Disclaimers: I do not own Gundam Wing or any of its characters.
Notes: Slowly, the other ex-pilots begin to arrive.
Heero frowned as he approached Duo’s house. He’d gotten a glimpse of the long-haired young man in one of the windows as
he’d pulled up. ‘So where is he? He’s usually bounding out of the front door by now.’ He rang the doorbell with a frown,
feeling concerned. “It must really be serious,” he mused, then watched as the door opened. “Duo?”
Duo managed a small smile. “Hey, Heero. Come on in. The rest of the guys will be here in a while, a few hours for some of
them. Do you want something to drink?” He stood aside as Heero entered the house and closed the door as soon as Heero was
inside. “I started a pot of coffee a few minutes ago, or I can pop a cup of water into the microwave for tea if you prefer.”
Heero frowned at Duo. The usually exuberant young man seemed subdued, as if a great weight was resting on his shoulders.
“Duo? What’s wrong?”
Duo’s eyes met his, and Heero could see anguish and rage mixed with determination. Before he could ask again, Duo shook his
head. “I can’t, not until the others are here. It’s gonna be hard enough for me to explain it once without bein’ sick.” He
sighed, running his fingers through his hair. “Can you wait for the other guys to get here?”
Heero blinked. This was definitely not something trivial. “All right. Coffee is fine,” he said.
“Great.” Duo said, letting out his breath with a sigh. “Take a seat, I’ll get your coffee. Two sugars, no cream, right?”
Heero nodded. “Yes,” he said, trying to imagine what could possibly be troubling Duo so deeply. It wasn’t like the young man
to be so quiet, so distracted by something. Heero was concerned. Yet, he would not disrespect Duo by demanding he confess.
He had already said he’d wait for the others to arrive, and as much as he wanted to know, he would abide by his word.
Duo was gone for only a few moments. When he returned, he carried two mugs of coffee. He handed one to Heero, smiling
weakly as he took a seat in an armchair near where Heero was sitting. He just stared into the coffee cup, holding it with both
hands as he gazed into the heated depths. To see Duo like this was disturbing. Heero opened his mouth, then closed it again,
not knowing what he could possibly say in this instance.
Duo looked up, his eyes meeting Heero’s. They were dark with a deep sadness. It made Heero’s heart ache to see it. For a
moment, Duo looked to be ready to speak, that he was going to admit something. And then a soft whimper drew their attention.
Heero blinked, not sure he could believe what he was seeing. There, standing on the carpeted stairs not too far away, was what
actually looked to be a miniature version of Duo. A boy - a child - stood there, pouting and sniffling as he rubbed at his teary
eyes. He was dressed in loose clothing, his chestnut hair falling free of the braid it had once been in.
Heero turned to face Duo, opening his mouth.
Duo stopped him before he could utter a sound. He held up his hand, a glare in his eyes as he hissed out a statement. “No
questions! I can’t answer. Not yet,” he said, shaking his head.
Heero nodded. “As you wish,” he replied, deciding to keep his questions to himself for now.
Duo jumped from his seat and ran over to the stairs. He fell to his knees in front of the boy, reaching out and stroking his
fingers along the boy’s cheeks, brushing aside his tears. “What’s wrong, little man? Did you have a bad dream?” Duo asked,
his tone and body language exuding comfort.
Heero watched, listening in as the boy shook his head and spoke. “Nuh-uh . . .” He blinked his red-rimmed eyes, sniffling. “I
can’t find Grandpa. Where'd he go?” He sniffled again, hiccuping lightly. “He leave me?”
Duo clucked his tongue, stroking his hand along the child’s arm. “Your Grandpa had to go home. He thinks I’ll be able to take
better care of you than he would. He only wants you safe and happy. He did not abandon you.”
“Really?” the child weakly croaked.
Duo smiled, nodding. “Yeah. He’ll visit you once you’re all settled in. And if he doesn’t, I’ll track him down and we’ll visit
The child nodded, a faint smile curling his lips. “Okay.” He wiped his hand across his nose, looking up at Duo curiously. “Are
you my daddy?”
Duo gulped, as if taken aback by the question. He fell over his words for a moment, then took a breath and smiled, shrugging
his shoulders. “In a way, yes I am.” The boy’s face lit up with a smile and Duo smiled in return. “Hey, you want some hot
cocoa? I think I may even have some mini-marshmallows to put in it.”
“Yah!” the boy cried out happily, raising his arms.
