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

Notes:  Wufei is met in the hallway by a friend.  Another character makes an appearance.

Hope From the Past

Part Five

Wufei walked out of General Treize’s office, following Trowa and Heero for a few moments until he turned down a corridor.  
He had no interest in visiting those two young men, not like Heero and Trowa were obviously going to do.  It wasn’t that he
wasn’t concerned.  He just knew that he’d be in the way if he did go.  Perhaps he would visit later, after he had tended to a few
other things.

He yawned, not bothering to try and stifle it.  He was tired, there was no reason to deny it.  That was one of the reasons for
why he was heading to his quarters, the other being that he didn’t want to stay in his current attire any longer.  He would prefer
to be comfortable and there was no reason for camouflage when inside the base.

He had just reached out to open the door to his quarters when a hand gripped his arm and pulled him around.  “Chang Wufei . . .
where the HELL have you been?”  Shouted Meiran, a young girl that Wufei had an affection for.  Although, she didn’t seem to
return to feeling.

“I was on a mission.”  Wufei answered.

“Yeah . . . and I heard you got back hours ago.  Don’t you know how worried I was about you?”  She asked, releasing her grip
on his arm.

Wufei bowed slightly.  “I apologize.”  He said, just trying to avoid an argument.  He was too tired to argue, just wanting to go to
sleep at the moment.

Meiran nodded and smiled briefly.  “Rumor has it that you found some people at the Talthean base.”  Meiran commented.

“I did not know you listened to gossip, Meiran.”  Wufei smirked.  “But yes, two humans were found.  They are in the infirmary
right now, in very severe condition by what Sally has told us, barely alive.”

“Those Talthean bastards should rot in hell.”  Meiran spat, suddenly in a venomous rage. Her mood changed almost instantly,
becoming more pleasant.  “Can I go see them?  Or are they under strict lock and key?”

“You would have to ask Sally that.”  Wufei replied.  “Perhaps even Treize himself.”

“Go see Treize?”  Meiran gulped, her face paling.  “I-I’ll go talk to Sally first.”  She said.

“Fine . . . Now if you’ll excuse me, I’d like to get some sleep.”  Wufei replied.

“Sleep well.”  Meiran whispered, quickly turning and leaving before Wufei had a chance to say anything.

Wufei shook his head, opening his door and stepping in.  He stripped off his clothes as he crossed the room to the small
bathroom, deciding that he would pick them up in the morning.  Lastly, he pulled his hair free of the tight ponytail, and stepped
into the shower, not caring that the water was cold when he turned it on.  Besides, the cool water served to keep him awake
long enough to finish washing his body and rinse off.  Then after drying himself somewhat, he just climbed into bed, sleep
overtaking him almost instantly.


Meiran nervously stepped into the infirmary.  She stood just inside the doorway, looking around for Sally.  Her eyes caught sight
of a curtained off area, probably where whoever had been rescued were now.

A faint cry reached her ears and Meiran stepped further into the room.  Someone was crying . . . she had to find out who and if
she could help.  She couldn’t just ignore the cries of someone who was obviously in need of comfort or help.

Slowly, she reached out to the curtain, sure that the cries were coming from behind it.  She quietly drew the curtain aside,
slowly stepping over to the bed and the person who lay on it.

He was a pale young man, very thin, his body covered by a sheen of sweat.  Dark bruises were a stark contrast to his nearly
white skin, his eyes sunken in from sickness and most likely hunger and thirst as well.  His long, dark hair lay on the bed around
him, framing his frail looking body.  The young man’s breath was ragged and raspy, not coming to him easily, while tears
streamed along the side of his face, dampening the pillow beneath him.

Meiran frowned at the many machines that were hooked up to the young man, the oxygen mask over his face.  “Are you
okay?”  Meiran asked, flinching when a pair of fear-filled eyes opened and stared up at her.

More tears streamed from his eyes, his pale face showing nothing but terror.  Meiran felt that perhaps she had made a mistake.  
“I'm sorry . . . I’ll leave you alone.  I did not mean to frighten you.”  She said, bowing out of respect.

