Disclaimers:  Still don’t own anything.

Author’s notes:  Here’s another part.  Hope you like it.



Painful Memories
Part 7



Duo still felt the pain.  It never left him, not even when he was unconscious.  It was always there, tormenting his every
moment.  And now, he slowly regained consciousness, bringing all the pain back.  From the dull aches he felt when he was
asleep, and returning them to the intense pulsating waves he could already feel beginning to overtake him.  

Duo was vaguely aware of there being someone in the room with him.  Some things were a blur to him.  Most things after
leaving Carl’s place that night, were vague memories.  He remembered walking the streets, his body filled with pain.  Then he
remembered reaching the safe house, only to find that the place wasn’t empty, as he had assumed it to be.  Heero had been
there, and Duo had collapsed into his arms, exhausted.

He opened his eyes, hoping that it hadn’t been a dream, that he had actually found his way back to Heero.  

“Duo?”  Heero whispered, a wet washcloth in his hand.

Duo couldn’t help it, he was scared, afraid of being hurt.  Maybe it wasn’t Heero.  Maybe it was just another trick by Carl.  
There had been so many times over the past few months that he had thought he had seen Heero, only to realize that it was just
an illusion created by the drugs Carl gave him.  And then he would be alone, with an aching void slowly devouring his heart.

He tried to back away from Heero, feeling an overwhelming terror in his heart.  It couldn’t really be Heero.  It had to be a trick.  
Carl was probably just waiting for him to say something, to make some mistake before he hurt Duo again.

“Stay away from me.  Don’t hurt me.  Leave me alone.”  Duo whimpered, as his heart pounded in his chest.  He was terrified.  
It couldn’t be Heero.  Why would Heero be watching over him?  He didn’t love Duo.  No one did.  And no one ever could, not
anymore.

Heero took hold of Duo’s shoulders, stopping his futile attempts to get away.  “Duo, I’m not leaving you.  You’re hurt.  You
need help.”  Heero replied, his voice sounding unusually emotional.  Duo could hear fear in his voice, and it confused him.

Duo stopped struggling, stopped trying to back away.  His eyes locked on Heero’s for a moment.  There was something about
the Prussian blue eyes, something that told him that it wasn’t all a dream, an illusion created by the drugs.  But he had to be
sure.  “Heero?”  He asked, wanting to believe that it was really him.

A glimmer in Heero’s eyes, told Duo that he wasn’t mistaken, that it really was him.  He never thought he’d ever see Heero
again.  But now, all that fear he had felt only moments ago, turned into self-hatred and shame.  Heero must hate him so much
for what he’d become, for what he had done and what had been done to him.  Heero must think that he was disgusting.  

“I’m sorry.”  Duo said, repeating those two words over and over again, wishing that Heero didn’t hate the disgusting creature he
had become.  And after a few moments, he once again succumbed to unconsciousness, to the darkness that took him away
from Heero and the hatred he must feel for Duo.


*****


When Duo awakened again, he felt himself being lifted from the bed he had been lying on.  He opened his eyes, not knowing
what to expect.  Trowa and Wufei had picked him up, then laid him down on a gurney.  Quatre and Sally stood over him.

He didn’t know what was going on, and frankly he was scared.  What were they doing to him?  What was about to happen?  
His breathing grew faster as he wondered what was going to happen.

Sally leaned over him.  “We’re going to help you, Duo.”  She had said.  “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.”

Duo didn’t like the sound of that.  No anesthetic?  But that would hurt like hell.  He nodded, knowing it had to be done.  If he
had internal bleeding, it had to be stopped or he could die.  

As each of the pilots took their places, holding him down, Duo gritted his teeth, in anticipation of the pain he knew he would be
feeling momentarily.  In the back of his mind, he wondered where Heero was, why he wasn’t there like the rest of the pilots.  
The only answer that came to his mind was that Heero hated him.  This was the proof.  If Heero cared for Duo in any way, then
why wasn’t he there?

Quatre handed Sally the scalpel.  She cut into him, and Duo screamed out, unable to stop the shrill cry from leaving his lips.  Oh
God, did it hurt.  He struggled against himself, trying to keep from moving.  He knew Sally had to do her job, or else he would
die.  If he moved too much, she might make a mistake.

He writhed as she removed the scalpel from his flesh.  He could see that she was speaking, but he couldn’t hear her.  He couldn’
t hear anything, but the beating of his own heart.  