Duo didn’t miss a beat. He scooped the boy into his arms, spinning him around. Then his eyes settled on Heero and he
smirked. He bounced the child in his arms lightly. “Hey, Danny, I want to introduce you to someone.” He walked over to
stand in front of Heero. “Danny, this is Heero. Heero, this is Daniel.”
Heero grunted and nodded. He didn’t know what to say to a child.
Duo smirked again. “Danny, I want you to sit here with Heero while I go get your cocoa, okay? You two can watch TV.”
“Okay!” Daniel grinned, as Duo set the boy down on the sofa beside Heero. The child looked up at Heero, then back to the TV
once Duo turned it on.
Heero frowned. Babysitting wasn’t something he was used to. Feeling a sense of hopelessness and not knowing what to do, he
let his eyes trail after Duo as the young man left the front room. Just before exiting the room, he turned back and smiled at
Heero. “Don’t worry, I won’t be gone TOO long,” he said, then chuckled and disappeared into the kitchen.
Heero frowned again. He looked at the television, feeling annoyed by the puppets teaching the alphabet. He didn’t understand
the attraction to viewing such things. Then again, the vibrant colors and enthusiastic characters were probably amusing to one
as young as Daniel.
A little hand tugged on his sleeve and Heero turned to regard the child. The boy was looking at him curiously, one eyebrow
arched as he tilted his head.
“Yes?” Heero asked, feeling nervous under the boy’s scrutiny. He didn’t know what to expect from a child. Somehow this
situation left him feeling more insecure than he had felt when he had been imprisoned by OZ. At least with an enemy he knew
what to expect.
The boy blinked at him, reaching behind his back to pull his half-unraveled braid over his shoulder. He clutched it tightly in his
hands. He looked afraid. Was he really Duo’s son? Or a younger brother perhaps. Who was this child?
“Who are you?” the boy asked, his voice slight. “You a friend of my daddy?”
Heero nodded. “Yes, I am,” he answered honestly.
“Oh, okay,” Daniel replied, accepting the answer without question. He turned to watch the television again and Heero sighed in
relief, glad that the boy didn’t have other inquiries. Heero really hoped Duo wouldn’t be too much longer. He just didn’t know
what to do here.
Quatre rang the doorbell with the hand that was not occupied with holding up four pizzas. He was expecting Duo to open the
door and practically assault him for the food. Instead, what he heard was a child’s voice.
“Daddy? C’n I get the door?”
Quatre frowned at the sounds of discussion that seemed to come from the other side of the door. The next time he heard the
child’s voice, he almost dropped the pizzas he was carrying.
“It’s a pizza man! Daddy, you ordered pizza?”
Quatre snickered at the sound of people on the other side of the door, and prepared himself to apologize to the family he had
disturbed. It was possible that he had made a wrong turn, although he had thought this was the right house. He was pleasantly
surprised when Duo opened the door with a tiny duplicate of himself settled on his shoulders.
“Hey, Quatre!” Duo smiled, bouncing the child on his shoulders. “Daniel, this is Quatre, another good friend of mine. He’s
almost like a brother to me.”
The little boy squealed in delight. “So he’s my uncle?”
Duo grinned. “Yup! He’s as close to an uncle as you can get.”
Quatre found himself smiling as the little boy clapped his hands in happiness, his young face lit up with pure joy. Yet, questions
flooded his mind. Just when did Duo have a child? With whom? Was the boy his son or some other relation? Quatre didn’t
know Duo had any family.
“Duo . . . who . . . what?” He shook his head. “How, why, and WHEN?” he asked, feeling deeply confused.
“All questions will be answered when Wufei and Trowa get here. No point in me telling you now, when I’ll just have to repeat
myself for those two. Besides, like I told Heero. I don’t think I can say it twice.” He frowned, then shook his head. “Come on
in. I’m sure Danny’s hungry.”
Quatre nodded, accepting Duo’s words. “All right. We can’t have that adorable boy going hungry, now can we?” he said,
stepping into the house as Duo moved aside to allow him entrance. He nodded to Heero who was sitting in the front room.
“Nope! Just set the pizzas on the kitchen table. I already set out plates and paper towels when I heard Daniel exclaim that there
was someone at the door.” Duo grinned and bounced the child, who giggled happily. “I also pulled out a case of soda. Wufei
and Trowa aren’t here yet, but we’ll save some pizza for them.”
