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

Notes:  Duo finally tells the others.



Lost Innocence



Part Three


Quatre was concerned.  Duo and Catherine had left the room some time ago to talk in private.  Only Catherine had returned
though.  Her eyes had been reddened from crying, her face flushed, and she had immediately gone to Daniel and hugged him.  
The child had looked confused at first, but didn’t complain as he leaned into the embrace . . . accepting the physical affection
easily.  When asked about Duo’s whereabouts, Catherine had simply stated that Duo was napping.  It was something Daniel
found extremely interesting, since the child had not expected that a grownup would nap as well.

It also worried Quatre that Catherine had looked at each of them one at a time, and then appeared to be on the verge of tears
again.  Whatever Duo had said must have been terrible.  Still, Quatre would respect Duo’s wishes and not pry.

He was unsure whether to feel relieved or anxious when the doorbell finally rang, signaling the last of the group’s arrival.  Quatre
went to the door and opened it to let Wufei in, keeping a pleasant smile on his face as he greeted his friend.  “Wufei . . . come in,
please.  Duo’s resting now, but I’ll go get him.  I’m not actually sure I want to hear what Duo has to tell us.  He told Catherine
not too long ago and she’s still in tears.”

Wufei nodded.  “I could see that something was bothering him when he called.”  He said, lifting one eyebrow as Daniel walked
over.  “I believe I know part of the reason now.”  He approached the child and looked down.  “Greetings.”

Daniel looked at Quatre.  “He another Unca?”  The boy asked.

Quatre grinned.  “Yes.  His name is Wufei.”

Daniel turned back to look at Wufei with a smile.  “Hiya, Unca Wuffie!”

Wufei’s other eyebrow shot up.  “When did Duo have a son?”  He asked, looking around the room.

Quatre frowned, turning when he heard Catherine start to cry again.  Trowa went over to try and calm the young woman.  She
immediately latched onto the tall ex-pilot, holding him as if he was all that was keeping her from breaking down completely.

Daniel pouted, looking up at Quatre.  “Unca Quatre?  Why is Aunty Cathy sad?”

Catherine sniffled and somehow managed to get her tears under control.  She gently pushed herself away from Trowa, wiping
aside her tears.  “It’s just . . . something bad happened and it made me unhappy to hear about it.  Your daddy and the others are
going to keep it from happening again, though.”

Daniel didn’t look to be comforted.  “But . . . Daddy could get hurt!”

Quatre went over to the little boy, knowing what was going through his mind.  He could sense the fear, the worry that the child
was experiencing.  “No . . . that’s why your daddy called us.  Together, the five of us can do just about anything.  We’ve even
saved the world once or twice.”  He picked the little boy up and hugged him, smiling as feelings of calm began to flow through
the child’s mind.  “Your daddy knows what he can and can’t do.”

With that, he set Daniel down and smiled, reaching out to ruffle his hair.  “Now . . . I’ll go and get Duo so he can explain to us
what’s going on . . . and your Aunt Catherine will take you out to get some clothes that fit you.”  Quatre said, gently tapping
Daniel on the nose.  “Then, when you come home, your daddy will tuck you into bed and read you a story.  Does that sound
like a good plan?”

When Daniel nodded, Quatre straightened himself and left the room.  He may not want to know what’s going on, but he was
sure that he NEEDED to know.


*****


Wufei frowned as he watched Quatre walk up the stairs.  Duo HAD seemed subdued earlier.  Perhaps it had been a mistake to
unjustly accuse him of subversive behavior.  He sighed, then looked down when he felt a slight tugging on one of his sleeves.  
Daniel was looking up at him with an expression of slight anxiety.

“Can I help you?”  Wufei asked, wondering why the child was looking at him like that.

Daniel flushed a little and then took a breath.  “Unca Wuffie . . . I gotta go bafroom.”

Wufei felt his eyes widen.  Of all the people in the room, why had Daniel come to HIM?  He sighed and looked over to where
Heero was smirking at him.  Damn him . . . did he have to look so smug about this?  “Yuy . . . I assume that you were the first
to arrive?”  At Heero’s nod, Wufei motioned to the little boy.  “Then you should be the one to take him.”

Daniel’s eyes turned glassy, filling with tears.  “But . . .”  The child sniffled.  “Dun you like me?”

Wufei felt like he was caught between a rock and a hard place.  He let out a breath and picked the child up.  “Come on . . .”

Daniel smiled and wrapped his tiny arms around Wufei’s neck.  He set his head on Wufei’s shoulder, sighing happily.  “It’s only
fair.  Unca Heero watched TV wif me, Unca Quatre cleaned me up after we ate, and Unca Trowa was telling me ‘bout lions
when you got here.”

