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

Notes:  Treize considers what to do with Duo and Quatre.  Trowa and Heero visit with the ill young men and try to get some
answers.



Hope From the Past



Part Ten


Treize looked thoroughly tired.  He was sitting behind his desk, his elbows on the wooden surface, while his face rested against
his palms.  Trowa dreaded what his commanding officer might have to say . . . in all probability it wouldn’t be good.

“I’ve read Sally’s report.”  He stated calmly.  “As well as the report of that Doctor that Duo assaulted.”  He sighed and looked
up at Heero, Trowa, and Wufei, who were sitting before their commanding officer, awaiting his words.  “What I want to know
from you three is . . . Are Quatre and Duo a threat to us?”

“Absolutely not!”  Trowa exclaimed, fearing that Quatre would be hurt if he was thought to be dangerous.  “It was a mistake . .
. Duo was having a nightmare and awakened to find a man standing over him.  His reaction was perfectly natural given his
trauma.”

“I agree with Trowa.”  Wufei said quietly.  “I see no reason to believe that Duo or Quatre would intentionally endanger anyone.  
If they meant to, they would have done so already.”

Treize nodded.  “We know so little of them.  We have no idea what the Taltheans have really done to them other than the sexual
assault and cryogenic freezing of their bodies.  There could have been other experiments done on them, body and mind . . . I’ll
need you three to discover what exactly it was.”

“Us, sir?”  Heero asked.

“Yes.  You three are the closest to those two young men.  They trust you.  If they were experimented on, you’re our best
chance of discovering what it was.  If they are a threat to us, I will have no alternative but to eliminate the threat . . . I hope you
get my meaning.”  Treize said, speaking severely.  It left no doubt in Trowa’s mind that Treize would kill them if he felt it
necessary.  But at least Treize was willing to wait and find out . . . that was a good sign.

“Yes, sir.”  The three young men said at once.  Trowa bit his lip, then opened his mouth to speak his mind.  “Sir, if this is a
natural ability of both of them . . . what happens then?”

Treize sighed again.  “I honestly don’t know.  Dismissed.”

Trowa nodded, rising from his seat and leaving the room along with his two friends.  There was nothing else that he could do
but hope that Quatre and Duo didn’t pose a threat to them.  He hoped their minds had not been tampered with.  He sighed, taking
his time in returning to the infirmary, his mind ablaze with questions that he could not answer without Quatre.


*****


Duo fought the waking, his body and mind fighting with each other.  His body craved wakefulness, his mind wanted to avoid
the pain it would bring to his heart.  He’d awakened a few times already, and he had no desire to do so again.  Duo knew what
he would find when he opened his eyes.  He’d either be alone or have a sneering doctor nearby who would leave the room as
soon as he opened his eyes.  It wasn’t HIS fault that he’d panicked . . . and he couldn’t blame Quatre or their new friends for
his enforced solitude.  They hadn’t done anything wrong either.

There was a vague memory in his mind, the feeling of Heero nearby him, holding his hand and talking to him.  But that had to
have been his imagination, a cruel dream sent to torment him in his loneliness.  Heero was away on some mission.  He couldn’t
have been holding Duo’s hand so tenderly.

~ . . . uo?  Can you . . . me? ~

Duo felt Quatre’s mental voice, as weak as it was, caressing his psyche like a hand caressing his forehead.  Wait a second . . . a
hand WAS caressing his forehead.  He mustered up the strength from somewhere and replied as best as he could.  
~ Quatre? ~

Joy, and tired relief, reached him across their mental link.  It had been a long time since they had bonded their minds, sealing
their friendship for as long as they both lived.
 ~ Duo . . . it’s okay.  I’m here.  You’re not alone. ~

Voices reached his ears now . . . disjointed and recognizable as belonging to Meiran and Catherine.  He decided to risk it and
opened his eyes a crack.  Meiran was sitting beside his bed, looking at him worriedly, but she smiled a little as his eyes met
hers.  Tears flooded his eyes, dripping easily along the sides of his face . . . he wasn’t alone.  He was happy, more happy than
he could remember.  Thank God he wasn’t alone anymore.  He couldn’t stand the silence, the eerie quiet that came with having
no one around.

Meiran’s smile faltered a little.  She reached out, sliding her gentle fingers over his face and sweeping the droplets away.  “Don’t
cry.  It’s okay now.”  She hushed, taking hold of his hand carefully.