Quatre smiled at Duo, following his friend into the kitchen, knowing full well that had Daniel not been here tonight, Duo would
have brought out a few cans of soda for Quatre and beer for the rest of his company. It was obvious to Quatre that Duo was
wasting no time in setting a good example for the child. “I take it that calling us was a rather spur of the moment decision. I
know you can cook, Duo. I have it on the highest authority that you learned how to as soon as the war was over,” Quatre said,
placing the pizzas down.
Duo walked over with a smile, lifting the boy from his shoulders and setting him down on one of the chairs. “Trowa blabbed,
huh? What can I say? Although most of my coffee knowledge comes from Rasid. He got me hooked on that Turkish blend.”
Quatre was well familiar with the strong coffee Rasid favored. He had no liking for it himself, but he respected that Duo DID
enjoy it. “I can’t say I blame you for your preferences. I’ve tasted Catherine’s coffee.”
Heero entered the room. “I believe we all have, Quatre, and can still feel it lumped in our stomachs.” He nodded, casting his
gaze around the kitchen. He smiled then, gesturing to one of the walls. “It’s good that the blue paint came out well,” he
Duo let out a squawk of indignation. “The ONE time I call you guys and it isn’t an emergency and you won’t let me live it
down. AND I never really said it was an emergency that time. I said that I was in dire need of help. BIG difference.”
“Not that big a difference,” Heero muttered. “Come on, let’s eat.”
Duo scrunched his nose at Heero and then pulled a tumbler out of the cabinet. After placing it on the table, he got some milk out
of the fridge.
Quatre was curious. “Duo, why are you pouring milk?” He blinked when Duo gave him a sharp look.
“The milk is for Daniel.” That simple statement carried everything that he obviously wanted to say about this.
Daniel frowned cutely as Duo put the milk away. “Daddy, can’t I have soda, too?”
Quatre let the smile tugging at his lips have free reign over his face. Daniel was too cute for words. He watched as Duo picked
Daniel up and sat, setting Daniel on his lap.
Duo placed the tumbler within easy reach of Daniel and shook his head. “Nope. Sorry, kiddo, but soda’s not good for you. It
has too much sugar and caffiene.”
Daniel pouted at the explanation. “What’s caffeine?”
Duo chuckled and looked into the pizza boxes. “Caffeine is something that’ll make it hard for you to sleep. We have a job that
needs to be done, so we need to stay up. You, however, have to get to bed in a little while.” He let out a pleased sigh and pulled
a slice of pizza loaded with vegetables out of the top box.
Seeing the piece of pizza Duo was getting ready to eat, Quatre was suddenly glad that he had bought one that was plain cheese.
It had been more for Wufei’s sake than anything else. Unlike the rest of them, Wufei really didn’t like anything at all on his pizza.
“EWWWWWWWWWWWWW!” Daniel squealed and made a face as Duo took a bite.
Duo almost choked on his pizza as he began chuckling. He shook his head, swallowing the bite. “It’s not that bad, really. I just
like a lot of toppings.” Duo said, smiling. “Don’t worry, you don’t have to eat it. If I know Quatre, then I know he went and
bought a plain cheese pizza.”
Daniel looked up at Quatre, his eyes wide. “Didja, Unca Quatre?” he asked, his expression hopeful and innocent.
Quatre smiled, nodding. “I certainly did,” he answered, opening another pizza box.
Inside, he found the plain pizza. There was one pizza with a load of vegetables, that was Duo’s. There was a pepperoni and
sausage topped pizza, for Heero. And Wufei preferred the plain cheese. Quatre had gotten one with chicken and extra cheese
for himself. He already knew that Trowa would eat just about any of the pizzas, so he had no worries that Trowa would be left
He took a slice of the plain pizza out, set it on a paper plate and slid it over in front of Daniel. “There you go.”
“Thank you, Unca Quatre!” the boy chimed, reaching out and picking up the slice.
“You’re very welcome.” Quatre nodded. He got himself a slice of pizza and a soda and sat, watching as Heero did the same.
Together, the four of them ate their pizzas in relative silence. After a moment, Quatre paused in his eating to regard the child.
He certainly was the spitting image of Duo. Yet, there was something about him that was different. His temperament was
calmer. He was a quiet boy. It was strange. Quatre shook his head, deciding not to dwell on the thoughts. He smiled,
watching as Daniel picked at the cheese with his little fingers, stretching it away from the slice of pizza, his brow furrowed
“Daniel . . .” Duo spoke. “Food is for eating, not for playing with.”
Daniel pouted cutely. “I KNOW, but I dun wanna get all messy an’ this stuff won’t leggo of the pizza!” he exclaimed.
