Disclaimers:  I don’t own anything.  

Author’s notes:  Here you go, Part 6.  Finally, Heero and Duo are reunited.  But Duo’s suffering isn’t over yet.  This starts off
with Heero’s perspective, just before Duo arrived at the safe house.  Oh, and thanks to Tenshi-Chan for all your help.



Painful Memories
Part 6



Heero sat in the safe house, reading various reports on the military resources of a neighboring country.  It was quiet, except for
the nearly constant rumbling of thunder coming from outside and the drumming of the raindrops as they hit the roof.

The reports didn’t interest him, nothing really did anymore.  But it was a way to keep his mind off of Duo, at least for a short
time.  However, his mind always returned to the memories of Duo, wondering where he had gone.  Who knew where the long-
haired pilot had run off to so long ago?

The sound of approaching footsteps outside attracted his attention.  Heero stood and walked to the door, picking his gun up
from the coffee table as he stood.  No one knew he was there, so no one should be there.

As he approached the door, the handle slowly turned.  He grabbed it and yanked it open quickly, leveling his gun, ready to shoot
whoever had disturbed his quiet afternoon.  But at the sight of Duo standing before him, he dropped his gun.  It clattered to the
ground, but Heero didn’t hear it.  He was totally focused on the person before him.

Even though the body was battered and beaten, Heero was sure that it was Duo.  There were numerous bruises to his face,
several cuts and scratches.  His lip was split in several places.  His once lovely hair was matted with blood and dirt.  He was
completely soaked from the rain.  His sleek body shivered from the coldness of the afternoon.

“Heero?”  Duo whispered, his face showing a look of total shock.

Before Heero could say anything, Duo’s eyes rolled back in his head and he crumbled to the ground.  Heero caught him in his
arms as he fell, yelling his name in fear and worry.

He picked up the unconscious pilot carefully, trying hard not to hurt him any further.  He didn’t want to cause Duo any more
pain than he was obviously already in.

He carried Duo into one of the bedrooms, and laid him down on the bed.  Oh, God, he looked terrible.  What the hell had
happened?  Who would want to hurt him?  Heero tentatively placed his hand against Duo’s cheek.  He quickly pulled it back as
Duo groaned in pain.  He was hurt badly . . . any idiot could see that.

Heero hated to leave his side, even for a second, but he knew he had to get some help.  He didn’t have the skills or equipment
needed to help Duo.  He ran to the nearest video phone and dialed Sally Po’s number.

“Yes?”  She answered, pleasantly.  When she saw Heero though, her mood immediately changed.  “Is something wrong?”

“Duo’s here.  He needs help.”  Heero answered, trying to keep himself calm.  Panicking wouldn’t be of any use right now.

“You found him?”  Sally gasped.

“No.  I’ll explain later.  Just get here quick and bring your equipment.  He may have internal injuries.  We’re at safe house
number 18.”  He hung up, not giving Sally a chance to say anything else.

He rushed back to Duo’s side, not really knowing what to do.  How could he help Duo?  He didn’t want to hurt him.  

A thought came to him.  He might not have the medical knowledge needed to treat Duo’s more serious injuries, but he could at
least clean him up a little.  He left the bedroom once again, only to come back a few minutes later with a basin full of water and
a washcloth.

Heero set the basin on the bedside table and dropped the washcloth into the water.  He sat on the edge of the bed, and turned to
Duo.  He could see the pain on the other pilot’s face.  It was obvious that the long-haired pilot hadn’t found relief in
unconsciousness.  

Heero slowly unbuttoned Duo’s shirt, and took in a gasp at the sight of the massive bruise on the other pilot’s torso.  It was
huge, covering his chest and abdomen.  How many kicks and punches had it taken to make that, Heero wondered.

“Whoever did this to you is going to die slowly and painfully.”  Heero whispered, to the vulnerable form of the man he loved.

He picked up the washcloth, ringing out the excess water.  Then, with as much gentleness as he could manage, Heero began to
slowly wipe the blood and dirt from Duo’s body.  His only thoughts and hopes were that he wasn’t causing Duo even more pain
with his actions.

He rinsed out the washcloth, then moved on to cleaning Duo’s face.  As he carefully dabbed at the blood on one of Duo's
cheeks, he was startled to see Duo’s eyes blink open.

“Duo?”  Heero asked, his voice a whisper.

What Duo said next, crushed any hopes that Heero might have had left, of trying to take another chance with him, of telling Duo
that he did love him.

