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

Notes:  Heero tries his best to soothe Duo as the young man worries deeply over the kidnaping of their friends.

Hope From the Past

Part Thirteen

Heero was worried . . . had been worried ever since it was noted that Quatre and Trowa were both unaccounted for.  He wasn’t
worried for Quatre and Trowa, since he knew who it was who had taken them.  His worry lay with the fragile young man that
was clinging to him and weeping in his arms.

They were in Heero’s quarters now.  After it was deemed safe to return to the base, Heero had brought Duo directly here,
knowing that Duo needed rest, especially after hearing the news that Quatre and Trowa were missing.  The Infirmary was no
place for Duo right now . . . he needed comfort, not sanitary medical attention.  Heero was certain that he would be more
comfortable someplace more private, someplace where they could be alone . . . and that was why there were here in Heero’s
personal living quarters.

Duo had been inconsolable ever since they had returned to the base after the attack.  Quatre was more than a friend to Duo, he
was a brother . . . and therefore was the only family that Duo had.  Heero was holding him now as they lay in his bed, Duo’s leg
braces set aside on the floor near his wheelchair.  As it was, Duo was curled up against Heero, holding himself close to the
soldier’s body as he wept.  Heero was trying to help, but didn’t think that he was doing an adequate job of it, given the fact that
Duo was still crying.

Heero took a deep breath, feeling that it was time to tell Duo the whole truth.  “Duo . . . the people who took Quatre and Trowa
won’t hurt them.”

Duo’s voice was miserable.  “I believe you about Quatre, but how can you be sure about Trowa?  I just got this incredible
anguished feeling from Quatre . . . as if his heart were breaking.”

Heero took another breath to calm himself.  He knew that Zechs had been responsible for the attack, and for whatever feelings
that Quatre was going through.  He also knew that Zechs wouldn’t risk causing trouble by hurting Trowa.  No . . . the answer
had to lie with Quatre discovering the truth.  He felt that Duo deserved to know as well . . . so that he could understand what
had caused Quatre’s sudden heartache.

“I have an idea.  I don’t know if you’re ready for this, but I guess I have little choice.”

Duo looked up at him, his eyes filled with fear.  “Heero . . . what are you talking about?  What could be so bad that you can’t tell

Heero tried to smile at Duo, but shook his head, failing in the kind gesture.  “The people who took Quatre are . . . his family.”  
He raised his hand as Duo frowned, needing to get through this now without interruption.  “Duo . . . we wanted to wait until
you and Quatre were stronger to tell you this, but I fear that Zechs has left me with no choice . . . and I’m so sorry to be the
one to have to tell you.  I never wanted to cause you any sort of pain.”

“Heero?”  Duo’s voice was small and frightened . . . as if he were a child.

Heero closed his eyes and pulled Duo close, relieved when Duo held him as well.  “Duo . . . the Taltheans had you and Quatre in
their possession for a very long time.”  He felt as Duo nodded shakily against him, his head against Heero’s chest.  “There’s no
easy way for me to tell you this.  You were with them . . . for three centuries.”

Duo stiffened in Heero’s arms.  Heero frowned, holding the youth even as Duo took in a sharp intake of breath, letting it out
shakily, his body trembling terribly.  It was barely a second later before the young man let out a harsh wail, his cries resounding
throughout Heero’s body as if they were his own.

“I’m sorry, Duo . . . I had wanted to tell you before.  But I was afraid it would only hurt you more, that you weren’t well
enough . . .”  Heero whispered, laying his cheek against Duo’s head, trying to hush him, to soothe his anguished cries.

It was several moments before Duo calmed enough to speak.  “It’s not your fault.  You got us out of there.  Who knows how
long those monsters would have kept us.  Quatre deserves to be treated much better than the way he was.”

Heero tightened his arms a little.  “Duo . . . you deserve better, too.  No one deserved the treatment that the two of you got.”

Duo didn’t reply for a few seconds.  “Quatre’s from a rich family . . . I’m just a piece of trash off the street.  Street trash doesn’
t deserve anything.”  Duo took another shaky breath.  “At least Quatre has a family.  Even though they took him, he’s among his
people.  He’s better off without me.”

“Don’t say that!”  Heero forced Duo to meet his gaze.  “Duo . . . the two of you went through hell together!  Not one of the
people that is related to him by blood can help him through this just as no one here can help you.  You’ve been a brother to him
when he needed one.  He needs you.”

Duo snorted.  “A filthy little sex toy?  At least they were gentler with Quatre . . . they knew that he was from a wealthy
background.  They just assumed that, living on the streets, I’d be used to the . . . rougher treatment.  Oh God!”  He broke into
sobs again, his body trembling severely.