“Don’t worry about getting messy.” Duo chuckled. “That’s half the fun of eating pizza. Clothes can be washed or replaced.”
“Okay, Daddy.” Daniel smiled. He took a big bite, only to have half the cheese slide right off the slice and onto his chin and
shirt. Blushing shyly, he pulled the cheese off himself and set about eating again, being more careful this time.
When the four of them were finished eating, Duo placed the leftover pizza in the oven. Heero went about cleaning off the table.
And Quatre put the rest of the sodas back in the fridge, wanting them to stay cool for when Wufei and Trowa arrived. Daniel
sat on the seat where Duo had left him, looking down at the sauce that stained his shirt.
“Daddy, I made a mess,” he announced, holding his hands in front of himself to show Duo his sticky, greasy fingers.
“Well then, we’ll just have to get you cleaned up, won’t we?” Duo smiled. “Quatre, would you mind cleaning the little man up
while I go find something for him to wear?” Duo said, easing the oversized shirt off of the boy’s little body.
“Sure, Duo.” Quatre nodded, sweeping the child into his arms. Leaving Heero alone in the kitchen, Quatre followed Duo up the
stairs. Though there were bathrooms downstairs, Duo didn’t always keep them well stocked with supplies, such as soap or
towels. The one adjoining both the hallway and his bedroom though, was the one he almost always used.
While Duo headed to his bedroom, Quatre stepped into the bathroom and set Daniel up on the counter by the sink. He got a
washcloth and soaked it in warm water, soaping it lightly. Gently, he washed the child’s face, cleaning away the traces of lunch
from around his mouth. Then he did the same with each of his little fingers, making sure that he was thoroughly cleaned. As he
finished cleaning the boy off, Quatre vaguely heard the doorbell chime. He guessed that either Trowa or Wufei had arrived. He
wondered which of them it was.
“Okay, here we go,” announced Duo’s voice behind them. Quatre turned slightly, watching as his friend entered the bathroom,
carrying a T-shirt in hand. “I know it’s gonna be a bit big on you, but it’s all I got right now.” He grinned, helping the boy put
the shirt on.
“Thanks, Daddy!” Daniel happily smiled, kicking his feet lightly. He smoothed this hands along the front of his new shirt, as if
admiring it even though it was a plain undershirt.
Duo chuckled and leaned forward to rub noses with Daniel before picking the boy up and setting him on the floor. “Come on,
let’s go see who’s here.”
“‘Kay!” Daniel took hold of Duo’s hand and happily walked with Duo out of the bathroom.
Quatre smiled after them and put the towels he had used into the hamper. ‘Duo’s going to be such a good father,’ he thought,
then followed the pair.
Heero opened the front door and nodded when Trowa entered. However, he blinked when he saw that Catherine followed.
“Duo asked you to come, too?” he asked the auburn-haired young woman, closing the door behind the two of them when they
were both inside.
Catherine shrugged. “I don’t know why. He said that you guys would be doing something and that he needed me to look after
something very special.” She looked over Heero’s shoulder, her eyes widening as a smile blossomed on her face. “Oh, how
Heero turned, already knowing what he’d see. Sure enough, Duo was standing there by the stairs with Daniel beside him.
Quatre was just behind them, standing on the bottom stair. When Catherine took a step toward Duo, Daniel let out a soft ‘eep!’
and ran to hide behind Heero’s legs.
Heero looked down at the child. At first he wondered why Daniel was hiding behind HIM since he was closer to the door.
Then he watched as the boy peeked out at Catherine. Heero understood now, and he couldn’t fight the smile that crept across
his features. The child’s curiosity was warring with his shyness. He obviously wanted to get a closer look at these new people,
but he also wanted security as well. Heero was touched that Daniel trusted him enough to protect him should the need arise.
Duo snorted as he approached. “Daniel, this is Trowa and Catherine. They’re friends.”
Heero watched as Trowa knelt to look Daniel in the eyes, while Catherine was watching the boy with an adoring smile on her
“It’s nice to meet you, Daniel. Where did you come from?” Trowa asked.
Daniel tilted his head. “Grandpa brought me to stay with Daddy. I already met Unca Heero and Unca Quatre. You my Unca,
Trowa was silent for a moment before he nodded. “I suppose I am.”
That was enough for Daniel. He came out from behind Heero and turned to look at Duo. “I got LOTSA uncas!”
Duo laughed and approached. “Yup. And this is your Aunt Catherine.”