“Stay away from me.  Don’t hurt me.  Leave me alone.”  Duo whimpered, as he tried to back away from Heero.  He was
terrified, but Heero didn’t know if it was because of him or not.  Whatever had happened to Duo out there was his fault.  Duo
would never be able to forgive him for his cowardice, for not being brave enough to tell Duo how he really felt about him.

Heero took hold of Duo’s shoulders gently, but firmly.  “Duo, I’m not leaving you.  You’re hurt.  You need help.”  Heero
replied, wishing he could do something to take away the fear and suffering he saw in Duo’s cobalt eyes.  

Duo stopped struggling, stopped trying to back away.  His eyes locked on Heero’s for a moment.  “Heero?”  He asked, as if
unsure of who he was looking at.  “I’m sorry.”  He said, repeating those two words over and over again, until his eyes fluttered
shut, and he once again succumbed to unconsciousness.

Heero took his hands away from Duo’s shoulders and just sat there, unable to comprehend why Duo would be sorry.  Why did
he want Heero to forgive him?  Heero pushed the thoughts away as he resumed his task of cleaning the blood from Duo’s face.  
This was more important to him at the moment, Duo’s health was more important than trying to figure out why he felt he
needed to apologize for something.


*****


Wufei walked through the hallway.  Hearing a shuffling sound coming from behind Sally’s office door, he opened it and peeked
inside.  He saw her packing equipment into several large black bags.

“What are you doing?”  He asked.  “Going somewhere?”

“Heero found Duo.  He told me he was hurt.”  She replied, continuing to pack supplies.  She didn’t even take a second to glance
in his direction.

“What?”  Wufei gasped.  He had all but given up hope of Duo ever being found.

Even though Wufei found the loudmouthed American annoying at times, he had grown accustomed to his presence around the
base.  He would never admit it, but he missed the cheerfulness that Duo seemed to spread around him wherever he went.

“I’ll get the others.  They will want to know about this.”  Wufei said.  He turned and walked back out to the hallway.  “We will
meet you outside.”

Wufei jogged down the hallway, knowing exactly where to find Trowa and Quatre at this hour.  Since neither of them had a
mission to go on, they would be spending their free time together.  Wufei knocked on Trowa’s door.  After hearing no response,
he knocked again.  A moment later, the door opened a crack.

“What?”  Trowa asked, impatiently.  

Wufei could see the sweat on the other pilot’s face, hear that he was out of breath.  He had no doubts about what Trowa and
Quatre had been doing.  But it was of no concern of his.  Whatever Trowa and Quatre chose to do with their spare time was
none of his business.  As long as it didn’t get in the way of the missions, they could do whatever they wanted with each other.

“Get dressed.  Duo’s been found.”  Wufei said, simply.  Then he turned and walked away.

“Wait!”  Quatre called out, as he stepped past Trowa into the hallway, wearing only a sheet around his sweat slick body.  “Who
found him?”

Wufei stopped and turned to face him, not bothering to bring up the fact that Quatre wasn’t really dressed.  “Heero did.  If you
hurry, we won’t have to wait long to see him and find out where’s he’s been for so long.”


*****


Trowa grabbed Quatre’s arm and pulled him back into the room.  “Come on, let’s get dressed.”  He said.

Quatre didn’t object.  He also didn’t say anything, which worried Trowa somewhat.  Still, most of his concern was for Duo,
wondering where the other pilot had been all this time.

As he hastily put on his own clothes, Trowa glanced over at Quatre.  The adorable young blonde was just sitting on the bed
dressed only in his pants.  His shirt lay on the bed beside him, but it didn’t look as if he was going to put it on.  As Trowa
watched, he saw Quatre’s shoulders begin to shake.

He walked over, concerned.  Tears streamed down the blonde’s cheeks.  Trowa knelt down in front of Quatre, his heart filled
with worry for his young lover.  He hooked a finger under Quatre’s chin and lifted his head so that he could gaze into those
beautiful blue eyes of his.  

“What’s wrong?”  Trowa asked, brushing a few tears from Quatre’s cheek with a thumb.

Quatre avoided looking at him as he spoke.  “I betrayed Duo.”

“What are you talking about?”

“I never thought he’d be found.  I gave up hope.”  Quatre said, as more tears fell down his angelic face.

Trowa wrapped his arms around his love, pulling him into an embrace.  “You didn’t betray him.  We all gave up hope, Quatre.  
Every one of us, except for Heero.”  He said, trying to comfort his angel somewhat.  He truly didn’t know what to say to make
it better.

Trowa could feel the tears on his shoulder, the wetness in his shirt.  Quatre’s body shook as he let out his tears.  Trowa could
only hope that his words had helped a little.

After a moment, Quatre pulled away from him.  “Wufei’s waiting.”  He said, placing a fake smile on his face.  “We should get
going.”

