo Maxwell . . . The only thing we could find on him was some old police file,
stating that he was a homeless thief.  Seems he was a part of a gang of children who used to terrorize merchants, stealing food,
and other such things.  How he and Quatre know each other are a complete mystery to me.”

“When their health suitably recovers, you can question them.”  Noin said.

Sally sighed.  “If Duo recovers . . . His condition seems more serious than Quatre’s, although I’m not sure why.”

Heero sighed, looking down at the floor.  Hearing of Duo’s failing health was upsetting to Heero, although he still couldn’t
understand why the beautiful, long-haired youth held such a fascination to him.

“If you’ll excuse me.”  Trowa said, rising from his seat.  “Quatre is a terrified young man . . . I think it would help for him to
see a familiar face.”

General Treize nodded.  “Go ahead.  You’re dismissed . . . all of you.”

Heero stood, silently following Trowa out of the office.  Truth be told, he wanted to go to the infirmary himself, if only to spend
some time with Duo.  He just couldn’t get the memory of those lovely eyes out of his mind.


*****


Trowa stepped closer to Quatre’s bedside, frowning at the sight of the young blonde’s writhing.  The withdrawal symptoms
must have started, he thought, noting the sweat beading on that beautiful, yet pale face, the way his limbs twitched every now
and then.

“Are you okay?”  Trowa asked, gently taking hold of Quatre’s limp hand.

Quatre opened his eyes, looking to Trowa with an expression of pure pain.  “It hurts.”  He whimpered, his voice catching in his
throat.

Trowa brushed the sweat soaked bangs away from Quatre’s face, feeling the fever that burned within him.  He saw the bruises
that were quickly becoming darker, more pronounced on his pale flesh.  “What hurts?”  He asked, whispering gently.

“Everything.”  Quatre answered.  For a brief moment he closed his eyes, only to snap them open once again, his eyes widening
as he gasped.  Trowa feared for him, wondering what was wrong.  

“Quatre?”  Trowa asked, worried.

Quatre turned to him, trembling.  “Why is it so quiet?  W-Where are my sisters?  Why can’t I hear them?”

Trowa frowned, not quite sure how to respond.  He couldn’t actually tell him that his sisters have been dead for almost three
hundred years . . . if he even was Quatre Raberba Winner.  “I don’t know, little one.” He answered, brushing a hand across
Quatre’s cheek.  “Try and get some rest.  You need to regain your strength.”

Quatre nodded weakly.  “Yes . . . yes, I am tired.  Perhaps, I’ll hear them when I’m better.”  He mumbled tiredly, allowing his
eyes to slowly slip closed.  “I could always hear them before.”

Trowa stayed by Quatre’s side, holding his hand, watching as the blonde slipped into a fitful slumber, tossing his head back and
forth every now and then.  He laid his hand against one of the warm cheeks, frowning at the heat radiating from the blonde.  He
silently prayed to a god he had never believed in that the pale youth was not an enemy and that he would recover.  It would be
such a shame to lose such a kind beauty.



To Be Continued . . .