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

Notes:  Duo finally makes contact with Quatre.  Trowa tries to soothe the ill blonde during the ride back to base.



Hope From the Past



Part Fifteen


Duo sat stroking his braid and trying to communicate with Quatre like he had been doing since he had woken up.  He just couldn’
t sleep knowing that his friend and soul brother was in pain.  Duo wanted desperately to help.  Every time he failed, he tried to
throw his mental voice just a little farther.  He was at his limits and he was starting to get a headache from the strain.  But he
wouldn’t stop now . . . couldn’t stop now.  Not when Quatre was in pain, not when his spirit was breaking under the strain of
the truth that had been forced onto him.

Duo knew that Heero was nearby and concerned about him.  The last time he had opened his eyes, he had found Heero sitting
by his side, swiping a damp cloth over Duo’s features.  It was comforting to know that someone did care about his well-being.  
But even though Heero’s concern warmed Duo’s heart, he didn’t want to pause in his efforts to reach Quatre.  Once he made
contact with Quatre, he would reassure Heero and rest like Heero wanted him to.  Now though . . . he took a deep breath and
pushed his limits a little more, clenching his hands in the bedding below him as his body began to shake from the stresses he
was putting himself under.

~Duo?~  A tentative voice barely whispered on the edges of his frayed limits.

Luckily it was coming closer, because Duo doubted he could hold up for much longer.  
~Quatre . . . thank all the stars in the
sky!~
 Duo cried out with his mental voice, breathing a sigh of relief.  ~I was so worried!  You’re in pain and I couldn't hear you!
~

Quatre sent a wave of gratitude along their tenuous link, followed by tremors of pain and sorrow . . . heartache and such a deep
despair that made Duo’s own heart ache in echo.  
~Yes . . . my heart aches, my friend.  But you?  Are you okay?  You were not
hurt, were you?  I can tell you’re strained.~

Duo sighed again as Quatre’s thoughts and emotions became cleared and clearer.  However, the pain of his friend worried him
terribly.
 ~I am unharmed.  Quatre . . . what’s wrong?  Why does your spirit cry out with such . . . sorrow?~

~Duo . . . the people who attacked us are descendants of my family.  They were following the orders of the direct descendant of
my sister, Iria.~
 There was a harsh mental sob.  ~They’re all dead, Duo!  Dead and long since turned to dust!~

Duo felt Quatre’s anguish and sent as much comfort as he could along their bond.  ~I know . . . Heero told me the truth after
the attack.  I am so sorry, Quatre.  I know you had hoped to one day reconcile with them.  Where are you now?~

~On my way back to the base.  Apparently, not all of the descendants agreed that kidnaping me was a good idea.  Some are
bringing me back and will act as guards for both myself and you.  But we can talk when I get home.  I can tell you’re tired and
you’ve strained yourself to get in touch with me.~
 There was another wave of gratitude.  ~Sleep.  I should be there by the time
you awaken.~

Duo smiled and relaxed into the mattress.  ~You should rest, too.  You always feel drained after a crying bout.~

Quatre chuckled in his mind.  ~True.~  He responded.  Then, his presence slowly faded, leaving behind only the telltale trace of
his consciousness . . . the link remaining open.

Duo smiled, if only to himself.  Quatre was too afraid to cut himself off from Duo’s mind completely . . . the feeling of solitude
was too much for the little blonde to bear.  Duo remembered Quatre telling him once . . . of how it had been for him in the
hospital.  To know that Quatre could lose himself within the confines of his own mind . . . it was something Duo feared.  He
hoped it would never happen again.

Weakly, he pried his eyes open, smiling tiredly at Heero who still had not moved from his side.  As soon as Duo’s eyes had
drifted open, Heero had moved forward, sitting at Duo’s side and sliding a warm and comforting hand along his cheek.

“How are you?”  Heero asked, his eyes full of worry.

Duo felt his smile widen at those three little words.  “I’ll be well.”  He said, letting out a soft breath as Heero smiled in reply.  
“Quatre is on his way back.  They’re bringing him back.”

Heero let out a sigh.  “You were able to contact him?  That’s good.”  He said, then moved to rise to his feet.  “I’ll have to let
Treize know of this.”

Duo lashed his hand out, grasping Heero’s wrist.  “Please . . . don’t leave me.”  He whispered, averting his gaze.  “Please . . . s-
stay with me.  At least . . . at least until I fall asleep.”

Instead of speaking, Heero sat again.  He eased himself into bed, lying beside Duo, his arms gently winding around Duo’s form.  
“I’ll stay.  As long as you want me to.”  He whispered, resting his head against Duo’s shoulder.

Duo took in a shuddered breath, his throat closing on him.  To hear Heero speaking like that . . . it was heartwarming.


*****


Heero gazed at Duo’s emotion-filled face and bent to gently kiss him.  “Go to sleep now.  I’ll stay until you do, and come back
as soon as I’ve reported to Treize.”  He said, tenderly stroking his fingers against Duo’s forehead as the long-haired boy’s eyes
slowly closed.  He kept it up until he knew that Duo was asleep, then eased himself out of the bed and carefully covered Duo
with a blanket.  With one final caress of Duo’s cheek, Heero turned and left the room.