Trowa stood, as Quatre pulled on his shirt and quickly buttoned it.  He didn’t know what to do.  Quatre couldn’t blame himself
for this.  Trowa would have to talk with him later, after they found out about Duo.

Quatre stood, wiping the last of his tears away with the back of his hand.  Trowa draped an arm around him as they left the
room, knowing that Quatre still felt ashamed for losing hope.  Quatre always was a sensitive person.

A few hours later, Trowa stared out the window of the car, watching as the storm raged outside.  There was nothing to see
outside, except for the raindrops that steadily ran down the window.  The sun hadn’t really been out at all that day.  It was a
completely dreary day, the rain never having stopped for more than a few minutes at a time.

Wufei was sitting in the passenger seat, beside Sally, who was driving.  That gave the entire backseat of the car to Trowa and
Quatre.  Trowa turned to look at the angel that sat beside him.  

Quatre was staring down at his lap, a tear rolling halfway down his cheek.  Trowa was worried.  How much longer would
Quatre blame himself.  He hated seeing Quatre like this.

Trowa reached out and wiped the tear away.  Quatre turned to him, and smiled slightly, but Trowa could see right through it.  
He still blamed himself for losing hope, for giving up.

Trowa grasped Quatre’s hand, giving it a reassuring squeeze.  “Stop blaming yourself.”  He whispered, trying to keep his voice
low.  He really didn’t want Wufei and Sally to overhear.  His personal life with Quatre was just that, personal.

Quatre took in a deep breath, then let it out slowly.  “I don’t know if I can.”  He sighed.  He lifted his gaze to meet Trowa's.  
“But I’ll try.”


*****


Quatre appreciated Trowa’s concern.  But how could he strop blaming himself, when he felt so ashamed.  He had lost hope, had
given up.  It was something he had never done before.  No matter how bad things ever got, he always had hope, even if it was
just a tiny glimmer.

But not this time.  Duo had disappeared, and after only two months Quatre had given up.  He thought for sure that Duo had died,
or that he would never return.  

After getting the bags from the trunk of the car, they jogged over to the door of the safe house, the rain pouring down on them
from the gray afternoon sky.  Each of them carried a large black bag, filled with Sally’s medical equipment.  Quatre couldn't
help but wonder if she had brought her entire supply of medical equipment with her.

“Heero?!”  Sally called out, as they entered the house.

“Upstairs, first door on the right.”  Heero shouted, from somewhere in the house.

Sally and the others rushed up the stairs and entered the room.  The first thing Quatre saw was Duo, lying on the bed across
from the door.  He looked horrible, covered in bruises and wounds.  

“My God.”  Trowa gasped.

Quatre was surprised to hear such a remark from the man he loved.  He hadn’t known that Trowa even believed in God.

“Okay, everyone out.  I need room to work.”  Sally said, pushing Heero away from the bed and Duo.

But Heero didn’t seem to want to leave.  Wufei grabbed his arm and pulled him out of the room, as Quatre and Trowa were
turning to leave.  

They went downstairs, where Heero pulled his arm away from Wufei’s grasp.  Immediately, he started pacing, and mumbling to
himself.  To Quatre, it looked as if Heero was afraid, but that couldn't be right.  Heero never showed any kind of emotion,
especially fear.

As he paced, Heero became more and more nervous.  He was bordering on sheer panic.  Quatre was worried, not only about
Duo, but now about Heero as well.  Heero obviously didn’t know how to deal with the emotions within him.  And Quatre could
sense so many emotions coming from Heero, love, fear, hatred.  It was probably too much for Heero to take all at once.

Quatre would have tried to help him deal with the emotions, but it seemed that both Trowa and Wufei wanted answers to their
questions first.  “What happened to Duo?”  Wufei asked.

“I don’t know.”  Heero replied.

“What do you mean, you don’t know?”  Trowa asked.

“Just that.  I don’t know.”  Heero stopped pacing for a moment, and turned to face them.  “He just showed up like that and
passed out.”

Heero started pacing again and muttering about how the whole mess was his fault.  His constant pacing, seemed to be getting on
both Wufei and Trowa’s nerves.  Finally, Trowa snapped.  “Dammit Heero!  Just cry and get it over with!”

“Trowa, take it easy.”  Quatre said, coming to Heero’s defense.  This was no time to start an argument.  It wouldn’t do
anybody any good.

“Why should he?  We’re not going to get any answers unless Heero starts making sense.”  Wufei huffed.

Heero began breathing faster, as he wove his fingers into his hair.  He groaned as he pulled at his hair, obviously having
problems dealing with his emotions.