Wufei let himself smile.  Of course, the child wanted to be fair.  “And you’ll be going out shopping with your Aunt Catherine
soon.  I understand you want to get some time to know me one-on-one.”


*****


Quatre quietly pushed the bedroom door open.  He bit his lip as he entered the room, not really wanting to disturb Duo right
now.  What he had told Catherine had obviously taken a good deal out of him.  Quatre could sense pain in his friend and
honestly, he didn’t like the feelings Duo was exuding.

Duo was lying on his stomach, his face buried in a pillow.  Every now and then a choked whimper would emanate from his
throat, his hands tightening on the pillow below his face.  Quatre frowned, carefully approaching the bed.  He sat down,
reaching out a hand and setting it on Duo’s back.

“Duo?”  Quatre spoke gently, easing his hand along Duo’s prone body.  “Wufei’s arrived.”

Duo turned his head, his reddened eyes looking up at Quatre sadly.  “Guess it’s time to tell you guys what’s going on.”  He
grated out in a rough voice.

Quatre swept his fingers along Duo’s flushed face, brushing aside some of his hair.  “Duo, if you need more time . . . I’m sure
the others won’t mind waiting a bit longer.”

Shaking his head, Duo pushed himself to a sitting position.  “No.  If I have to keep going over and over it in my mind I think I’ll
go crazy.”  Duo replied, wiping a hand across his face.  “I gotta tell you, all of you.  It’s just too much to deal with on my own.  
Telling Cathy didn’t help much but it was a start I guess.”

Quatre smiled sympathetically.  “Come on, Duo . . . the sooner we fix this - whatever it is - the better.”

Duo nodded.  “Thanks, Quatre.”  He got off the bed and walked with Quatre back down to the living room slowly.  When they
finally got there, he frowned deeply.  “Where’s Daniel?”  He asked, concern lacing his strained voice.

Heero smirked from where he was sitting and taking with Trowa.  “He had to go to the little men’s room.  Wufei took him.”

Duo snickered softly.  “Oh, man . . . I’m sorry I missed the look on Wufei’s face.  I’d better go get them.”

Quatre sighed as Duo passed him and then turned to face Heero.  “Whatever this problem is . . . we HAVE to fix it.  Duo will
never forgive himself if we can’t do this.”

“He’s taking this roughly, isn’t he?”  Trowa questioned, his eyes settling on Quatre for a long moment before he looked away.

“Can’t say I blame him.”  Catherine mumbled, wiping at her eyes.  “He has a very good reason to be upset.  Excuse me.”  With
that, she headed for the kitchen.  Quatre frowned at the sounds of crying that came from the room a moment later.


*****


Wufei averted his eyes as the child was pulling his pants back on.  He really had no desire to watch a boy dress himself.  He
sighed, shaking his head, once again wondering why he had been talked into this.  Trowa could have taken the boy to the
bathroom, or Heero.  Even Catherine could have done it.  Wufei simply felt uncomfortable with the whole idea.

Hearing the flush of the toilet, Wufei turned back, only to find Daniel watching the swirling water with avid fascination.  “Come
on, time to wash your hands.”  Wufei said, easily picking the boy up and taking him to the sink.  He merely held the child up so
that he could reach the faucet, allowing the child to wash his hands himself.

When Daniel finished, Wufei set him down and handed him a towel, making sure he put it in the hamper when done with it.  The
boy looked up at Wufei, biting his lip as if in nervousness.

“Is something troubling you?”  Wufei asked.

“Umm . . . Unca Wuffie . . .”  The child began, his eyes wide and expressive.  “Will you fix my hair just like my Daddy’s?”

Wufei found himself smirking.  “All right.”  He lifted the child again, sitting him on the counter by the sink.  “I’m sure Duo has a
brush around here somewhere.”  He said quietly, reaching out to open the medicine cabinet.

What he found within, made him blink in surprise.  Prescription bottles, several of them.  He turned them so that he could read
the labels, a frown coming to his face as he found that all of them were sleeping pills.  All filled out by different doctors, to
different aliases Wufei knew Duo to have used in the past.  Why did he need so many?

“Sumthin’ wrong, Unca Wuffie?”  Daniel asked.

Wufei shook his head, hiding the truth from the child.  There was no need to worry him.  “No . . . nothing for you to concern
yourself with.”  He said, grabbing the brush on the bottom shelf, as well as a hair tie to restrain Daniel’s hair.