Duo took his eyes away from Sally, and looked to Quatre.  The blonde looked positively horrible.  His face drawn and pale, as if
he were feeling the pain along with Duo.  Still, he handed Sally the instruments she needed.

As he watched Quatre, his vision grew fuzzy.  He saw Quatre swaying, but that could have been because of the dizziness that he
felt.  Then Quatre fell and everything went black.  Duo was unconscious once again, but still he felt the pain within his body.  
The agony covered him like a blanket, making him forget what it had been like to not feel it.


*****


Heero stood in the hallway, just staring at the door in front of him.  It was Duo’s room.  He was in there right now, fighting for
survival, struggling against his addiction to narcotics.

He wanted to go in there, wanted to see Duo.  But he just couldn’t bring himself to open the door.  He didn’t know if he could
bear to see Duo in so much pain.  And what if Duo was awake?  Could he stand to see the hate in Duo’s cobalt eyes?  

Heero felt like such a coward.  He should have told Duo that he loved him when he had the chance all those months ago.  He
should have said something.  Now it was too late.  Duo would never feel anything but hatred for him.  He had lost his only
chance.

He took a deep breath and exhaled slowly.  He had to do this, had to see how Duo was doing.  Maybe he needed something.  If
he did, Heero would get it.  He’d get him anything he desired, no matter what it took.  Even if he wanted Heero’s heart on a
platter because he hated him so much, Heero would do it for him.  Anything to make up for being the coward that he was.

Heero grabbed the doorknob and slowly turned it.  The door opened without a sound.  Silently, Heero crept into the darkened
room.  He shut the door behind him, just as quietly as he had opened it.

As his eyes adjusted to the lack of light, Heero could see more of the room.  He wouldn’t dare turn on a light and let Duo know
that he was there.  Not when Duo hated him so much.

Even without a light, Heero could see Duo.  He was laying on that bed that Sally had called the base to get.  It had arrived about
an hour ago, and they had immediately taken it up to this room gotten Duo onto it.  It was a hospital bed.  It had criblike sides
and optional positions for Duo’s comfort and safety.  Also, it had straps, holding Duo down to it.  His wrists were restrained, as
were his feet.  Now at least they didn’t have to worry about him hurting himself further.  And his strength was so low that they
knew he couldn’t break free of the restraints.

Heero just watched him from across the room.  Duo’s body was shaking from the withdrawal symptoms, his muscles twitching
every few seconds.  Every now and then, he made kicking movements, the spasms in his muscles increasing in frequency.  His
clothes and skin were covered in sweat.  He looked so fragile, lying there, his breathing rapid, as he moaned in pain.

Heero took a chance and walked to the edge of his bed.  “I’m sorry, Duo.”  He whispered, knowing that Duo couldn’t hear him
right now.  

Sally had told all of them that Duo was too far out of it to be aware of anything.  But in about a day, he’d be more focused, and
still going through severe withdrawal.  Sally had finally been able to give him something for the pain, something that wouldn’t
react badly with the drugs already in his system.  It didn’t look as if it were working, but Heero could see that it was.  If he
hadn’t been given those painkillers, it would have been so much worse for Duo.

Still, even if Duo couldn’t hear him, it made Heero feel slightly better to talk to him.  “I should have gone after you.  I should
have said something.”

A single tear fell from his eye, surprising him.  He brushed it away, as if it were something disgusting to him.  Crying was a sign
of weakness.  And he would never cry, no matter how much it hurt to see Duo like this.

Heero remembered what Sally had told them earlier.  “These drugs are unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.”  Sally had
commented only a few hours ago.

“What do you mean?”  Heero asked.

“I’m sure it’s a narcotic.  But there are certain properties that I can’t identify.  Whoever gave this to him, must have
manufactured it himself.”

After hearing that, Heero had gone right to Duo’s door and stood there for several minutes, not doing anything, not moving.

Now he stood beside Duo’s bed, wondering who had hurt the other pilot.  Who would want to hurt Duo in the first place?  
Heero knew that Trowa knew something.  But he wasn’t talking, saying something about promising Duo that he wouldn’t.

Heero looked down at Duo, wishing he could take the pain away from the man he loved.  He tentatively reached out, and
brushed the bangs away from Duo’s eyes.  His fingers brushed against the damp skin of his forehead, and he could feel the
fever burning within the other man.  Duo groaned loudly, causing Heero to fear that something was wrong.  However, Heero
didn’t move, not wanting to leave Duo alone again.