Before she could even take a step back, a trembling hand weakly grasped her wrist.  The young man reached up with his other
hand, trying to pull the oxygen mask from his face.  He couldn’t seem to do it though, and his hand dropped back to the bed.

Meiran smiled gently and pulled the mask down for him.  She waited patiently as the young man licked his chapped lips, parting
them in an attempt to speak.  “Don’t go.”  He whispered, his voice sounding so weak.  “I don’t want to be alone.”

Meiran nodded, fixing the oxygen mask over his mouth and nose again.  She pulled a chair over to the side of the bed, only
leaving for a short moment, then sat, taking hld of one of his hands in the hope that she was helping.

After several moments of silence, where Meiran continually stroked her fingers through the young man’s damp bangs, she felt
that she had to ask a question.  “Why were you crying?”  She asked.

The young man once again reached to try and take the mask off himself, but Meiran knew that he couldn’t do it on his own.  
She removed it, listening carefully as the young man spoke.  “I was scared . . . of being alone . . .”  He weakly gestured to
another curtain.  “Quatre . . . I can’t see Quatre.”

Meiran stood and stepped over to the other curtain, slowly pulling it aside.  She frowned at the sight of the young man that lay in
the bed.  She noticed that he seemed to be in better condition than the dark-haired youth.  However, he still looked quite ill, his
skin an even paler shade than the long-haired young man.

Meiran smiled though, as she gazed at the sight before her.  The blonde . . . Quatre . . . was unconscious, but that wasn’t the
cause for her smile.  No, it was the sight of Trowa Barton sitting at the blonde’s bedside.  Trowa was asleep, his head resting on
one of his arms which was laying on the bed at Quatre’s side.  Trowa’s hand was clasping one of Quatre’s, even though the
blonde’s arms and legs continually twitched in his sleep.

It was rare to catch Trowa being so kind.  Meiran felt the urge to call Catherine and show her how peaceful Trowa seemed.  
But she pushed the urge aside, knowing that Trowa would probably awaken before she could do it.

Meiran slowly backed away, purposely moving quietly.  She didn’t want to disturb Trowa, not when he appeared to need the
rest.  He had to have been tired to fall asleep while watching over the pale blonde.

She turned around and sat beside the dark-haired youth again, taking hold of his hand.  “There, better?”  She asked, watching as
the young man, looked over at the blonde.  

The young man nodded slightly, his eyes just barely open.  

Meiran reached out again, smiling as she brushed her fingers through his bangs again.  She wondered who he was, why he
looked so sick.  What had those Taltheans done to him and that blonde?  She shook her head, mentally condemning those alien
freaks to hell.  “What’s your name?”  She asked, gently tugging the mask away from his mouth.

“Duo.”  He replied, weakly.

“It’s nice to meet you, Duo.  My name is Meiran.”  Meiran smiled, placing the mask on his face once again.

“What are you doing here?”  Someone whispered angrily.

Meiran stood, backing away to a wall, as she looked to the door.  Her heart pounded in her chest, not liking the fact that
someone had snuck up on her.  She didn’t like surprises.  She placed her hand over her heart as she saw that Heero was
standing just inside the doorway, a small plastic cup in his hand.  

Meiran glanced around for any possible means of escape, fearing what Heero would do to her for being here.  She knew that he
wasn’t very nice when he was mad, and he sure had sounded upset a moment ago.  She saw no escape, so she did the next best
thing, letting herself slide down the wall until she was sitting on the floor, her legs drawn up to her chest as she buried her face
against her knees.

A hand touched her arm, but she flinched away, recoiling from a mix of fear and memories that continued to haunt her.  Meiran
took a chance and lifted her head, so that she could look over her knees and see who had touched her.  It was Heero.  He was
down on one knee, looking at her with a curious expression his face.  

“I'm sorry.”  Meiran whispered.  “I know I shouldn’t have come here without getting permission first.”  She swallowed against
the lump that had formed in her throat.  “Wufei told me that you rescued some people.  I was only curious.  I was going to ask
Sally if I could see them, but I heard him crying . . .”  She gestured to the young man on the bed.  “I-I couldn’t just do nothing.”