Within a few minutes, he had brushed out Daniel’s hair and braided it, much to the pleasure of the little boy.  He was thrilled by
the braid Wufei had woven . . . and held it tightly in his tiny hands.

“Thank you, Unca Wuffie!”  Daniel proclaimed, smiling widely.

“Nice job, Wuffles.”  Duo’s familiar voice called from the doorway.

Wufei looked up, his frown returning as he saw the young ex-pilot standing there.  “Duo, I need to speak with you.”  He said
calmly, flicking his gaze down to the boy between them.

“Alright, buddy.”  Duo smirked.  He stepped forward, brushing his slender fingers through Daniel’s bangs.  “Why don’t you go
on down and show the rest of your uncles that nice braid of yours?  Wufei and I will be down in a minute.”

“Okay, Daddy!”  Daniel grinned, scampering off out of the bathroom.  Duo closed the door behind the boy.

Now that Daniel was gone, Wufei turned and opened the medicine cabinet.  He looked back at Duo, glaring at his friend.  “Care
to explain this?”

“What . . . you’re going through my stuff now?”  Duo snapped, then ran his hands through his hair, letting out a slow breath.  
“Sorry . . . I didn’t mean to yell.”  He apologized.

“I was merely looking for a hairbrush to tend to the boy’s hair.”  Wufei replied.  “I had no intention of rooting through your
belongings.  However, I am concerned about this.  Why do you have so many sleeping pills, Duo?  Why the different names?”

Duo sighed, flipping the lid of the toilet seat down.  He sat heavily upon it, leaning his elbows on his knees.  “I’m not an addict if
that’s what you’re thinking.  I just . . . I have trouble getting to sleep sometimes.”  He took a breath.  “I don’t take them all at
the same time.  I just figured, if I had more than one prescription, it would save time, ya know?  This way I don’t have to go get
it filled right away . . . ‘cause I got a supply handy.”

Wufei sat on the edge of the tub and gazed at Duo, feeling nothing but concern for his friend.  “Duo . . . have you tried talking
to someone about your problems with sleeping?”

Duo shook his head.  “No . . . even talking about it doesn’t help, not that I’ve gone to a professional about it.”  He smiled sadly.  
“It’s the quiet that gets to me . . . when I’m trying to sleep . . . it creeps up on me and makes me think.  Not about the past so
much . . . but the future.  The past is a part of it too though.  How could it not be?”  He shrugged.  “It’s nights like that . . .
when sleeping on the couch with the television on doesn’t help, doesn’t chase away the thoughts . . . that I cave in and take a
pill.”  He looked up at the cabinet with a grimace.  “I completely forget about them otherwise.”  He stood, lifting the toilet seat as
he rose, and opened the medicine cabinet.  He promptly opened a bottle and started flushing the pills.

Wufei was shocked.  “Duo . . . you don’t have to . . .”

Duo nodded.  “Yes, I do, Wufei.  With Daniel here, I DON’T want to take that chance.  It’d kill me if he found them and
thought they were candy.”  He dumped another bottle into the toilet and flushed.  “I . . . I’ll try that therapy stuff . . . so I won’t
have to resort to pills.”

Wufei smiled, admiring his friend’s courage.  “If you need help, don’t hesitate to come to me.”  He spoke.

“Thanks, Wufei.”  Duo sighed, flushing the last of the pills.  He tossed the empty bottles in the trash, a smile on his face as he
looked to Wufei again.  “Come on then, time for you and the guys to hear the truth.”

Wufei nodded.  He followed as Duo left the bathroom.  Concern flowed over him in waves.  Now that he wasn’t worried so
much about Duo overdosing on sleeping pills one day, he feared the words that Duo was about to speak to them.  What was it
that had Duo so upset?


*****


Duo smiled sadly as he watched Daniel proclaiming to everyone in the living room that he looked JUST like ‘his daddy’.  It was
a bittersweet feeling for Duo because, though filled with pride on some level, he knew the reason why Daniel looked so much
like him.  He took a deep breath and let it out, forcing the mask on for the child’s sake.

He walked over and swept the boy up.  “Well!  Now that you’re all handsome, why don’t you and your Aunt Catherine go and
get you some stuff?”

Daniel giggled with glee.  “YEAH!  I’d like that.  I only got this an’ one other outfit.”

Duo set Daniel down and rubbed noses with him before standing up to face Catherine.  “If Daniel behaves like the good boy I
know he is, you can get him a treat.  Nothing too filling, or he won’t be hungry for dinner and I don’t want his tummy waking
him up in the middle of the night by growling so loud he can’t sleep through it.”