Daniel turned to look at Catherine with an awed expression on his young face. “Ohhhhhh.” He shyly approached her and
studied her for a moment before raising his arms to her in a silent ‘pick me up’ motion.
Catherine cooed as she lifted the little boy into her arms. “You are so adorable.” Daniel ducked his head, blushing. Catherine
smiled and gazed over at Duo. “Where did he come from?”
Duo shook his head, a sigh falling from his lips. “Can you all be patient for a little while longer? Wufei should be here soon and
I really don’t want to explain everything to you guys again.” He gestured toward the kitchen. “There’s pizza in the oven. Help
yourselves. Daniel has already eaten, so I guess he can watch television in the living room for a while longer.”
Duo took a deep breath and looked at Catherine, his eyes taking on a look of sadness. “Catherine, put Daniel down. I think I
will tell you, because when Wufei gets here I want you to take Danny to the store and get some things. Daniel needs clothes.
The ones he was brought in are a little too big on him. He’s also going to need some toys to play with.”
He motioned with his hand, gesturing vaguely. “He’s going to need furniture, too. But that can wait a little while. I need to talk
with you alone. I guess my room will be far enough away.” When Catherine opened her mouth, Duo held up his hand.
“Please, there are things I don’t want Danny to overhear.”
Catherine didn’t look happy, but she did nod and set Daniel down before following Duo up the stairs.
Heero was not only curious now. He felt an odd sensation in the pit of his stomach. There was something very wrong about
this situation. And the longer Duo put off telling them anything, the more worried Heero became. He had a sense that he would
not like what Duo was going to reveal. And he also sensed that little Daniel was a part of this secret, although it was obvious
that Duo already loved the boy.
With a sigh, he went back into the living room and took a seat, vaguely noticing as Trowa headed into the kitchen. Quatre
picked Daniel up and sat on the floor with him, trying to occupy the boy with viewing television.
Duo took a deep breath and closed the door after Catherine entered the room. The look on his face tore at Catherine’s heart, so
she did the only thing she could think to do. She walked over to Duo and pulled him into a hug.
“Oh, God!” Duo cried, all but collapsing against Catherine. His voice was so full of agony, his entire frame shaking. To see him
like this broke Catherine’s heart.
“Tell me, Duo. I swear, I won’t tell the others.” Catherine was worried. This was not what she had thought would happen.
At first she had thought that Duo was planning on telling the guys that he was engaged to be married to the mother of that
darling little boy in the living room. Now she knew that this was something darker. It had to be horrible to affect Duo like this.
“It might make it easier if you talk about it,” she soothed, running her hands along his strong back.
Duo shuddered in her arms. “It won’t, Catherine. It won’t make it any easier. It’s too terrible to even THINK of it being
easier.” Duo was silent for a moment before taking in a shaky breath and pushing her away a little. “Daniel is my son only
because his genetics came from me.” He walked away and started pacing. “He’s a clone of me . . . not the first one, but the
only one still alive.”
Catherine felt a pit of fear growing in her stomach and sat down on the bed. “Duo, start from the beginning.”
Duo took a couple of breaths and nodded. “This afternoon, just a few hours ago, I got a visit from Professor G. Daniel was
with him and calling him Grandpa.” He ran a hand through his bangs and let out a breath. “J is still alive, and he’s been cloning
me and the others.” With that, he paled and clapped a hand to his mouth as if to keep himself from being sick.
Catherine was on her feet in an instant. She knew of J. She had never actually met the man, but she knew of him. The
scientist who, with a simple statement, had caused Heero to press the self-destruct button and nearly kill himself. ‘That man has
no business trying to raise children,’ she thought as she went to Duo’s side. She wrapped an arm around his shoulders, hoping
to offer him comfort. “Duo, take a deep breath.”
“Oh, GOD, Cathy! He’s selling them to pedophiles after raping them himself! He . . . he lets them die from the mistreatment
and then just makes a new batch as if they don’t matter!” He let out a harsh sob and collapsed to the floor, Catherine staying at
his side, keeping her arms around him. “The only thing that saved Daniel was that one of the first clones contacted G and ratted
J out.” He took a couple of breaths and started sobbing.
Catherine felt tears welling up in her own eyes as she imagined the horrors that previous versions of sweet little Daniel had
endured. It very nearly shattered her heart just thinking about it. She let her tears fall and simply held onto Duo. The both of
them cried, weeping out their pain, Catherine feeling so sorry for that innocent child. She was glad he had been saved and she
wanted so badly to find J and rip off his balls.
To Be Continued . . .