Duo nodded weakly.  He turned his head, looking over to Quatre, taking note that his friend was looking right back at him.  
Quatre looked horrible . . . well at least worse than he had the last time that Duo had seen him.  He must have taken Duo’s
absence badly.  Duo understood . . . the two of them had been together for so long, Duo couldn’t imagine being without his
friend either, and since they were both so weary, it was difficult to maintain mental communication without being near each
other physically.

Sitting next to Quatre’s bed was Catherine.  The young woman was reading to Quatre.  Duo didn’t recognize the story, but that
really didn’t matter to him . . . Catherine’s reading was for Quatre’s benefit, not his.  He was glad that the young woman was
paying attention to Quatre, helping him when he was ill . . . Duo wished he could offer such comfort to his friend, but he was
too ill to even breathe without help.

Closing his eyes briefly, Duo turned his head and looked up at Meiran again.  There was nothing more that he could do.  He was
too tired and yet he didn’t want to go back to sleep yet.  He was afraid that if he went to sleep he would be moved again . . . he
didn’t want to be away from Quatre.  He didn’t want the frail blonde to suffer because of him.


*****


Heero stepped into the infirmary, his heart fluttering in his chest when he laid eyes on Duo.  The young man was awake.  Heero
hastened his pace, crossing the room quickly.  Meiran turned, smiling when she saw him.  “Let me know if you need me again.  
I’ll be in my quarters if you should require me.”  Meiran said, sliding her fingers along Duo’s cheek and bidding him goodbye
before stepping aside and leaving the room.

Heero sat in the seat that the young woman had just vacated, carefully taking hold of Duo’s chill hand.  “Are you feeling
better?”  He asked, raising his hand and timidly drawing his fingers through Duo’s bangs, brushing them aside.  He wasn’t used
to such contact, but he hoped that he was doing it correctly.

Duo nodded slightly in reaction to Heero’s question.  Heero guessed that he didn’t have the strength to speak.  It was obvious
that the young man was still weary.  Heero sighed, knowing that Duo could not provide any answers in this condition.  

Heero wasn’t even going to consider asking him anything until he was stronger.  Duo was just too tired to be put through such
stress right now.  So any answers would have to come from Quatre, who was slightly stronger, although not by much.

“You look tired.”  Heero commented, idly brushing his thumb along the back of Duo’s hand.  “If you are, you may go back to
sleep.  I do not mind.”

Duo smiled, but weakly reached up and pulled the oxygen mask from his face.  “Want . . . to see you.”  Duo replied, his voice
faint.  “Like the . . . company.”

Heero nodded.  “I find you pleasant to be around as well.”  He replied, placing the mask back over Duo’s nose and mouth.  “I
anxiously await when you will be able to get out of this bed.  I would like to show you around.”  He said honestly.  Although he
knew that until Duo had clearance he wouldn’t even be allowed to leave this infirmary without an armed escort.

Duo smiled again.  He closed his eyes momentarily, his weariness obvious.  Heero stayed where he was, content to just offer the
young man companionship.  There was nowhere else he had to be right now, and Duo most definitely did need the comfort that
could only be provided with physical contact and communication.


*****


While Heero was visiting with Duo, Trowa had also entered the infirmary.  He greeted his sister, allowing her to give him a hug
before she closed her book and left the room.  Trowa smiled, blushing slightly as he took a seat beside Quatre, picking up the
book that Catherine had been reading to Quatre.  He looked at the cover, reading the title aloud.  “The Green Fairy Book . . . Is it
any good?”  Trowa asked, removing the mask from Quatre’s pale face.

“Yes . . . many fairy tales . . . wonderful.”  He whispered, a smile on his lips.  The effort to speak was probably tiring to
Quatre.  Trowa wondered if he should ask questions of the blonde now, or whether he could let them wait awhile.  It was
Quatre that resolved the unanswered question.  “Is there something on your mind?”  He asked, his voice quiet and strained.

Trowa nodded, although he wasn’t sure how to ask what he felt he needed to ask.  He didn’t want to offend Quatre, and yet his
commanding officer had asked him to get this information from Quatre.  He sighed, taking a breath and letting it out before
focusing his eyes on Quatre’s aquamarine ones.  “What Duo did to the doctor . . . throwing the man across the room . . .”  He
trailed off, unsure of what he was asking.