He arrived at Treize’s office in no time and entered when bid.  “Sir . . . Duo has just been able to contact Quatre, and he says
that some of those that abducted him are bringing him back.  I just thought you should be informed so that our men don’t
attack.”

The look on Treize’s face was a relieved one.  “What about Barton?”

Heero frowned in thought.  He hadn’t asked Duo about him . . . quite honestly, he hadn’t thought of anything besides Duo’s
health and welfare.  “Duo didn’t say, but I’ll assume that Trowa is alive.  Quatre and Trowa are very close and there is no way
that Quatre would have stayed silent if something had happened.  He would have told Duo and Duo would have told me.”

Treize nodded and steepled his fingers.  “And how is Mr. Maxwell?”

Heero sighed.  “He’s exhausted himself in the effort to reach Quatre.  He’s sleeping now, and when I leave here, I’ll be returning
to him.  As soon as Quatre is back at the base, Sally can do another check over of both of them.”

“Heero . . . after Sally does check them over, I still want to have a word with the both of them.  Of course, I won’t press the
issue.  Naturally, they will need a day or two to recover from these recent events.  However, I need to find out how dangerous
these boys’ powers could be.”  Treize said, leaning back in his seat.

“Understood, sir.”  Heero responded, giving the man a sharp salute before he was dismissed.  Without wasting a moment, he
returned to his quarters . . . and to Duo.


*****


Trowa smiled a little as Quatre relaxed in his arms.  “Not that I’m complaining, but what brought on this ease?”

Quatre opened his eyes a little, raising his head to look at Trowa.  “I managed to contact Duo through our bond.”  The little
blonde murmured, bowing his head once more.  “So I know he’s all right now . . . and Heero’s all right, too.  Duo said Heero
told him what I learned . . .”

Trowa felt as if a dagger had pierced his heart as tears welled up in Quatre’s reddened eyes.  “Sshh . . . I’m so sorry, Quatre.  
If I could, I’d send you back in time, even if it meant that I would never see you again.”  Trowa felt himself flush, his mouth
going dry.  It was as close as he had ever come to telling Quatre that he was in love with the precious little blonde.

Quatre shook his head a little, but then suddenly stilled and went quite pale.

“Quatre?”  Trowa asked, immediately concerned.  “Quatre . . . what’s wrong?”

The blonde’s voice was faint when he replied, his trembling hand raising to lightly cover his mouth.  “I . . . I think I’m going to
be sick again.”  He shuddered, clutching his other hand in Trowa’s shirt.  “Please . . . please, stop.”

“Rasid!  Stop!”  Trowa called, holding the blonde close as the truck jarred to a halt again.  He gathered the slight form in his
arms, helping Quatre out of the truck and to kneel upon the ground.  Within moments, Quatre had begun to retch . . . then
faltered into dry heaves which left him shaking and sobbing.

Trowa frowned in sympathy and concern, rubbing his hand across Quatre’s back until the heaves had stopped.  This wasn’t the
first time he had gotten sick on this trip . . . and Trowa doubted it would be the last.  This had been going on for hours now . . .
almost every ten minutes the beautiful youth would need to stop to empty a stomach that was already empty.

As Quatre’s arms began to buckle under his body, Trowa pulled him close, satisfied that Quatre’s stomach had finished its
rebellion.  He gasped as Quatre’s cheek brushed his arm, the heat radiating from the fragile form nearly causing a well of panic
in Trowa.

“Quatre . . . you’re burning up.”  Trowa whispered, brushing his fingers across the blonde’s sweaty forehead, frowning at the
unnatural warmth.

“I don’t feel so well.”  Quatre whispered, leaning closer to Trowa, his small hands weakly raising to grasp at his clothing.  
“Take me home . . . please . . . I just want to go home.”  He twisted his fingers in the cloth, turning to bury his face against
Trowa’s chest.

Trowa rubbed his hand along Quatre’s back in the hope of soothing him.  “Sshh . . . that’s where we’re going, Quatre.  We can’
t be too far now since you were able to contact Duo.  We should be there soon.”

“He’s quite right, Master Quatre.”  This was from Rasid as the large man approached.  “We should reach your home before
dark.”

Trowa frowned when Quatre whimpered in what had to be fright, his body tensing in Trowa’s gentle embrace.  He turned to
give Rasid his attention, even as he wrapped his arms more firmly around Quatre’s frail body.  “I’m sorry, but would you mind
standing a distance away?  No offense, but we didn’t meet you under the best of circumstances, and even in the best of
circumstances, you are quite an intimidating person.”

Rasid chuckled.  “No offense taken, sir.  I only meant to ease Master Quatre’s distress.  I understand completely.”  With a bow,
he backed away, returning to the truck where the three other Nomads stood anxiously.