Duo’s eyes snapped open, and Heero took his hand away from him.  There was something about Duo’s gaze that told Heero that
he hadn’t truly awakened from his fevered dreams.  The way he looked at him, or more precisely, through him, was eerie, as if
Duo were looking at somebody else.

“Please, make it stop.”  Duo pleaded, his breaths coming in short ragged gasps.  “Please . . . Carl  . . . Why are you doing this to
me?  You know I’ll do anything you want.  Please . . . just make it stop . . . Make the pain stop.”

Heero laid his hand against Duo’s cheek, as the long-haired pilot slipped back into unconsciousness once again.  Heero’s mind
reeled with the new knowledge he had just acquired.  Now he knew the name of Duo’s tormentor.  And when Heero found this
Carl, whoever he was, he would make him pay.  It was only a first name, but at least it was something to go on.  Heero would
find him, no matter how long it took.  And then he would make Carl pay for all the pain he had caused Duo.


*****


Duo didn’t know how long he had been there.  To him it felt like an eternity, although it could have only been a few hours.  He
slipped in and out of consciousness so often, that he wasn’t sure of anything anymore.  All he knew was that he was in pain.

They had him in restraints, and no matter how much he pulled at them, he couldn’t seem to break them.  Although, he didn’t
pull too hard with his left arm, since it was in a cast.  He was just so tired, but now he couldn’t sleep, not unless Sally gave him
something.

His heart was beating rapidly, but he wasn’t scared, wasn’t agitated in any way.  It was just another symptom of withdrawal,
along with the muscle spasms, the chills alternating with the excessive sweating, and the tremors.  The pain in his back was
killing him.  His eyes were watery, his nose constantly runny.  He couldn’t stop yawning, and no matter how much he wanted
to, he just couldn’t get to sleep.

He wanted to die now.  He should have just collapsed in the street and died out there in the rain.  Why had he bothered to come
to the safe house?  Why had he let Sally operate on him to stop the internal bleeding?

It would have been so much simpler if he had died.  Then Heero wouldn’t have had to see him, had to be faced with the
disgusting thing he had become.

The door opened, and Duo pushed away the thoughts of Heero.  He turned his attention to the open door, waiting for whoever it
was to walk in.  It was Quatre, a bandage wrapped around his head.  A single spot of blood was soaked into the white bandage.  

In his arms, Quatre carried a tray.  On the tray was some food for Duo and some clean pieces of cloth, not to mention the
silverware.

“What do you want?”  Duo snapped.  He didn’t really want to see anyone at the moment.

Quatre smiled, and crossed the room.  He set the tray down on the table beside the bed.  “I just brought you some food.”  He
said, pleasantly.

Duo glared at the blonde, sneering at his kindness.  “I’m not hungry.”

“Duo, I’m not too sure about before you got here to the safe house, but you’ve been here over a day and still haven’t eaten
anything.”  Quatre said, as he stood by the edge of the bed.

“Leave me alone.”  Duo replied, turning away from Quatre.  He didn’t want the other man so close to him, didn’t want to be
touched by anyone.

“I can sense your pain, Duo.  I know what you’re going through.”

Duo snapped his head back, and spat out a reply.  “You have no idea what I’m going through.  You can’t imagine.”

“I’m sorry.”  Quatre said, keeping his eyes locked on Duo’s.  “It was a poor choice of words.  But please let me help you?”

Duo could see that Quatre only wanted to help, that he was only concerned with his health, but something inside of him, kept
telling Duo that it didn’t matter.  He should be dead anyway.  He didn’t deserve to live.  

But if Quatre wanted to help, he wouldn’t stop him.  It really didn’t matter to him one way or the other.  “Fine.  I’ll eat.”  Duo
said.

He watched as Quatre grabbed the remote control from the table and pressed one of the buttons.  Below Duo, the bed moved,
lifting him into a more upright position.  The movement pained his body, made all his wounds ache, but he only groaned at the
pain.  

Quatre put the remote back on the table, and the bed stopped moving.  “You look horrible, Duo.”  Quatre commented.

“Thanks.”  Duo said, sarcastically.

Quatre grabbed a tissue and held it to Duo’s nose.  “Blow.”

“I know what to do.  I’m not that pathetic.”  He replied, then blew his nose into the tissue Quatre held for him.  He hated this,
feeling completely helpless.  He wasn’t an invalid.  Why did they have to treat him like one?