Quatre raised his hand, setting his fingers against Trowa’s lips.  Trowa let his question remain unfinished, watching Quatre
intently.  “There . . .”  Quatre said, gesturing to a cup full of melting ice chips.  “Watch.”  He said.  Then his face grew serious,
his eyes intently focused on the cup that was only a few feet away from him.  His brow furrowed in obvious concentration, his
expression one of strain, as if he were exercising some unused muscle for the first time in years.

Trowa diverted his gaze to watch the cup.  He blinked, not believing his own eyes.  Before him, the cup lifted off of the surface
of the table, wobbling as it did so.  There was nothing nearby, nothing that could be lifting it in such a manner.  It must have
been Quatre doing it.  For a moment the cup hovered unsteadily over the table, then it fell, almost tipping over since it had
descended too rapidly.

When it was over, Trowa looked to Quatre, only to find him laying there panting, his eyes closed as he struggled to breathe.  
Trowa put the mask over his nose and mouth again, not wanting the pale young man to grow ill again.  “Are you okay?”  He
asked, deeply concerned for the young beauty.

Quatre nodded weakly, reaching over and grasping Trowa’s hand.  Trowa waited until Quatre was breathing more easily, then
pulled the mask off again.  “Hard to do . . . I’m tired . . . not strong enough.”  Quatre said, sweat beading on his skin.

Trowa reached over to the table, picking up a cloth.  He dabbed at Quatre’s feverish skin, smiling at him.  “That was quite
impressive.”  He said, admiring Quatre for even attempting such a display in his condition.  “How long have you been able to do
such things?”

“As long . . . as long as I remember.”  Quatre replied.  “Was a child . . . when it started.”  He looked away.  “Only causes
problems.”

Trowa frowned, watching as a number of crystalline tears trailed down along Quatre’s lovely face.  “I won’t ask any more of
you.”  He said honestly, knowing that any other questions he might have could wait until later.  He didn’t want to pressure
Quatre into speaking about something that he seemed unwilling to talk about.  Trowa wasn’t about to lose the tentative trust that
Quatre had in him.  “When you’re ready to talk, I’ll listen.”

Quatre’s eyes shimmered as more tears fell from his eyes.  “Thank you.”  He breathed . . . a weak smile lighting up his entire
face.  

Trowa smiled back, using the cloth to wipe away Quatre’s tears.  “Don’t cry.”  He hushed, brushing his fingers through Quatre’
s silken hair.  “Would you like it if I read to you?”  Trowa asked.

“I’d like that.”  Quatre replied, smiling.

Trowa flipped through the pages of the book that Catherine had left.  Still, he didn’t know what story his sister had left off on.  
“Do you know what story Catherine was reading?”

“The Blue Bird . . . page thirty-two . . . Fairy Mazilla just turned . . . King Charming into . . . into a blue bird.”  He answered,
pausing every few words to take a breath.

Trowa nodded, turning to the appropriate page.  He found the section that Quatre had spoken of, deciding to start at the top of
the paragraph.  Before he started speaking though, he placed the oxygen mask back onto Quatre’s face, wanting him to be able
to breathe easily.  “If you get tired, let me know and I'll stop.”  

At Quatre’s nod, Trowa began to read, telling Quatre of the fate of King Charming and the fair princess Fiordelisa . . . as well as
that of the evil queen and her unattractive daughter.  As he read, Trowa found himself growing quite interested in the story
himself.

Before Trowa could finish reading the tale, Quatre’s hand gave a gentle squeeze to his arm.  His eyes were barely open.  Trowa
told him to rest, deciding to wait until the next time they were together to find out whether or not King Charming would be
reunited with the newly-crowned Queen Fiordelisa . . . of course in such stories happy endings were common.  Still, he would
like to read it.

He smiled, staying at Quatre’s side as the blonde fell into a peaceful slumber.  Setting the book aside, Trowa took hold of Quatre’
s hand.  On a whim, Trowa raised the delicate hand to his lips and kissed it, watching as a smile appeared on Quatre’s delicate
features.  He hoped Quatre’s health would progress . . . he did want to get to know him better.



To Be Continued . . .



Note:  The story referred to at the end of this part is called “The Blue Bird.”  It is one of many fairy tales found in a book
called, “The Green Fairy Book.”