“Come on, Quatre . . . we’d best get going.”  Trowa said, smoothing his hand through Quatre’s soft hair.  Gently, he eased his
arm beneath Quatre’s knees, lifting his light body from the ground.  “Let’s get you home.”

“Thank you.”  Quatre whispered, holding himself close to Trowa.  “Thank you . . . thank you.”  He kept repeating, until finally,
as the two of them sat in the confines of the truck, he slipped off into an unrestful slumber.

When the truck stopped for the last time, Trowa got out with Quatre cradled against him.  He declined the help of the Nomads .
. . politely of course.  But he just couldn’t bear to part with Quatre, not when he was sick . . . not when he was hurting.  Even
in unconsciousness, he whimpered, his breath coming in sharp little pants as he fought his way through some nightmare.  

Trowa bent so that his lips brushed one of Quatre’s ears, whispering soothing phrases, hoping that he was being of some help.  
He hated to see Quatre suffer, hated it as much as he hated the Taltheans and their cruelty.

He smiled wanly as Sally approached.  For the first time, he noticed there were several people waiting outside the main entrance
to the base, Treize and Sally among them.  “He has a fever, Sally.  And we’ve had to stop on several occasions due to nausea.”  
Trowa said, taking a worried glance down at Quatre’s unconscious form.

Sally only glanced for a mere moment at Rasid and his men before turning her attention to Quatre, setting her hand on his
forehead.  “Come on.  I need to get him to the infirmary, and I know better than to take him from you.  Right now, I doubt he’ll
let anyone else near.”  

She raised her gaze, her eyes narrowing as she focused her attention on Trowa.  Her hand shot up, brushing aside his bangs.  
Trowa hissed as her fingers grazed a sore spot.

“I’ll need to give you a look over as well, it seems.”  Sally nodded sharply, then turned and walked away.  “That bump on your
head doesn’t look too good.”

Trowa sighed, following after the doctor.  He paused as he was passing Treize, giving the man a curt nod.  “Sir . . .”

Treize waved him away.  “Go on and see to Quatre’s well-being.  I expect a full report from you on what transpired as soon as
you know how Quatre is and get yourself looked at.”  His eyes softened only a little when he regarded the pale blonde.  “Too
much stress . . . Zechs could not have had worse timing to do this.”

Trowa nodded.  “Can you ask Heero to bring Duo to see Quatre, sir?  It will do Quatre good to know that his friend is nearby.”

Sally spoke up from the entranceway.  “I called Heero when the truck was in sight.  Now come along, Trowa.  The sooner we
get to the infirmary, the sooner I can diagnose Quatre’s condition.”

With a parting nod to his commanding officer, Trowa turned and followed Sally again, descending into the depths of the base in
utter silence.  As soon as the elevator stopped, they made their way quickly to the infirmary where Trowa reluctantly set Quatre
down on one of the empty beds in the room.  He slid his arms from around the blonde, watching as Quatre’s eyes began to
flutter.

“Trowa?”  The blonde asked, reaching his hands out blindly in search of the tall soldier.

Trowa grasped one weakly flailing hand, holding it securely.  “I’m here, Quatre.”  He assured the ill youth, not wanting him to
become further distressed.  “We’re home.”

“Home?  We’re really home?”  Quatre smiled, his eyes slowly focusing on Trowa.

“Yes.”  Trowa nodded.  “And Duo’s on his way to see you.  In the meantime . . . Sally wants to have a look at you . . . to make
sure you’re okay.”

Sally smiled warmly as she approached the bed, reaching out to caress Quatre’s cheek.  “We’ve all been worried about you,
Quatre.  And we’re all glad you’re back safely.  Now . . . just relax and I’ll look after you, okay?”

Quatre nodded wearily, though his eyes held a look of fear in them.  His hand tightened around Trowa’s, a slight tremble moving
throughout his slender form.

Sally gently went about checking his vitals, pushing up his sleeve to check his blood pressure and take a blood sample . . .
unbuttoning and spreading open his shirt to check his heart rate and lungs with her stethoscope.  She slid her hands over his
stomach, lightly prodding him with her fingers.

Sally paused, her lips set in a tight frown.

“Is something wrong?”  Trowa asked, feeling concerned.  There had to be something wrong for Sally to look so displeased.

“This . . . this isn’t right.”  She whispered, backing away from the bed, away from Quatre.  She shook her head, raising her
eyes to look at Trowa.  “Stay with him . . . I have to get something.”  She turned to give Quatre an apologetic smile.  “Don’t
fret . . . I’m sure it’s nothing.  I just want to be sure of something.”

Trowa could only watch as Sally turned and fled the area, running into another room.  Quatre’s grip on his hand tightened again,
a frail whimper leaving his chapped lips.  “How sick am I?”  Quatre whispered, then began chewing on his bottom lip, shivers
coursing through his frame.

“I’m sure it’ll be okay.”  Trowa said, giving Quatre a small smile . . . though he didn’t believe his own words for even an
instant.  And he didn’t think that Quatre believed him either.

There had to be something wrong.  Why else would Sally run from the room like that?  But what could it possibly be?



To Be Continued . . .