Daniel giggled and took hold of Catherine’s hand.

Duo nodded to Catherine.  “Thanks.”  He said, and he meant for more than just taking Daniel out shopping.  From Catherine’s
nod, he guessed that she understood.  He followed them to the door and watched Catherine take Daniel out to her car, setting
him in the back seat.  ‘Only a few hours . . . and I already love him so much.’  He thought as he closed his eyes and turned
away from the door.

Heero pushed the door closed with a concerned frown on his face.  “All right, Duo . . . we’re all here, and Daniel is out of
earshot.  It’s time for an explanation.”

“Yeah, okay.”  Duo nodded, sighing deeply.  “Go to the kitchen and have a seat . . . I’ll meet you guys in there.  I just have to
grab something.”

Heero eyed Duo cautiously, then gave a curt nod.  He turned and walked off without another word.  The others, having heard,
followed Heero’s example and left the room.

Duo stood there, watching them leave.  He took a number of deep, calming breaths, just trying to get the nerve up to speak to
his friends.  Then he went to his home office, just a little room he used for work sometimes, and got the file folders out of his
desk.  He had left them there earlier, not wanting the guys to find them before he was ready to talk.


*****


Trowa was sitting at the kitchen table, his hands clasped on the smooth surface.  He was trying to keep that calm air about
himself.  Yet, it was becoming increasingly difficult to keep the facade in place when he felt like he should just grab Duo by the
shoulders and shake the truth out of him.  He looked up as Duo entered the kitchen, carrying some folders with him.  The look
on Duo’s face was that of grim determination.  It was a look Trowa was unaccustomed to seeing on the face of his friend and it
unsettled him more than Catherine’s tears had.

Duo took a deep breath and crossed to the vacant chair.  Instead of sitting though, he placed the folders on the table and
continued over to the back door to open it.  “If . . . at any time . . . any one of you feels the need to go outside for any reason at
all . . . I’ll understand and won’t think any less of you.”  He said, returning to the chair to sit.  “I must ask you all not to
interrupt me while I’m telling you this.  It’s going to be hard enough as it is, and we don’t have time to waste.  Lives are at stake
here.”  Then he bit his lip and clasped his hands.

After Duo was silent for a moment, Quatre spoke softly.  “Duo, start from the beginning.”

Duo gave Quatre a brief and thankful smile.  “All right.  This afternoon, I got a very interesting visitor.  It was Professor G . . .
Daniel was with him, calling him ‘Grandpa’.”  He shook his head when Wufei opened his mouth.  “I’ll explain in a moment.”

Trowa watched as Duo picked up the folders and tap them on the table.  For some reason, those folders looked ominous.  He
wouldn’t interrupt Duo, however.  He believed that the information was going to be difficult enough to deal with.

“I won’t pretty up the details.  I know you guys better than to do that.”  Duo looked around and met everyone’s eyes.  “Doctor
J is alive.  He’s been making clones of us.”  There was a long, dark pause, full of tension.  “And he’s been selling them . . . as
prostitutes.  Under the conditions they live in, they die relatively quickly . . . but J always makes another batch.”  Duo handed
out the folders, keeping two in front of himself.  “G found out about this because a clone of Howard ratted J out.  The old man
managed to get Daniel, who had just come out of the tube, and my DNA so J couldn’t make any more clones of me.  But
Daniel, though the last, was NOT the first.”

Trowa shuddered as he flipped through the folder, looking over the contents.  His hands began to shake as he picked up a single
picture, portraying a little boy with his face.  The child was battered and bruised, his body bare of any covering.  The fact that
the picture also showed some man with his hands all over the child, only made Trowa’s stomach turn.

He looked up as he heard a muttered voice saying, “Excuse me.”  He watched as Heero stood up, his chair scraping across the
floor as he pushed himself up.  Trowa’s eyes followed him as Heero all but fled the kitchen through the back door, his face
oddly pale as he stalked off.

Duo followed Heero with his eyes, sadness clear in his gaze.  He shook his head, looking down at the table, his fingers picking at
the corner of one of the file folders in front of him.  “We gotta get those other kids . . . what J’s doing . . . it’s just . . . just
horrible.”

A chorus of nods and agreements rang out around the table.  Trowa closed the folder in front of him, sickened and horrified by
the details he had read.  He could understand why Heero had left . . . this was wrong . . . so very wrong.  They did have to go
rescue those children.  They had to stop Doctor J from continuing his work.

Trowa took a breath, looking up and locking his gaze with Duo’s.  “What do you want us to do?”



To Be Continued . . .