Quatre crinkled his nose, as he wiped Duo’s nose.  Then he tossed the tissue onto the table.  He picked up the bowl of soup and
a spoon, from the tray he had brought into the room with him.

“Dinner time.”  He smiled.

Duo huffed, wishing he could hold the spoon or bowl himself.  But with his wrists in restraints, that was totally out of the
question.  Even if he weren’t in restraints he wouldn’t be able to feed himself, his body just wouldn’t stop trembling no matter
how much he tried to stop it.  So, he opened his mouth, letting Quatre feed him, even though he didn’t feel hungry.

After only a few spoonfuls, he couldn’t eat any more.  It wasn’t that the soup was bad, in fact it was great.  The best chicken
soup he had ever tasted.  He just wasn’t really hungry, and he was starting to feel sick to his stomach.  He turned his head away
as Quatre tried to feed him another spoonful.  “No.  I can’t.”

“Are you okay?”  Quatre asked, placing the bowl and spoon back on the tray.

“I’m fine.”  Duo replied, closing his eyes against the wave of nausea that swept over him.  He was relieved when it passed, glad
he hadn’t vomited in front of Quatre.

“You don’t look fine.”  Quatre replied.  

Duo was startled when he felt something brush against his forehead.  He snapped his eyes open, and pulled away.  In Quatre’s
hand was a piece of cloth.  Duo knew that the blonde had only meant to wipe away some of the sweat that soaked his skin, but
he didn’t like the contact, didn’t want anyone to touch him.  Not yet, anyway.

Quatre took his hand away, looking at Duo with sorrow in his eyes.  “I’m sorry.  I shouldn’t have done that.”

Duo didn’t reply.  He felt ashamed.  Quatre should only be kind to people who were worthy.  And Duo didn’t deserve Quatre’s
kindness.  But he didn’t want Quatre to feel bad.  

“Could you do me a favor?”  Duo asked, not wanting Quatre to be upset.

“Anything.”  Quatre replied, a hopeful smile spreading across his face.

Duo struggled with his emotions, trying to keep the fear out of his voice.  He didn’t want Quatre to know how much it scared
him to let someone else touch him.  “Could you brush my hair?  I don’t have a brush, and I’m sure there are lots of knots in it.”

Quatre’s smile widened.  “I think there’s one in the drawer.”  He turned to the table beside the bed and pulled the drawer open.  
A moment later, he pulled out a brush.  “They keep these safe houses stocked in case one of use needs it.  Anything we might
need is usually close at hand.”

Duo swallowed hard, trying to stop the shaking in his body, to stop his muscles from twitching.  He didn’t want Quatre to see
his fear, he didn’t want any of the other pilots to know how terrified he was of physical contact.  He wasn’t afraid of Quatre
touching him, not really.  He was afraid of the memories that would resurface at the contact.  The memories of the countless
times that Carl had touched him, had used him.

Duo leaned forward, knowing that Quatre had to get to his hair.  The movement caused his wounds to ache, but he had to do
this, had to let Quatre help him.  He knew he couldn’t let the blonde get upset.

Quatre gently took hold of Duo’s hair, pulling it out from behind his back.  As he slowly ran the brush through Duo’s hair, he
continued to talk.

“I have to apologize to you, Duo.”  Quatre said.

“For what?”  Duo was confused.  What did Quatre have to apologize for?  Duo should be apologizing for being the disgusting
creature that he was.

Quatre didn’t speak right away.  He finished with the tangles in Duo’s hair.  Then he set the brush aside and stepped back.  “I
gave up hope on you.  I didn’t think we’d ever find you.  For that I must beg your forgiveness.”  Quatre said, as he bowed his
head slightly.

Duo saw a tear fall from the blonde’s eye.  “Don’t apologize.  I don’t blame you.  I never expected to be found.”  Duo replied,
meaning every word.  He should have died.

Quatre lifted his head and smiled slightly, brushing his tears away.  There was an awkward silence, and then Quatre spoke
again.  “Why don’t you try to get some rest?  One of us will be with you from now on.  You won’t be alone.  If you ever want
to talk . . .”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Whatever.”  Duo interrupted, knowing what Quatre was saying.  He didn’t really want to hear it.  No one
could help him.  Not when the only thing he wanted to do was die.  Heero didn’t love him, he hated Duo.  There was nothing
left that Heero could ever love about him.


*****


Wufei walked through the hallway.  He stopped as he passed by Duo’s door.  He was worried about the other pilot, although he
would never allow anyone else to know that.  As he started walking away again, the door opened.  Quatre walked out.