Heero nodded and stood, taking a step back away from Meiran.  “If you were here to comfort him then I must thank you.”  
Heero said.  “I didn’t want to leave him alone, but since Trowa is sleeping, I didn’t have much choice.”

“Why did you leave him?”  Meiran asked, her fear slowly ebbing away.  She rose to her feet, watching Heero carefully.

Heero glanced over at Duo.  “He was thirsty.”  He said, raising the plastic cup he held so that Meiran could see it better.  “Ice
chips . . . one of the nurses said to get him ice chips.”

Heero stepped over to Duo’s side.  He gently removed the oxygen mask from Duo’s face, and took one of the ice chips from
the cup.  Duo opened his mouth slightly, accepting the ice from Heero.  Heero smiled slightly, brushing his wet fingers over the
Duo’s chapped lips, dampening them slightly.  He repeated this action, giving Duo the ice chips, then brushing his fingers over
Duo’s lips to moisten them.  Heero stopped when Duo turned his head away, silently saying that he didn’t want any more.

“How are you feeling?”  Heero asked, brushing his hand along the side of Duo’s head.

“Tired . . . everything hurts . . .”  Duo whimpered, his limbs continuing to twitch.

Heero sighed, taking his hand away.  “I won’t lie.  It’ll be awhile before you feel better.”  He said.  “Your body has to rid itself
of the drugs in your system . . . and then there is the muscular damage you are suffering from.  You’ll probably have to go
through a good deal of physical therapy.”

A tear fell from one of Duo’s eyes, a choked up sob escaping his lips.  “Thank you for being honest.”  Duo said, feigning a
small grin.

Meiran stepped closer to Duo’s bedside, glaring at Heero for being so cruel.  Was there really a reason to upset the ill young
man?  She sighed, placing her hand on Duo’s arm, trying to offer comfort to Duo.  “Forgive Heero’s callousness . . . He just isn’
t used to being kind to people.”  Meiran said, offering a small smile to Duo.

Duo smiled back, this time genuinely.  “I'm sure he meant well.”  Duo whispered, his breathing growing erratic.

Meiran gently placed the oxygen mask back over Duo’s face.  “Why don’t you get some rest?  You appear to need it.”  Meiran
suggested, carefully clasping Duo’s hand, hoping that she wasn’t hurting him.

Duo nodded weakly, and closed his eyes.  Meiran just watched him, rubbing her thumb along the back of his hand.  After only a
few moments, she was sure that he was asleep.  She turned to face Heero, only to see that he was looking down at the floor.

“I’m sorry I said that.  I didn’t intend to be cruel.”  He said, sounding oddly sincere.  He wasn’t one to apologize for his choice
of words . . . he had never done so before.

Meiran grinned.  “Don’t apologize.  He did appreciate your honesty.”  She said, hesitantly laying a hand on Heero’s arm.

Heero looked up, and nodded.  He stepped over to the bed, looking down at Duo.  Meiran stepped back to give him room.  “I’ll
request that you be allowed to visit him.  Since you already know his name.”  Heero said.  

“Really?  Thank you, Heero.”  Meiran replied.

Heero sighed.  “He does seem to need the company.  And so far you are the only other person that knows him, besides Trowa,
Wufei, myself, and that blonde.”

“Then wouldn’t it be wise to have someone take care of that blonde also?”  Meiran suggested, purposely avoiding the use of
Quatre’s name since it was apparent that she wasn’t supposed to know it.  “Trowa can’t be here all the time.  And it wouldn’t
be fair to them if my attention was divided between the two of them.”

Heero nodded.  “I’ll see what I can do.”  He turned to face Meiran.  “But for now, I suggest you leave.  No one is supposed to
know of them yet.”  

“Okay.”  Meiran nodded, backing away from Heero.  She turned and left, casting one last glance at the two ill young men and
the two rebels that watched over them.  She hoped that they would soon recover their strength.  They would definitely need it if
they were to undergo physical therapy.

To Be Continued . . .