Trowa approached Heero quickly, and grabbed his arms, pulling his hands away from his hair.  “Just let it out for once.”  Trowa
said.  “You can’t keep your emotions bottled up forever.”

Before Heero could reply, Sally walked down the stairs.  Everyone looked to her, as she slowly made her way over to them.  
Trowa took his hands away from Heero and stood beside Quatre.

“How is he?”  Heero asked, sounding unusually scared.  

Sally hesitated, not answering right away.  But she did answer.  “I only did a preliminary examination.  He has a concussion, a
broken arm, several broken ribs, and internal bleeding which will need to be stopped soon.  There are numerous lacerations and
bruises.”

“But will he live?”  Heero interrupted.

Sally averted her gaze.  “I'm not sure.  His wounds aren’t his only problem.  It appears as if he’s addicted to some form of
narcotic.  He’s showing the first symptoms of withdrawal.  But that’s not the worst.”

“There’s something worse than that?”  Wufei asked.

Again, Sally hesitated.  “There is evidence to show that Duo has been sexually assaulted . . . repeatedly.”

Wufei gasped, and Quatre couldn’t help but notice that Trowa’s expression hardened at the mention of sexual assault.  Quatre
knew all to well what Trowa had gone through as a child, with all those mercenaries that had used him so violently and without
care to what they were doing to him.  But this was different.  Quatre could see that Trowa knew something.  Maybe about the
secret Duo had told him all those months ago.

Quatre was about to ask Trowa about it, when Heero began yelling, his eyes burning with rage.  “When I get my hands on
whoever did that to him, I’ll cut his heart out with a spoon!  I’ll make him eat his own liver!”

“Heero, calm down.  Duo will need you here.”  Quatre said, trying to keep Heero under control.  The last thing they needed was
for Heero to go over the edge.

“Besides  . . . why a spoon?”  Trowa asked.

Heero continued to pace, his tightly clenched fists hanging by his sides.  “Because it’s dull.  It’ll hurt more.”  He fumed.

Sally stepped closer to Heero, holding her hands out in front of her.  Quatre could see a syringe in one of her hands.  “Heero, are
you going to calm down on your own, or am I going to have to sedate you?”

Heero finally stopped pacing and glared at her.  “How can you expect me to calm down when some bastard . . .”  He broke off,
unable to continue that sentence.  “He can’t be allowed to get away with it.”

When Heero turned away from her, Sally gave the rest of the guys a nod.  Quatre knew what that meant.  Without warning, the
three pilots grabbed Heero, holding him down so that Sally could sedate him.

Trowa had him in a bear hug, more to keep him still than anything else, and Wufei and Quatre each had hold on one of his
wrists.  Unfortunately, no one had hold of his legs, so he was still able to kick.  Sally tried to avoid his feet, but some kicks did
come in contact with her, while she injected the sedative into Heero.  Those kicks obviously hurt, since she flinched each time
he hit her, but she didn’t back away until she was finished.

They continued to hold him, as he fought against them.  Quatre knew they couldn’t let him go, not until he was unconscious.  
Heero was still pissed as hell, and would probably take out his rage on one or all of them before the drugs took effect.

“I wish I hadn’t had to do that.”  Sally said, as she stepped away from a furious Heero and the guys that still held him down.  
“We’ve been trying to get him to feel, for so long.  Now I feel like I’m punishing him for doing just that.”  She sighed.  

Heero’s movements were slowly dying down as the sedative began to work.  But still, the guys held on to him.  

Sally continued speaking.  “Still, I’m going to have my hands full as it is.  I don’t need the added worry of Heero going out and
doing something foolish.”

Quatre, Trowa, and Wufei let go of Heero, just letting him lay on the floor.  “What do we do with him now?”  Wufei asked.

“I guess we should put him in one of the bedrooms.”  Trowa replied, looking down at the unconscious pilot.

Sally stepped over to them.  “When you’re done, I’m going to need your help with Duo.”  She said.

“What do you need us to do?”  Quatre asked, turning away from Heero to look at her.

“The internal bleeding has to be stopped quickly.  But until I can determine what drugs he’s been using, I can’t take the risk of
giving him any painkillers or anesthetic.  Who knows what reaction they would have with the drugs already in his system?”  
Sally replied.  “I’m going to need you to hold him down while I operate.”

“We’ll do everything we can.”  Wufei said, as he knelt next to Heero.

Trowa also knelt beside Heero and grabbed his feet, while Wufei took hold of his wrists.  They picked him up and carried him
up the stairs.  Quatre went ahead of them and opened the door to one of the bedrooms.  He watched from the doorway as they
laid Heero down on the bed.