“Oh, Wufei.”  He said as he jumped slightly, apparently startled by Wufei’s presence.

“How is he?”  Wufei asked, keeping his voice at its usual tone.

Quatre sighed as he closed the door behind him.  “Not good.  He’s nothing like he used to be.  I can sense so much pain in him,
not just physical pain.  He hates himself, what he’s become.  I can feel it.”

Wufei kept up his impassive act, although hearing of Duo’s pain was quite upsetting.  Duo was a good pilot, and an even better
friend.  It was hard to hear that Duo was hurting.

“Can you do me a favor?”  Quatre asked, bringing Wufei out of his thoughts.

“What?”

“Can you sit with Duo for a while?  I have to go talk to Trowa.”  Quatre replied.

“If you insist.”  Wufei said, hiding the fact that he would be more than happy to watch over Duo.

“Thanks.”  Quatre said, then he walked away.

Wufei opened the door and walked in.  Seeing Duo lying there, his body drenched in sweat, was a strange sight indeed.  He had
never seen Duo in such bad condition.  Not even when they had been prisoners together had Duo looked that awful.

“What do you want?”  Duo asked, his voice filled with anger.

“Sally said that we were to watch over you.  Quatre had to do something, so I am taking his place for a moment.”  Wufei stated,
as he walked over to Duo’s bedside.

“Man, I must be in bad shape if you’re in here to cheer me up.”  Duo said, placing a fake smile on his face.  But Wufei could see
right through it.

“As annoying as you are, you’re a comrade in arms.  You’re of no use to us in your current condition.”  Wufei replied, hiding
his worry.

Wufei didn’t even bother to mention that Heero was of no use with Duo in that state either.  The usually unemotional pilot of
Wing Zero, was a wreck.  Heero didn’t eat, didn’t sleep, unless Sally drugged him.  He was definitely in no shape for battle.  But
Wufei didn’t like butting in.  It really wasn’t his business whether Heero and Duo got over this, and got together or not.

“Gee  . . . Thanks!  I feel loads better!”  Duo said, his tone sarcastic.

“Besides, you have a way of growing on people.”  Wufei said.

Duo didn’t reply.  But the stupefied expression on Duo’s face was enough to make Wufei quirk a slight smile.  Obviously, Wufei’
s unusual positive statement toward Duo had suprised him.


*****


Quatre walked through the halls.  He threw open the door to the room that he and Trowa shared.  He was glad to see Trowa
was there, once again sitting by the window.  Trowa turned when Quatre walked into the room.  Quatre closed the door behind
him.

“What did Duo tell you?”  Quatre blurted out as he crossed the room.  Normally, he wouldn’t ask, since he knew Trowa had
promised not to tell.  But he had to know why Duo was in such pain.  There was more to it than Quatre knew.

Trowa stood, facing Quatre.  “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”  

“Oh please.  I know Duo told you about his past.”  Quatre grabbed Trowa’s hand, holding it firmly in his own.

Trowa looked away.  “I can’t tell you.  I promised him.”

“But he is in so much pain.  I can’t help him, no one can help him, unless he starts talking.”  Quatre pleaded.

“I can’t betray him, Quatre.  Please don’t ask me again.”  He took his hand away, and turned his back to Quatre.

This was so wrong.  Everything was falling apart.  Duo was in pain, Heero was a wreck, and now Trowa was hurting.  Quatre
could feel his emotions, how torn Trowa was between his feelings and the promise he had made to Duo.  

Quatre mentally slapped himself for being so blind.  He should have taken Trowa’s feelings into consideration before he tried to
get him to talk.  Trowa wouldn’t tell him, and now Quatre didn’t want him to.  He would just have to think of another option.  

He slowly wrapped his arms around Trowa, laying his head against his lover’s back.  “I’m sorry Trowa.  I wasn’t thinking.  I
won’t ask again.”

For a while they just stayed like that.  Then Trowa took hold of one of Quatre’s hands, and pulled him around to face him.  
“Don’t be sorry.  You were only concerned with Duo’s welfare.”

Trowa pulled Quatre into an embrace, and Quatre hesitantly returned the hug, feeling that he didn’t deserve it.  He just held him,
but Quatre didn’t want anything more.  Quatre should have been more considerate.  He should have thought.  Trowa was so
kind not to blame him, even if he didn’t know it himself.



To Be Continued . . .