‘Not good!’  Heero pulled Duo close, fearing that the young man would fall ill again if he let himself be plunged into those painful

Duo wailed, his fingers digging deeply into Heero’s shirt.  Across the room, the glass frame on the picture of Heero’s long-
deceased mother shattered.  Heero could feel the hairs on the back of his neck prickling, a sensation like that of static electricity
moving throughout his limbs.

“Duo?”  Heero whispered, looking over to the broken picture, watching as it toppled off of its place on the shelf, without being
touched by anything so far as Heero could see.

Slowly, Duo raised his red-rimmed eyes, sniffling as he glanced over to the fallen picture.  “I’m sorry, Heero . . . I didn’t mean
to . . .”  He cried, pressing his face against Heero’s chest.

Heero was amazed by that simple show of Duo’s power . . . but now was not the time to discuss any of this.  He had to soothe
Duo, to make him feel better.  That was all that Heero cared about doing right now.

“Sshh.  It’s over now, Duo.  You’re safe here with me.  I’ve got you.  Sshh.”  He started rubbing Duo’s back, feeling as the
youth fought his tears.  On impulse, Heero pressed a soft kiss to Duo’s forehead, frowning in worry when Duo froze.  “I’m
sorry.  You seemed to need something . . . I just reacted.”  Heero apologized, hoping that he hadn’t made a horrible mistake with
that single, simple action.

Duo blinked up at him, confusion and fear in his eyes.  As Heero watched, the fear faded from those glimmering violet eyes.  
“W-Will you do that again?”

Heero could feel a smile curling his lips and nodded without thinking.  Gently, he leaned forward, intending only to graze his lips
over Duo’s forehead again.  However, Duo seemed to have other ideas in mind.  He turned, shifting his body at just the right
moment so that Heero’s kiss fell upon his lips.

Duo’s lips parted without hesitation.  Heero groaned deeply, taking Duo’s offer and seeking to map out the other youth’s palate
with his tongue.  He tasted so sweet . . . delicious.  Heero was lost in the sensation, the feel of those pliant lips, the taste of the
heated cavern.  Duo’s hand slipped around, cradling Heero’s head, pulling him closer, his slender fingers digging into his scalp.

Still, Heero knew better than to pursue this.  Duo wasn’t in the right frame of mind to continue.  Heero wouldn’t allow himself
to be used just so that Duo could feel better for a few moments.  It wouldn’t do either of them any good.

“Duo . . . stop.”  Heero whispered, pulling his lips a mere fraction away from Duo’s.  He grasped Duo’s hand, dragging the
insistent fingers from his hair.

“You don’t want me?”  Duo asked, his eyes filled with hurt.

Heero smiled, shaking his head as he lay his hand against Duo’s cheek.  “I want you so much that it hurts my very soul not to
touch you.”  Heero replied.  “Yet . . . I know that to do this now, would be wrong.  You’re hurting.  True, it would be
pleasurable for a time . . . but you’d only regret it later if I took advantage of you.”

“But you wouldn’t be . . .”  Duo began, but Heero silenced him with a chaste kiss.

“Yes, I would.”  Heero sighed.  “Your body and mind are not ready for any sort of physical relationship with me . . . or anyone
else for that matter.  You’re too wound up in worry and grief . . . I won’t add to that hurt you’re feeling.”  He pulled Duo into a
gentle embrace, feeling as Duo’s tears once again seeped from his eyes to soak his shirt.  “Please, just allow me to hold you and
comfort you . . . I want you to get better, Duo . . . that’s all I’ve ever wanted.”

Duo nodded against Heero’s body, not saying a word for several long moments.  He clutched himself to Heero, bringing his one
leg up to wrap around Heero’s form.  It left him groaning in discomfort to move his limb, but the movement brought the two of
them closer to each other.

“T-Thank you, Heero.”  Duo whispered, laying his head down.  “I . . . I’m tired, Heero.”

Heero smiled a little, lightly rubbing Duo’s back.  “Then go to sleep.  I won’t leave you.  I’ll be right here when you awaken.”

Duo mumbled something incoherently, sleepily sliding even closer.  He snuggled his face against Heero’s chest, his arms lazily
hanging around Heero’s body.  Heero smiled again, allowing himself to hum a meaningless tune in the hope that it would ease
Duo into slumber.  He could only hope for Duo to recover from this shock . . . and that he would someday like to continue
where they had left off.

To Be Continued . . .