Then the three of them went into the room Duo was in.  Sally was already there, waiting for them.  She was setting up her
equipment, getting ready for the operation.  “Trowa, can you open up the portable gurney.  This is going to be a messy
operation.  I don’t want the blood to soak into the bed.”

Quatre walked over and stood beside Duo, while Trowa unfolded the gurney.  It seemed as if Sally had definitely come prepared
for anything.  But Quatre was focused on Duo.  

The long-haired pilot’s body shivered as he lay on the bed, his face covered in sweat.  Bruises marred his face, blood stained his
clothes.  Quatre could sense his pain, the agony within his body.  There was so much hate within Duo, so much suffering.  
Quatre could barely stand sensing the emotions, the pain.  He clutched his chest with his hand, in an attempt to alleviate some of
the pain he had felt from Duo.  

A hand clamped on his shoulder.  But he didn't need to turn to know that it was Trowa.  “Are you okay?”  Trowa asked.

“I’m fine.”  Quatre replied, for some reason finding it hard to breathe.

Then Sally came up next to him.  “Why don’t you help me with the surgical tools, Quatre?  I don’t think you should come in
such close contact with Duo.”  

“Okay.”  Quatre replied.  He was relieved that Sally had remembered his empathic abilities.  They all knew that it would be
worse for Quatre if he had to actually touch Duo.  

Once again, he looked to Duo.  Poor Duo, he thought.  Quatre could only hope that Duo would be okay.


*****


Trowa once again stared out of a window, watching the rain as it still fell from the dark clouds in the night sky.  He remembered
the events of a few hours ago, the operation Sally had preformed on Duo.  He and the other’s had held Duo down, trying to
keep him from moving around too much, except Quatre who handed Sally the equipment when she needed it.

Duo had woken up just before the operation began, as they were moving him from the bed to the gurney.  “We’re going to help
you, Duo.  But I won’t lie to you, it’s going to be very painful.  You have internal bleeding and I have to stop it, but I can’t give
you any anesthetic.”  Sally had said to him.

Duo had nodded and gritted his teeth, as each of the pilots took their places.  Wufei had held Duo’s legs down, to keep him from
kicking.  And Trowa had his hands on Duo’s shoulders.  

It was awful, listening to Duo’s screams, as Sally cut into him.  But it was plainly obvious that Duo was trying to keep himself
under control.  Apart from the occasional times he writhed from the pain, he fought to remain still.  And after a short time, he
lost consciousness again, making it a lot easier to hold him down.

After the operation, only a few minutes ago, Heero had awakened.  And he wasn’t too happy with any of them at the moment.  
Considering they had drugged him, he was actually taking it very well.  Trowa thought for sure that Heero would have slugged
them all by now.  But he hadn’t.  He just glared at them all, not saying one word.  This action hadn’t really surprised Trowa, it
was normal behavior for the non-emotional pilot.

In the glass of the window, Trowa could see Quatre’s reflection.  “Are you okay?”  Quatre asked, as he approached Trowa.

“Shouldn’t I be asking you that?”  Trowa replied, turning to look at Quatre.

A bandage was wrapped around the young blonde’s forehead.  Quatre had fainted during the operation, from sheer exhaustion
after his empathic abilities had picked up on all that pain Duo had been going through.  It must have been horrible for him,
feeling so much pain coming from one of his friends.  

Trowa couldn’t even begin to imagine what it was like to be able to feel another person’s emotions or pain.  It must be both a
blessing and a curse to Quatre.  But to Trowa, it was just another reason to admire Quatre.  You had to be a strong person to be
able to handle something like that.  And Quatre, his angel, was a strong person.

Quatre touched the edge of the bandage with his right hand.  “It’s not too bad.  Just a large bump and a small cut.”  He smiled.

Trowa crossed the distance between them, and took hold of Quatre’s hand, pulling it away from his head.  “You shouldn't have
even been in that room in the first place.  It was too much for you.”

“No, I’m glad I was there.  Seeing Duo again, made me realize that I can’t blame myself for losing hope.  It won’t help Duo if I
do that.  And now I have hope again.  Hope that Duo will survive this.”  Quatre said, a small smile appearing on his face.

“I’m happy for you, Quatre.”  He said, pulling his angel into an embrace.

Hopefully, Duo would survive this, somehow.  Although it didn’t look too good for the long-haired pilot.  Duo’s injuries were
quite serious.  And not only did he have a drug addiction, but he had also been sexually assaulted.  This experience would be
agony for Duo, Trowa knew that.  After what Duo had gone through as a child, he might not be able to handle going through
that kind of pain again.



To Be Continued . . .